Through 2024, "Crossroads: Change in Rural America" will visit as many as 165 towns in 28 states. "In collaboration with state humanities councils, it aims to foster conversations in rural communities, encourage a focus on local history and artistic expression, build community spirit and stress cultural diversity," April Simpson reports for Stateline. "Communities are urged to host events that encourage videographers, youth and students to capture and celebrate local stories. The exhibit covers big themes like identity, land, community and persistence using artifacts, multimedia displays, community discussions and works by local artists." Click here for more information and the itinerary.
The organizers hope the exhibits will help remind rural residents that their towns and cultures are assets in coming up with solutions to local challenges, even though the "broader narrative" typically emphasizes what rural communities lack, Simpson reports.
"These communities have wonderful things about them," Susan DuPlessis, director of community arts development for the South Carolina Arts Commission, told Simpson. "A lot of times, though, when we’ve been told over and over that we 'have nothing,' then you start to believe it and you forget to see what you have all around you."