Press Release


Apply to the IHC to Bring Smithsonian’s Successful Culinary History Exhibit to Your Illinois Community in 2005-06

CHICAGO —The Illinois Humanities Council invites smaller museums, libraries, and historical societies in towns of fewer than 20,000 residents to apply to host a Smithsonian travelling exhibition called “Key Ingredients: American Food Traditions.” The Smithsonian developed this portable 5-kiosk display especially for rural audiences and small museums with limited access to traveling exhibitions due to space and cost limitations.

The exhibit will tour five or six Illinois communities in 2005-06. Sites will be chosen based on geographic location, strength of proposed ideas for auxiliary events, and physical display space. Applications are due by March 15, 2004. Selections will be announced within two weeks of the deadline. To request an application, call Angel Ysaguirre at 312/422-5585, ext. 225 or visit the IHC website at and download an application.

“Key Ingredients” looks at the rich regional food traditions found across the United States, focusing on the diversity of foods and customs associated with them. By displaying a broad selection of photographs, illustrations, and artifacts, the exhibit investigates the way different cultures, ethnicities, and classes have helped to shape American food traditions. The exhibit also examines the effecttechnological innovation has had on America’s food traditions, from changes in kitchen appliances to the development of large multi-market conglomerates.

“Key Ingredients” is part of the Smithsonian’s Museum on Main Street (MOMs) program. MOMs serves small-to medium-sized communities by bringing Smithsonian-quality exhibitions to local museums, historical societies, libraries, and community centers that traditionally have limited access to traveling exhibitions due to space and cost limitations.

The IHC will provide the following for each host community:

Rental of the Smithsonian exhibit for $2,500 for a six-week period

An exhibit support manual covering installation, object collection and conservation, public relations, and evaluation

Exhibition brochures and posters for distribution

Assistance in program planning and ready-made promotional materials such as Public Service Announcements

Travel expenses for a project director to attend an installation and planning meeting at the opening site of the Illinois tour

$2,000 in grant funds in support of community programs, such as oral histories, guest lecturers, film series, artifact collections, workshops, reading discussion programs, dramatizations, etc.

A humanities scholar who will visit your town to consult on the exhibition and present an opening night lecture

A committee of experts that will provide technical assistance in all aspects of the exhibition

In return, host communities will be asked to:

Identify a staff member or volunteer who will serve as director of the project for its duration and who will attend the installation and planning meeting and site visit

Plan and implement public programs during the exhibition

Raise matching local funds for public programs

Track all staff and volunteer time, facilities, and other resources donated to the project and provide a report of this local cost share at the project’s conclusion

Pay and arrange for shipping


# # #