Press Release


Apply to the IHC to Bring “Between Fences” Exhibition

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 “Between Fences.” 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 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 July 15, 2004. Selections will be announced within two weeks of the deadline. To request an application, call Ryan Lewis at 312.422.5585 ext. 231.

“Between Fences” is a cultural history of fences and land use. The exhibition will surprise and delight audiences by evoking the multiple meanings of an everyday icon. It will provide institutions, teachers, and local audiences with the opportunity to investigate early settlement patterns, town architecture, transportation systems, contemporary and historical immigration, and civility among neighbors.

“Between Fences” 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
  • $1,500 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


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