Apply to Host Smithsonian Exhibit “The Way We Worked”

TWWW-LogoSmithsonian Exhibit About American Labor History to Tour South Carolina

Apply to host the exhibit!
Deadline: November 2, 2015

SC Humanities is pleased to announce a special South Carolina tour of The Way We Worked, an exhibition from the Smithsonian Institution. Developed as part of the Museum on Main Street (MOMS) program, this exhibit is designed especially for small cultural organizations and rural audiences that lack regular access to traveling exhibitions due to space and cost limitations.

The exhibit will tour six South Carolina communities from January – November 2017. Eligible host sites include small museums, libraries, historical societies, cultural centers and other community venues in towns of fewer than 20,000 residents. Applications are due by November 2, 2015. Host sites receive free exhibit rental, a grant to support local community programming, opportunities for professional development, and more.

The Way We Worked, adapted from the original exhibition developed by the National Archives, explores how work became such a central element in American culture by tracing the many changes that affected the workforce and work environments over the past 150 years. The exhibition draws from the Archives’ rich collections to tell this compelling story. The diversity of the American workforce is one of its strengths, providing an opportunity to explore how people of all races and ethnicities identified commonalities and worked to knock down barriers in the professional world. The exhibition shows how we identify with work—as individuals and as communities.

9_Mexican Farm WorkerDr. Randy Akers, Executive Director of SC Humanities, is pleased to be bringing The Way We Worked to South Carolina: “The Way We Worked is a fascinating topic for South Carolina and of special interest to communities across the state. South Carolina was once exclusively an agriculturally-based economy that shifted to textile manufacturing. South Carolina has increasingly become more urbanized with heavy industry and tourism as economic foci. The 21st century demands new skills, research, and technology for the way we will work. However, the foundation for the future is built on a work history that involved many issues, including slavery, unions, and civil rights. This national exhibit and the accompanying local programming will provide South Carolinians with an educational and informative view of how the way we worked has defined our state in so many ways.”

The Way We Worked has been made possible in South Carolina by SC Humanities. Hometown Teams is part of Museum on Main Street, a collaboration between the Smithsonian Institution and state humanities councils nationwide. Support for Museum on Main Street has been provided by the United States Congress.

For more information about The Way We Worked in South Carolina, contact T.J. Wallace at 803-771-2477 or

Download the Guidelines and Application! | PDF file


Image Top: Interior view of Lever Brothers office building, New York City, Lever House photograph, ca. 1959. National Archives, Records of the U.S. Information Agency

Image Bottom: Mexican farm worker in lettuce field, Blythe, California, by Charles O’Rear, May 1972. National Archives, Records of the Environmental Protection Agency