This story originally appeared in the Daily Gate
By Cindy Lutzi
HAMILTON, Ill. – Hamilton City Council members learned Monday that Hamilton is the only Hancock County, Ill., municipality not participating in the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition: Hometown Teams.
Amy Graham of Carthage Community Development and Kim Orth, executive director of the Nauvoo Tourism Office urged the city council to get the word out to Hamilton residents to form a working group that would get the city represented in the traveling sports exhibit.
Graham said the cities of Carthage, Augusta, Bowen, Plymouth, Dallas City, LaHarpe, Warsaw and Nauvoo have been working on the project for six months.
“So far, there are no Hamilton working groups,” Graham said. “We’ve contacted several people in Hamilton and no one has stepped to the plate. We need the information by July 1 or at the latest by July 15. We really, really need Hamilton on board. We have spoken to the school board and we didn’t get very far.”
Graham said Hancock County is one of only six communities chosen in Illinois to host the exhibit. The smallest committee in Hancock County working on the project is a committee of one, she added.
“We are helping with the text and developing the text,” she said. “And this can be two dimensional, but three dimensional is preferred.”
“A standard format for size and shape will be used for each town so that one doesn’t outshine another,” Graham said.
Landing the traveling exhibition “is a real feather in Hancock County’s cap,” Graham said. “Whatever you have that tells the story – it doesn’t have to be about winning, but how has the team kept the community together.”
A meeting of the Hancock County team is at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 29, in Carthage City Hall. The group hopes to start laying out materials with captions and quotes.
“Nobody has the time to do this,” Graham said. “We know everyone’s lives are very, very busy. That’s why we’re working as a team – to minimize the work.”
Mayor Steve Lowman urges anyone who knows of a Hamilton sports buff who would be interested in tackling the project or being part of a team to call City Hall at 217-847-2936 with a name.
Museum on Main Street
According to the Illinois Humanities Council website, the “Museum on Main Street project, in partnership with the Smithsonian Institution, brings the highest-quality traveling exhibits to small communities around Illinois, with populations of 25,000 or less. Through both one-on-one consultation and specially-designed workshops, IHC staff work closely with each host community for at least a year prior to opening in order to strengthen an organization’s partnership-building skills, program and exhibition development, and overall project capacity.
“The exhibition will tour six Illinois communities from March 2014 through December 2014. The project’s first workshop (took) place a year before, in March 2013. Sites will be chosen based on geographic location, strength of proposed ideas for auxiliary programming and exhibition themes, potential for organizational growth and physical display space.”