Smithsonian Exhibit About American Music to Tour South Carolina


SC Humanities is pleased to announce a special South Carolina tour of New Harmonies: Celebrating American Roots Music, an exhibition from the Smithsonian Institution. Developed as part of the Museum on Main Street (MOMS) program, this exhibit is designed especially for small museums 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 April 2011 – January 2012. 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 September 30, 2009. Host sites receive free exhibit rental, free exhibit shipping, a grant to support local community programming, opportunities for professional development, and more.

New Harmonies provides a fascinating, inspiring, and toe-tapping listen to the American story of multi-cultural exchange. The exhibit examines Americans’ creative expression through music—music known by names like blues, country western, folk ballads, and gospel. The main beat of the exhibition is the ongoing cultural process that has made America the birthplace of more music than any place on earth.

Dr. Randy Akers, Executive Director of SC Humanities, feels that music is a very relevant theme in our state: "South Carolina is rooted historically in music, from Negro spirituals, shape note singing and church hymns, to blue grass, blues, and beach music featuring the Shag. Even a famous opera, 'Porgy and Bess' was set in Charleston. We look forward to emphasizing some of the best of South Carolina's musical roots and traditions with this new exhibit."

New Harmonies has been made possible in South Carolina by SC Humanities. New Harmonies is part of Museum on Main Street, a collaboration between the Smithsonian Institution and the Federation of State Humanities Councils.

For more information about New Harmonies in South Carolina, including the application, please follow this link: or contact T.J. Wallace at 803-771-2477.