The Smithsonian’s Museum on Main Street, in cooperation with North Carolina Humanities, presents “Crossroads: Change in Rural America.” The exhibition examining the evolving landscape of rural America opens at the Onslow County Museum on May 6, 2023 and will be on view through June 10, 2023.
The Onslow County Museum and the surrounding community has been expressly chosen by North Carolina Humanities to host “Crossroads” as part of the Museum on Main Street program, a national, state, and local partnership to bring exhibitions and programs to rural cultural organizations. This is the sixth and final stop for the exhibition in North Carolina.
“Crossroads” explores how rural American communities changed in the 20th century. From sea to shining sea, the vast majority of the United States landscape remains rural with only 3.5% of the landmass considered urban. Since 1900, the percentage of Americans living in rural areas dropped from 60% to 17%. The exhibition looks at that remarkable societal change and how rural Americans responded. Onslow County itself is a reflection of that change. Data from the 2020 Census indicates that our community has changed from rural to regional city and suburban.
“The Crossroads exhibit allows us to reflect on Onslow County history, present and future and we are excited to see how our visitors connect with this story,” said Onslow County Museum Director Lisa Whitman-Grice. “We want to convene conversations about what rural looks like in our community. The input from our community will guide us as we create a traveling local exhibition and public programs complementing the Smithsonian exhibition.”
An opening reception for the “Crossroads: Change in Rural America” exhibit will be held on Saturday, May 6 at 10AM at the Onslow County Museum located in Richlands at 301 S Wilmington Street. Visitors are invited to attend and share their stories of how they’ve experienced change in Onslow County.