Crossroads: Change in Rural America Opens in Hopkins

South Carolina Humanities, in cooperation with the Smithsonian Institute’s Museum on Main Street program, is pleased to present Crossroads: Change in Rural America. The exhibition examining the evolving landscape of rural America will open at the historic Harriet Barber House in Hopkins on Saturday, February 9, 2019. The exhibit will visit two additional communities through June 2019.

Since 1900, the percentage of Americans living in rural areas dropped from 60 percent to 17 percent. Yet, Americans still rely on rural communities for the food and other resources that power the nation. Crossroads: Change in Rural America looks at that remarkable 20th-century societal change and how rural Americans responded. Learn more about the exhibit!

Dr. Randy Akers, Executive Director of SC Humanities, is pleased to be bringing Crossroads to South Carolina: “SC Humanities is one of the first three states to host this new Smithsonian exhibit, joining Illinois and Florida.  I grew up in a farming village of 600 people in rural Illinois and have seen the devastating changes as small farms collapse, industry moves out, young people move to the city, and schools close. South Carolina is such a rural state, and its numerous small communities have suffered the past decades. Yet there are people, values, and cultural and historical assets that offer hope.  The exhibit and programs which accompany it will challenge us to think about the future. What can we do to bring new life to some of the most beautiful natural landscapes in our state? This is a timely and extremely important exhibit addressing one of the most pressing social issues of this century.”

Crossroads: Change in Rural America will be on display at the Harriet Barber House from February 9 – March 24, 2019. While the exhibit is on display, the Harriet Barber House and its partners will present a variety of events and special opportunities correlated to the theme of the exhibit.

Events and programs planned in Hopkins include:

Saturday, February 9, 2019
Grand Opening

12:00 p.m. – Grand Opening Reception with visual arts show featuring Artist Johnathan Green
Location: Ulysses R. Barber Auditorium, Hopkins Middle School, 1601 Clarkson Road, Hopkins, SC 29061
1:30 p.m. – Ribbon Cutting & Exhibit Tour, Official Grand Opening
Location: Historic Harriet Barber House, 116 Barberville Loop, Hopkins, SC 29061
Guests must respond by February 4; please call 803-788-7185 or email

Saturday,February 16, 2019 | 10:00 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Communal Pen: A Writing Workshop Celebrating Memories, Stories, and Traditions of Place

In the Communal Pen workshop, facilitators EboniRamm and Michelle Ross will help participants write to celebrate and explore connections to place and community.
No previous experience necessary!
Learn more from the flier!
Location: Harriet Barber House, 116 Barberville Loop, Hopkins, SC 29061
FREE and open to the public, but registration is encouraged. Register online here

Saturday, February 162019 | 11:00 a.m.
Strong Threads Festival
Location: St. John Holistic Wellness Center, 230 J.W. Neal Circle, Hopkins, SC 29061

Strong Threads is an annual ONE DAY Festival with Music, Dancing, Workshops, Food & Entertainment. The ever popular STRONG THREADS event is a unique opportunity to celebrate and educate the community through entertainment about African American History and culture and the rich heritage of Lower Richland County.

There will be dancing, singing, live music, entertainment, performers, food and non- food vendors, workshops, youth games and more! Admission is FREE!

Saturday, March 2, 2019 | 1:00 p.m.
Oral Histories and Book Signings 
Location: Victory Hall, Jerusalem Baptist Church, 159 Old Clarkson Road, Hopkins, SC 29061
The Lower Richland Heritage & Genealogy Society presents a screening of Kindred Connections: Sharing Our Stories ~ Oral History Interviews: Ada Young Hopkins of Kingsville, Joe Richardson of Lykesland, Pelham Myers, Sr. {late) of Hopkins, and Sarah Shiver Green of Gadsden. Also, local and other noted authors will participate in book signings.

Saturday, March 16, 2019 | 12:00 p.m.
Front Porch Music

Location: Historic Harriet Barber House, 116 Barberville Loop, Hopkins, SC 29061
John Barber, Jr. at age 96, recalls hearing distant dueling guitars playing the Blues on Friday nights on the porch of Alston’s Cafe’ or the Gorman  Store  in  the  Village  of  Hopkins. As a young boy, Johnny Barber sat with a bunch of Neal cousins’ on their long front porch and sang songs or listened to “cup” music from a Victrola. SERCO will present several musicians on the Front Porch of the Historic Harriet Barber House. Food Vendors will offer Tastes of Lower Richland, and guests will be able to view the Smithsonian Exhibit – CROSSROADS: Changes in Rural America. Exhibit Admission: $4.00 Adults, $2.00 Youth (FREE Parking and Entertainment).

After Crossroads closes in Hopkins, it will travel to the Barnwell County Library in Barnwell (March 30 – May 12, 2019) and the Dillon County Court House through the Dillon County Theatre Association (May 18 – June 29, 2019). The exhibit also visited the Union County Library, Voorhees College in Denmark, and the Newberry Opera House.

For more information about Crossroads: Change in Rural America, please contact T.J. Wallace at 803-771-2477.

Crossroads: Change in Rural America was made possible in South Carolina by SC Humanities. Crossroads: Change in Rural America 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. Local support for Crossroads in South Carolina has been provided by Samsung, City of Union, and Wells Fargo.

Sponsored in part by:

Image: A rural crossroads, Schwehn