Smithsonian exhibit coming to Dillsboro

Dillsboro will be part of statewide tour of “Crossroads: Change in Rural America.”

The Aurora Public Library District has been selected by Indiana Humanities to host a Smithsonian-curated traveling exhibit called “Crossroads: Change in Rural America” as part of the Museum on Main Street program, which brings exhibitions and programs to rural communities.

The exhibition, which examines the evolving landscape of rural America, will be on display from Saturday, Sept. 7, to Sunday, Oct. 20, 2019, at the Dillsboro Public Library in Dillsboro.

The traveling exhibition will tour six Indiana communities from Sept. 7 to Sunday, June 21, 2020.

In addition to the exhibition, each community has been given $2,000 in project funds to host at least three community programs around the themes of the exhibition and create an exhibit that explores change in their community.

Nearly 100 years ago, the 1920 census revealed that for the first time, more Americans lived in urban environments than in rural communities.

Since 1900, the percentage of Americans living in rural areas dropped from 60 percent to 17 percent, yet the vast majority of America’s physical landscape remains rural.
“Crossroads” looks at this remarkable societal change and how rural Americans responded.

“Conversations about change in our rural communities are vital to the future of Indiana,” said Keira Amstutz, president and CEO of Indiana Humanities. “We are excited to be able to utilize the ‘Crossroads’ exhibition as a catalyst for dialogue around the past, present and future of rural Indiana.”

The Aurora Public Library District is grateful to Indiana Humanities for providing the funding that will allow this exhibit to be presented in our local area, said library district director Peggy Dean. Public libraries are vital in bringing community members together and providing a place for dialog.

“We look forward to working with the Town of Dillsboro and community partners to explore our past and to reimagine our future together,” she said.

The Crossroads exhibit will include interactive displays exploring the themes of community, identity, land use, and managing change.

The library district will add local content and host programs of local interest during the six-week period. The exhibit will be open for viewing whenever the Dillsboro Public Library is open between Sept. 7 and Oct. 20.

Indiana Humanities is sponsoring the tour of this exhibit in conjunction with its new thematic initiative called INseparable, which launches in 2019.

Through a variety of programs, Indiana Humanities will encourage Hoosiers to explore how we relate to each other across urban, suburban and rural lines and spark conversations about our futures.

The Aurora Public Library District provides service to the western portion of Dearborn County at the Dillsboro Public Library, the Aurora Public Library, and the Local History Library @ the Depot.

The Library District’s mission is to promote life-long learning and to meet the educational, informational, recreational and personal needs of our community through materials, services, and programs.

Indiana Humanities connects people, opens minds and enriches lives by creating and facilitating programs that encourage Hoosiers to think, read and talk. Learn more at

Museum on Main Street is a unique collaboration between the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Servic, state humanities councils across the nation, and local host institutions. To learn more about “Crossroads” and other Museum on Main Street exhibitions, visit

SITES has been sharing the wealth of Smithsonian collections and research programs with millions of people outside Washington, D.C., for more than 65 years.

SITES connects Americans to their shared cultural heritage through a wide range of exhibitions about art, science and history, which are shown wherever people live, work and play. For exhibition description and tour schedules, visit


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