Press Release


Exhibition on American Foodways will open November 18.

CHICAGO—Through a partnership with the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., the Illinois Humanities Council (IHC) will bring “Key Ingredients: America by Food,” a portable 5-kiosk exhibition designed especially for small museums and historical societies, to Carmi, Illinois. The exhibition will open on Friday, November 18th at the White County Historical Society (221 East Main Street) and will remain on display until January 2, 2006. The opening day kick-off dinner will begin at 6:00 pmand will feature a lecture by Bruce Kraig of Roosevelt University in Chicago, entitled “Illinois Food Traditions.” The dinner is $15.00. Reservations are required and can be made at 618-382-4010 by November 11.

The exhibit will be open Thursdays through Sundays, 1 pm to 5 pm, supplemented by local exhibits on the family farm, an early 1900’s kitchen display, and a picture gallery of historic eating places in the county. The Historical Society will host a series of events in conjunction with the exhibition’s stay in Carmi. Weekly Koffee Klatches will take place on Thursdays in December. Speakers at the Koffee Klatches include Penelope Bingham, who will present “The American Century in Cookbooks” on December 15 at 10:00 AM and Dallas Krumm who will present “Native American Food and Medicines” on December 8 at 6:30 PM. All events are free and open to the public. For further details please call the White County Historical Society at 618-382-8425 or visit the Key Ingredients website.

“Key Ingredients” looks at the rich regional food traditions found across the United States, focusing on the diversity of foods and customs associated with them. By displaying a broad selection of photographs, illustrations, and artifacts, the exhibit investigates the way differences in cultures, ethnicities, and classes have created unique American food traditions. The exhibit also examines the tremendous effecttechnological innovation has had on America’s food traditions.

“Key Ingredients” is part of the Smithsonian’s Museum on Main Street (MOMs) program. MOMs serves small-to medium-sized communities by bringing Smithsonian-quality exhibitions to local museums, historical societies, libraries, and community centers that traditionally have limited access to traveling exhibitions due to space and cost limitations.

Carmi is the fourth stop on a six-town tour for “Key Ingredients;” the exhibition will continue the tour through Chillicothe and Mascoutah in 2006.

For more information about “Key Ingredients,” or any other IHC program, please call (312) 422-5580 or visit

The Illinois Humanities Council is an educational organization dedicated to fostering a culture in which the humanities are a vital part of the lives of individuals and communities. Through its programs and grants, the IHC promotes greater understanding of, appreciation for, and involvement in the humanities by all Illinoisans, regardless of their economic resources, cultural background, or geographic location. Organized as a state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities in 1973, the IHC is now a private nonprofit (501 [c] 3) organization that is funded by contributions from individuals, corporations, and foundations; by the Illinois General Assembly; and by the NEH.


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