Incorporating local elements in nationally travelling exhibitions: Museum on Main Street out in the open
Museum on Main Street, a program under the auspices of The Travelling Exhibition Service of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington DC, USA reaches millions of people a year in rural areas with their travelling exhibition program. These exhibits are unique in that they are developed specifically for small communities across the United States. It collaborates with State Humanities Councils to be able to fund and distribute the exhibitions. Together they provide training for local staff to help them not only physically to install the exhibition in their venue(s), but also assist them with enriching the content of the national traveling exhibition with stories and objects from the local areas. As a result, the exhibits are tailored to reflect the community in which they will be displayed and in turn, these communities become part of the national story line. Through this co-creation, people connect and recognize how the exhibit is reflective of them and instills within them a pride for their own local community and heritage.