Crossroads: Change in Rural America Opens in Union

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 Union County Library System in Union on Saturday, September 8, 2018. This will be the grand opening for the exhibition in South Carolina, and it will visit five other communities over the course of its 10-month tour of the state.

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 Union County Library System (300 E South St, Union, SC 29379) from September 8, 2018 – October 21, 2018. While the exhibit is on display, Union County Library System and their partners will present a variety of events and special opportunities correlated to the theme of the exhibit, starting with the grand re-opening of the building and the opening of the exhibit on September 8.

Union County Carnegie Library

Saturday, September 8 | 2:00 – 5:00 p.m.
Grand Opening Event
This will be the grand re-opening of the renovated and restored Union County Library as well as the opening of the Crossroads exhibit.
Ribbon Cutting
Guest Speaker: Marjory Wentworth, Poet Laureate of South Carolina
Light refreshments
Location: Union County Library System, 300 E South St, Union, SC 29379
Info: 864-427-7140

Additional events and programs in Union are outlined here.

After Crossroads closes in Union, it will travel to Voorhees College in Denmark (October 27 – December 9, 2018), the Newberry Opera House (December 15, 2018 – February 3, 2019), the Harriet Barber House in Hopkins (February 9 – March 24, 2019), the Barnwell County Museum in Barnwell (March 30 – May 12, 2019), and the Dillon County Court House through the Dillon County Theatre Association (May 18 – June 29, 2019).

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