Press Release - March 2019


The North Manchester Historical Society, along with five other locations in Indiana, has been granted the opportunity to host a Smithsonian Exhibit: Crossroads, Change in Rural America!

Museum on Main Street (MoMS) is a partnership between the Smithsonian Institution and state humanities councils nationwide that serves small-town museums and their patrons. This innovative project provides one-of-a-kind access to Smithsonian exhibitions and educational humanities program. Most importantly, MoMS provides community museums and libraries an opportunity to display their strengths and reinforce their meaningful contributions to small-town life.

The NMHS is very excited to host this exhibit at the North Manchester Center for History. This is a great opportunity for the community of North Manchester, and will shine a light on small-town Indiana! The exhibit will be at the Center for 6 weeks in 2020 (March 21-May 2, 2020). But to get public involvement we will regularly be posting updates.

Again, we are elated for this opportunity. Our goal is to get the community involved and excited about this unique project because this really will be their chance to tell their stories and memories about their community. It is an exhibit designated to personal connections and memories.


Smithsonian Exhibit
Coming to the Center for History

Center for History to host traveling Smithsonian exhibit highlighting changing landscape in rural America: North Manchester Center for History will be part of statewide tour of “Crossroads: Change in Rural America”

North Manchester, Ind. (March, 2020)—Center for History has been selected by Indiana Humanities to host a Smithsonian-curated traveling exhibit called “Crossroads: Change in Rural America” as part of the Museum on Main Street program, which brings exhibitions and programs to rural communities in Indiana. The exhibition, which examines the evolving landscape of rural America, will be on display in North Manchester at the Center for History from March 21 to May 2, 2020.

 The traveling exhibition will tour six Indiana communities from Sept. 7, 2019 to June 21, 2020. In addition to the exhibition, each community has been given $2,000 in project funds to host at least three community programs around the themes of exhibition and create an exhibit that explores change in their community.

 Nearly 100 years ago, the 1920 census revealed that for the first time, more Americans lived in urban environments than in rural communities. Since 1900, the percentage of Americans living in rural areas dropped from 60 percent to 17 percent, yet the vast majority of America’s physical landscape remains rural. “Crossroads” looks at this remarkable societal change and how rural Americans responded.

 “Conversations about change in our rural communities are vital to the future of Indiana,” said Keira Amstutz, president and CEO of Indiana Humanities. “We are excited to be able to utilize the ‘Crossroads’ exhibition as a catalyst for dialogue around the past, present and future of rural Indiana.”

 NMHS is very thrilled to host this exhibit and look forward to giving the community more information about it, as we get closer to the grand opening. The Center will host several programs and events centered on the change to rural Indiana, with North Manchester being the central focus. All events will be open to the public and family friendly.

 “Crossroads’ allows us to reflect on North Manchester’s history, present and future. We want to explore what our community’s future will hold,” said Ariel Wagner, Museum Director. “We want to convene conservations with people from our community and let them tell us what they believe makes our community unique.”

 Indiana Humanities is sponsoring the tour of this exhibit in conjunction with its new thematic initiative—called INseparable, which launches in 2019.Through a variety of programs, Indiana Humanities will encourage Hoosiers to explore how we relate to each other across urban, suburban and rural lines and spark conversations about our futures.

 The Center for History has been a valuable community asset for preserving and exhibiting local history. We strive to be our community’s storyteller, and North Manchester has been a focal point for rural changes—it really is a thriving small town. Residents of our community have lived through the change and this will be their time to personally share their stories with younger generations and surrounding communities.

 About Indiana Humanities
Indiana Humanities connects people, opens minds and enriches lives by creating and facilitating programs that encourage Hoosiers to think, read and talk. Learn more at

 About Museum on Main Street

Museum on Main Street is a unique collaboration between the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES), state humanities councils across the nation, and local host institutions. To learn more about “Crossroads” and other Museum on Main Street exhibitions, visit

 About SITES
SITES has been sharing the wealth of Smithsonian collections and research programs with millions of people outside Washington, D.C., for more than 65 years. SITES connects Americans to their shared cultural heritage through a wide range of exhibitions about art, science and history, which are shown wherever people live, work and play. For exhibition description and tour schedules, visit


Contact information:

Ariel Wagner, Museum Director
North Manchester Center for History