Smithsonian Exhibition on Rural America Delights Local Audiences

Bartow, Fla (March 6, 2019) – The Polk County History Center, in cooperation with the Florida Humanities Council, continues its exploration of the evolving landscape of rural America as it hosts the local showing of, “Crossroads: Change in Rural America,” a Smithsonian traveling exhibition. This exhibit will be on view through March 13, 2019.

The History Center and the surrounding community was expressly chosen by the Florida Humanities Council to host this exhibit as part of the Museum on Main Street project—a national/state/local partnership to bring exhibitions and programs to rural cultural organizations. After it leaves Bartow in March, the exhibition will travel to two more communities in Florida before it returns to the Smithsonian; an itinerary is available online at

“Crossroads” takes a broad look at the characteristics of rural America. It explores how an attraction to and interaction with the land formed the basis of our rural culture, and how rural communities and small towns evolve and change. It also highlights how change transformed rural America, especially during the 1900s, and how rural Americans are evolving for the future.

“We are very pleased with the community’s reaction thus far to ‘Crossroads’,” said Myrtice Young,  historic preservation manager, “85 people attended our opening event, and we continue to experience a growing interest in the exhibit. People from as far away as London, England have visited the History Center to see the exhibition and visit our community. It’s great exposure for the museum and the Polk County.”

Our final supporting program will feature Ryan Kordek, transportation planning administrator for the Polk Transportation Planning Organization. For more information call 863-534-4386.

Crossroads is part of Museum on Main Street, a unique collaboration between the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES), state humanities councils across the nation, and local host institutions. To learn more visit,, or

Support for Museum on Main Street has been provided by the United States Congress.

The Polk County History Center is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday at 100 E. Main St. in Bartow. Visit or call (863) 534-4386 for more information on exhibits and programming. All programs and events are free and open to the public.

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