Reed City District Library hosts Smithsonian Museum on Main Street exhibit

REED CITY -- The Smithsonian is coming to Reed City.

Reed City District Library is hosting the Smithsonian Institute's Museums on Main Street exhibit, "Crossroads: Change in Rural America" Feb. 1 through March 15, 2020, at the William and Mabel Porteous Depot.

"It seemed like a natural fit for our city at this particular time," Library Director Tom Burnosky said. "And the Depot couldn't be a better place to show it off, situated at the intersection of the White Pine and Pere Marquette trails."

An opening day gala is planned for Feb. 1, with a ribbon cutting to open the six-week engagement.

The exhibit, part of the Smithsonian MOMS program in collaboration with Michigan Humanities, explores how rural communities have changed over the past 100 years and the impact they have had on the development of the country.

The exhibit includes illustrations, photographs, thought-provoking questions and interactive sections, which include an introduction, identity, land, community, persistence and managing change.

Through community programs and creative activities, the exhibitions are a launching point for storytelling and local pride.

"We are very excited about the opportunity to bring this exhibit to Reed City," Burnosky said.

"We are looking at additional programs to coordinate with the exhibit such as a pop-up museum for local artifacts, which we are hoping our residents will be willing to contribute to, and an oral history exhibit consisting of local story tellers recording information for others to listen to, which we hope will become a permanent part of the library."

"We have been talking with different organizations in the area about developing programs as part of the six-week long celebration and we hope to get a lot of participation," he added.

Burnosky said the library committee is working on a slate of programming and special events for February and March, and hope to welcome many regional visitors, from students to trail riders to history enthusiasts.

"It will be a highly detailed interactive trip through America's rural past," he said. "It is both nostalgic and emotional to connect our past with our present and future through the displays. In short, this exhibit offers Reed City the opportunity to celebrate our heritage, reflect on how far we've come and spark our imaginations for tracking the future."

Volunteers are needed to help build the displays and as guides for the exhibit while it is open to the public.

"We encourage our local service, religious and social organizations to consider sponsoring a block of time for volunteering," Burnosky said. "Our next planning meeting will be at 6 p.m., Oct. 8, at the library."

Anyone interested in volunteering but cannot attend the upcoming meeting, contact Burnosky at (231) 832-2131.