Apply by August 15 for Crossroads: Change in Rural America!

Illinois Humanities enthusiastically invites organizations in communities of fewer than 10,000 residents to apply to host Crossroads: Change in Rural America, a brand-new Museum on Main Street exhibition from the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service and Illinois Humanities! It will visit six Illinois communities from September 8, 2018, to June 22, 2019, in conjunction with the State Bicentennial.

For detailed information about the exhibition, please read either the online version or the print version of the APPLICATION FORM. If your organization is interested in pursuing this exciting opportunity, please apply! The deadline is August 15, 2017, 6 PM. If you have questions or need assistance, please contact Matt Meacham, program manager, at or (312) 422-5589. He’ll be glad to hear from you!

A rural crossroads: the intersection of County Road 5 and Murphysboro Road in southeastern Randolph County, Illinois. The contrast between the older, hand-built, wooden outbuilding on the right and the newer, fabricated, metal outbuilding on the left illustrates some of the trends that Crossroads: Change in Rural America will address. (Photograph by Matt Meacham, Illinois Humanities.)

Thanks to our Water/Ways host organizations!

Illinois Humanities heartily thanks and congratulates the six organizations that hosted Water/Ways during its 2016-17 Illinois tour! They produced impressive companion exhibitions, presented fascinating programs, and provided memorable experiences for their communities. It was an honor and a pleasure to work with them!

Smithsonian Institute Water Ways exhibit logo

Complete Schedule

May 28-July 9, 2016: Franklin Creek Grist Mill (in the Franklin Creek State Natural Area), Franklin Grove

July 16-August 27, 2016: Museum of the Grand Prairie, Mahomet

September 3-October 15, 2016: Lawrence County Historical Society, Lawrenceville

October 22-December 3, 2016: Valmeyer Community Heritage Society, Valmeyer

December 10, 2016-January 21, 2017: Science Center of Southern Illinois, Carbondale

January 28-March 11, 2017: Four Rivers Environmental Education Center, Channahon

Bounded by several of the most important rivers on this continent and one of the Great Lakes, Illinois has been influenced profoundly by water throughout its history.  Our 2016-17 Museum on Main Street exhibition, Water/Ways, invited Illinoisans to consider the monumental significance of water in the human experience.

Water/Ways explored a variety of questions about the roles of water in the lives of individuals and communities:

  • How do Americans use water? How is water represented in our society? In what ways do we use water as a symbol?
  • How does water unite communities? How does conflict over water emerge, and how do communities resolve it?
  • How does water affect the ways in which we live, work, worship, create, and play?
  • How do we care for our water and protect the resource for the future?

Although the exhibition tour has concluded, the discussion need not end!  Our Illinois Speaks micro-grant program provides a great opportunity to continue the important conversation about the complex and vital role of water in society. Please feel free to contact us if you have additional suggestions for potential projects involving water and the humanities.

Overview & Frequently Asked Questions