Smithsonian exhibit coming to PIDL in 2020

ROGERS CITY– Rogers City will host a travelling Smithsonian exhibit in 2020.

The Michigan Humanities Council announced the selected host sites for the 2019-2020 tour of the national Smithsonian Institution exhibition, “Crossroads: Change in Rural America,” which explores the past, present, and future of rural American communities.

On behalf of northeast Michigan, Presque Isle District Library was selected as one of six sites in Michigan to host the Smithsonian Exhibit from March 21 through May 3, 2020.

“It’s an honor to host this prestigious exhibit and be able to partner with local and regional organizations showcasing our rural communities in northeast Michigan,” Library Director Amber Alexander said. “The partnerships forged through this programming, nearly a dozen partners, will be able to benefit through this outreach.”

The focus of the exhibit’s main themes are identity, land, community, and persistence/change.

Crossroads is a thought-provoking and engaging exhibit that fits the northeast Michigan community.

“For those of us who live and choose to live in rural northeast Michigan, to survive and thrive, we have to work together locally and regionally for our opportunities, and be creative and resourceful,” said Anne Belanger, project director for the exhibit and grantwriter.

The exhibit will serve as a community meeting place for conversations about how rural America has changed.

The Smithsonian Institution and their Museum on Main Street program provides access to the Smithsonian for small-town America. It engages audiences and brings attention to underserved rural communities.

“The library is coordinating six weeks of programming that ties in with the Crossroads exhibit and will enhance the visitors’ experience,” Belanger said. “There’s a lot of planning and programming involved with this exhibit.”

One of the events to kick off the exhibit and bring people together is through a shared meal. The library plans to invite restaurant owners to participate in SOUP-r-STEW where the community comes together to sample some of the favorite soup or stew recipes from participating restaurants in the county. Other programming includes a regional roundtable, a film series, community conversations and civic engagement, arts projects for youth and adults, and more.

Key partners include the City of Rogers City and the Downtown Development Authority, the Rogers City Area Senior and Community Center, Rogers City Area Schools, Presque Isle County Historical Museum, and partnerships in Alpena and Boyne City as part of the regional roundtable.

“The Presque Isle District Library will be celebrating its 75th anniversary in 2020 as well,” Alexander added. “So we’re fortunate that this exhibit coincides with the library’s 75th anniversary. We’re planning additional programming throughout the area in which the library serves.”

The Michigan Humanities Council is a private, non-profit organization created to foster a better understanding of each other and our state though local cultural, historical and literary experiences for all. MHC was founded in 1974 and is funded in part by grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, and support from individual and corporate donors. For more information, visit www.michiganhumanities.org.

Keep up to date on library happenings by visiting www.pidl.org. The library is located at 181 E. Erie St. in Rogers City. Call the library for more information at 989-734-2477.