Preparation for the exhibit will begin in May when the AMF will release a formal announcement and community meeting.
The Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities (LEH) said the traveling Smithsonian exhibit will tour six Louisiana towns from May 28, 2011 to March 11, 2012. The six communities were selected through an open competition for the exhibit.
Along with St. Martinville, the exhibit will also visit Leesville, Denham Springs, Lake Providence, Long Leaf and St. Francisville.
Journey Stories examines the intersection between modes of travel and Americans’ desire to feel free to move. The story is diverse and focused on immigration, migration, innovation, and freedom. It includes accounts of immigrants coming in search of promise in a new country, stories of people relocating in search of fortune, homestead and employment, the harrowing journeys of Africans and Native Americans forced to move, and fun and frolic on the open road.
Journey Stories is the fifth LEH-sponsored tour of a traveling Smithsonian Institution exhibition. Since 2000, the LEH has invested more than $113,000 in projects in 23 small towns in 23 different parishes throughout the state, where exhibitions and ancillary public programs have attracted a total audience of more than 100,000 people.
The LEH will cover all exhibition costs – $9,000 over the three year cycle – and dedicate up to $39,000 in grants for planning, local exhibitions and public programs to the six host sites. In addition, the LEH will provide continuous technical assistance to the sponsoring organizations on exhibition and program development, fundraising, publicity and promotion, collaboration and budget planning, all of which will benefit these organizations long after Journey Stories leaves town.
This exhibit is an initiative of the Smithsonian’s Museum on Main Street program that brings together the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service, state humanities orginizations like the LEH, and small rural museums in a collaborative effort to serve rural audiences. The partnership, established in 1991, was formed as a creative response to the challenges faced by rural museums to enhance their own cultural legacies.