Smithsonian Exhibit About American Sports History to Tour South Carolina

SC Humanities is pleased to announce a special South Carolina tour of Hometown Teams: How Sports Shape America, 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 February – December 2015. 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 October 1, 2013. Host sites receive free exhibit rental, a grant to support local community programming, opportunities for professional development, and more.

Hometown GloryHometown Teams provides a look at something that has become an indelible part of our culture and community. For well over one hundred years, sports have reflected the trials and triumphs of the American experience and helped shape our national character. Whether it’s professional sports, or those played on the collegiate or scholastic level, amateur sports or sports played by kids on the local playground, the plain fact is sports are everywhere in America. Our love of sports begins in our hometowns–on the sandlot, at the local ball field, even in the street. Americans play sports everywhere. We play pick-up games and organized league games. Each weekend, hundreds of thousands of Americans participate in some sport, on some level. We win and we lose, and we yearn to play another day.

Althea GibsonDr. Randy Akers, Executive Director of SC Humanities, feels that sports will be a very popular theme in our state: "Sports have truly captured the hearts of Americans, including South Carolinians. We seem to live or die each Friday night or Saturday afternoon as a favorite high school or college football team swings into action. It is hard to go anywhere in South Carolina and not find a fabulous golf course that challenges the local player or tourist. Baseball has been important to our communities from the former textile leagues to American Legion summer ball. Sports legends like Althea Gibson and Joe Frazier hailed from South Carolina. Sports are an indelible part of South Carolina history—we look forward to telling that story.”

Hometown Teams 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.

Download the guidelines and application!

For more information about Hometown Teams in South Carolina, contact T.J. Wallace at 803-771-2477 or

Image 1: Hometown Glory by Brenda Read Photography; The Gulf Coast Cardinals celebrate a victory, Lake Jackson, Texas, 2009

Image 2: Credited to the Library of Congress; Althea Gibson shattered racial barriers in both tennis and golf.