March 13, 2021 – April 25, 2021
Wabaunsee County friends and neighbors gather for the statewide announcement by Humanities Kansas of the six Kansas communities who will host the traveling Smithsonian exhibition: “Crossroads: Change in Rural America.”
(left to right: Bobby Meseke, Zhang Hongtu, visiting artist at Volland, Marci Spaw, Volland Storekeeper, Colby Taylor, Julie Mulvihill, Executive Director of Humanities Kansas, Cindy Schultz (behind Zhang Miaoling), Miaoling, Peggy Schultz, Gary Schultz (behind Peggy), Dan Wegner, Mary Pinard, Visiting Poet at Volland, Erin Debler, Leighann Thone, Humanities Kansas intern, and Kit Auner, Humanities Kansas intern. Out of camera range are Tracy Quillan, Associate Director of Humanities Kansas, and Abigail Kaup, Humanities Kansas Program Director.
The Volland Store to host Smithsonian exhibition about
The Volland Store, 8 miles southwest of Alma, Kansas, is hosting “Crossroads: Change in Rural America,” a Smithsonian Institution traveling exhibition. “Crossroads” will be at The Volland Store from March 13, 2021, to April 25, 2021. The “Crossroads” Kansas tour is sponsored by Humanities Kansas in partnership with the Smithsonian Institution’s Museum on Main Street program.
The Volland Store will build on the photographs, hands-on activities, and audio and video clips provided by the Smithsonian in the “Crossroads” exhibition to tell the history and culture of local rural life in Kansas and spark conversations about our state’s future.
When The Volland Store first learned of the opportunity to apply for hosting the exhibition, the staff reached out to the Wabaunsee County Historical Society, and to neighbors and friends in Wabaunsee County to gauge interest and willingness to help with the large project. The idea of showcasing our rural community alongside a Smithsonian exhibition was met with overwhelming and enthusiastic approval. Conversation began immediately on the best way to present our rural lifestyle: the realities, the joys, the challenges, and the future of rural life in Kansas. The ideas were incorporated in the application and they strengthened our submission substantially.
Now that our community has been selected, everyone is invited to join the effort. We welcome your ideas, and if you have some time to volunteer, there will be plenty of fun to go around. Working together will produce an authentic view of who we are today, one that we will be proud to present to the world. If you would like to join in this effort, please contact Patty Reece or Marci Spaw at 785-499-3616 and leave a message, or email Patty at email@example.com. We look forward to working together!
“Crossroads” tours six Kansas communities in 2020-2021. Other Smithsonian hosts include: Bowlus Fine Arts Center/Allen County Historical Society, Iola; 5.4.7 Arts Center, Greensburg; Kauffman Museum, North Newton; Independence Public Library/Independence Historical Museum and Art Center; and Norton County Arts Council, Norton.
“Through a partnership with the Smithsonian Institution’s Museum on Main Street program, Humanities Kansas is able to bring the resources of the nation’s premier cultural institution to Kansas,“ said Julie Mulvihill, executive director of Humanities Kansas. “The six communities were selected because of the inspired plans provided by local organizations to use the national exhibition as a springboard to explore local stories of innovation and adaptation.”
In addition to the six sites hosting the Smithsonian, eight communities will create their own exhibitions and programming to explore what it means to live rural in the 21stcentury, the relationship between rural, suburban, and urban, and the progress and persistence needed by communities of all sizes to thrive. Participating communities include Ellinwood, Hays, Lebanon, Colby, El Dorado, Council Grove, Onaga, and Olathe.
Humanities Kansas sponsors the “Crossroads: Change in Rural America” initiative in partnership with the Smithsonian Institution’s Museum on Main Street program, a one-of-a-kind cultural project that serves small towns and residents of rural communities. To learn more about the “Crossroads” statewide tour visit humanitieskansas.org.
For more information about “Crossroads”in Alma, contact The Volland Store at (785) 499-3616 or visit thevollandstore.com
ABOUT THE VOLLAND STORE
The Volland Store opened in 1913 in the little railroad community of Volland and quickly become the social and cultural center of the ranching community that surrounded it. Today the former general store has been re-purposed as an art gallery and event center and serves once more as a gathering place for the community, both near and far. Located in a scenic valley in the Flint Hills, the Store is an award-winning space with good art and friendly conversation. Join the artists, writers, scientists, historians, musicians, and poets who enrich and enliven our community.
ABOUT HUMANITIES KANSAS
Humanities Kansas is an independent nonprofit spearheading a movement of ideas to empower the people of Kansas to strengthen their communities and our democracy. Since 1972, our pioneering programming, grants, and partnerships have documented and shared stories to spark conversations and generate insights. Together with our partners and supporters, we inspire all Kansans to draw on history, literature, ethics, and culture to enrich their lives and serve the communities and state we all proudly call home. humanitieskansas.org.