Press Release


"Journey Stories" To Tour Illinois in 2009-2010

CHICAGO –The Illinois Humanities Council has selected six organizations in rural Illinois communities to host the Smithsonian Institution’s traveling exhibit "Journey Stories." The six organizations are the Sycamore Historical Society (Sycamore), Heritage Center on the Mississippi (Hampton), Buchanan Center for the Arts/Warren County Public Library (Monmouth), Lincoln College Museum (Lincoln), Wabash County Museum (Mount Carmel), and Mascoutah Heritage Museum (Mascoutah). The exhibition will run from May 2009 to March 2010.

"Journey Stories" tells how we and our ancestors came to America. From Native Americans to new American citizens and regardless of our ethnic or racial background, everyone has a journey story to tell. Our history is filled with stories of people leaving behind everything – families and possessions – to reach a new life in another state, across the continent, or even across an ocean. Many chose to move, searching for something better in a new land. Others had no choice, like enslaved Africans captured and relocated to a strange land and bravely asserting their own cultures, or like Native Americans already here, who were often violently removed by newcomers.

The exhibition is comprised of six freestanding structures containing interactive components and artifacts mounted in cases, requiring 800 square ft. of display space with eight-foot ceilings, plus additional space for a local exhibit.

Sites were chosen based on geographic location, strength of proposed ideas for auxiliary programming, and physical display space. Applications were open to smaller museums, libraries, and historical societies in towns of fewer than 30,000 residents. "Journey Stories" is part of the Museum on Main Street (MoMS) program, a partnership between the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service and state humanities councils nationwide. MoMS serves small-to medium-sized communities by bringing them Smithsonian-quality exhibitions. For more information about MoMS, call Ryan Lewis at 312.422.5585 ext. 231 or visit

The Illinois Humanities Council is a nonprofit educational organization [501 (c) 3] dedicated to fostering a culture in which the humanities are a vital part of the lives of individuals and communities. Organized in 1973 as the state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities, the IHC creates programs and funds organizations that promote greater understanding of, appreciation for, and involvement in the humanities by all Illinoisans, regardless of their economic resources, cultural background, or geographic location. The IHC is supported by state, federal, and private funds.

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