Smithsonian ‘rural America’ exhibit opens in Sturgis

The exhibit shines a spotlight on rural history.
Published: Mar. 14, 2023 at 1:01 AM MDT|Updated: Mar. 14, 2023 at 10:43 AM MDT
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STURGIS, S.D. (KEVN) - Life in rural America may be at a ‘crossroads.’ At least according to the Smithsonian Institute, which has a traveling exhibit that’s made, it’s way to the Sturgis Public Library, at 1040 Harley-Davidson Way #101, Sturgis, SD 57785.

The “Crossroads” exhibit is part of the Smithsonian’s Museum on Main Street Program, which seeks to bring cultural and historical education to small towns in the heartland.

Sturgis Public Library Director Christopher Hahn said that the exhibition explores how rural communities, like many in the Black Hills, changed in the 20th century.

He adds that the experience is interactive, as the Smithsonian wants to garner information from everyday people in these communities.

“It asks a lot of questions of you in all of the displays that are up throughout the library,” Hahn said. “‘How do you see it changing?’ Where do you think it’s going?’ So, what the exhibit does is make you think about your own experiences, which is the important part about it.”

It’s the goal of the program to get conversations started on what makes these rural communities unique, as modernization and globalization are affecting life in smaller and smaller towns.

Those in attendance were grateful for the opportunity to describe how they view the changing landscape.

“It says ‘describe your town in ten years. Who is here and why?’ I think that’s really an educational part in getting our children and ourselves thinking about what’s going to be here,” says Sturgis resident Betty Huff

The exhibition runs through the end of April, with different events to promote the program throughout.

For more information follow this link.