Museum on Main Street

Through a partnership with the Smithsonian Institution, Georgia Humanities hosts Museum on Main Street, a program that provides small and rural communities access to Smithsonian traveling exhibitions. Local communities host the exhibitions and organize accompanying programs.

Crossroads: Change in Rural America, a Museum on Main Street exhibition, tours Georgia 2019 through 2020.

Throughout Georgia’s history, rural communities and people have been vital. People have met at crossroads to build businesses, schools, houses of worship, and transportation hubs. Governors, state officials, entrepreneurs, and leaders in education, sports, and military have grown up in rural Georgia. Rural Georgia has provided much of the state’s food, fuel, and fiber, and agribusiness remains Georgia’s leading industry. Tourism is Georgia’s second-leading industry, and rural Georgia is home to many of the state’s unique landscapes and sites for outdoor recreation.

Rural Georgia has changed as people have moved in and out. Census demographers classify 124 of Georgia’s 159 counties as rural, totaling 75 percent of the state’s land mass. Yet just 17 percent of the state’s 10 million residents live in these rural counties.

Change is an inevitable part of any community’s life. How can residents, businesses, civic groups, and government come together to shape our future? Dialogue and conversation—grounded in history and literature—can offer space for envisioning the future and identifying paths for responding to change in communities that host Georgia Crossroads.

Georgia Crossroads, an exploration of the past, present, and future of rural Georgia, will take place from August 2019 through June 2020. At the center of this initiative will be an exhibition from the Smithsonian’s Museum on Main Street program Crossroads: Change in Rural America, which will travel to six rural communities in Georgia.


Who is eligible to apply?

  • Cities or counties in rural communities in Georgia
  • Preference will be given to communities that have not previously hosted a Museum on Main Street exhibition

What will host communities receive?

  • Smithsonian exhibit
  • Humanities program models from which to choose
  • Program support: workshops, access to speakers, community-development forum
  • $2,000 grant to support local programs and activities

What is required of host communities?

  • Volunteer or paid staff to serve as Project Director
  • Host committee including diverse representatives from the community
  • Venue for the exhibition (1000 sq. ft and 8-ft ceilings)
  • Implementation of at least two local humanities program models

Deadline: May 31, 2018
Notifications: July 31, 2018

If you have any questions or would like more information about Georgia Crossroads, please contact Arden Williams at 404-523-6220 x117 or

Download Crossroads Application (pdf)

Crossroads Sponsors

Georgia Crossroads is presented by Georgia Humanities, the Center for Public History at the University of West Georgia, and Georgia EMC.

Crossroads: Change in Rural America is part of Museum on Main Street, a partnership with the Smithsonian Institution that provides small and rural communities access to Smithsonian traveling exhibitions. Support for Museum on Main Street has been provided by the United States Congress. To learn more, visit

Sponsorship Opportunities

Interested in sponsoring CrossroadsContact us to learn more.