• Smithsonian Traveling Exhibition Celebrating Sports in American Communities Coming to Livingston

    Posted: August 29, 2016

    Author: Gena Robbins

     The University of West Alabama, in cooperation with Alabama Humanities Foundation, will host “Hometown Teams: How Sports Shape America,” a traveling exhibition from the Smithsonian’s Museum on Main Street program. “Hometown Teams” will be on view Sept. 15-Oct. 31.

    UWA and the surrounding community has been chosen by the Alabama Humanities Foundation to host “Hometown Teams” as part of the Museum on Main Street program—a national/state/local partnership to bring exhibitions and programs to rural cultural organizations. The exhibition will tour six communities in Alabama from Gadsden through Enterprise.

    “Hometown Teams” will capture the stories that unfold on the neighborhood fields and courts and the underdog heroics, larger-than-life legends, fierce rivalries and gut-wrenching defeats. For more than 100 years, sports have reflected the trials and triumphs of the American experience and helped shape the national character. Whether it is professional sports or those played on the collegiate or scholastic level, amateur sports or sports played by kids on the local playground, sports are everywhere in America.

    “We are very pleased to be able to bring ‘Hometown Teams’ to our area,” said Dr. Tina Jones, executive director of the Division of Economic Development and Outreach. “It allows us the opportunity to explore this fascinating aspect of our own region’s sports history and we hope that it will inspire many to become even more involved in the cultural life of our community.”

    “Allowing all of our state’s residents to have access to the cultural resources of our nation’s premiere museum is a priority of the Alabama Humanities Foundation,” said Armand DeKeyser, executive director. “With this special tour, we are pleased to be working with the University of West Alabama and Sumter County to help develop local exhibitions and public programs to compliment the Smithsonian exhibition.” 

    Such free events include the local exhibit, “Small Town, Big Impact” which highlights UWA and Sumter County sports history including a Wall of Honor, the Grand Opening celebration on September 15 at 6 p.m., and public programs every Tuesday at 6 p.m. about such topics as sports and American Society, Negro baseball league archaeology sites, player safety and concussions, a workshop on how to preserve your sports memorabilia, a showing of the movie Woodlawn, and a Field Day on the Quad for 1st-3rd grade children.

    Museum on Main Street invites the public to share their local sports stories through the “Stories from Main Street” website at www.storiesfrommainstreet.org or through the free mobile app available from the Mac App Store or the Google Play Store. Both platforms record and map the location reflected in the submission and will accept written and audio stories as well as videos and photos. Selected submitted stories to “Stories from Main Street” will be featured on the website and app. The archived stories will serve as a searchable record of the unique experiences of life in American small towns. Each story can be searched via location or by topic.

    “Hometown Teams: How Sports Shape America” is part of Museum on Main Street, 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 New Harmonies and other Museum on Main Street exhibitions, visitwww.museumonmainstreet.org.

    Support for Museum on Main Street has been provided by the United States Congress. SITES has been sharing the wealth of Smithsonian collections and research programs with millions of people outside Washington, D.C., for more than 60 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 www.sites.si.edu

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