Press Release


Popular favorite “Key Ingredients” and the new “Between Fences” coming soon to a town near you.

CHICAGO – Through a partnership with the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., the Illinois Humanities Council is bringing “Key Ingredients: America by Food” and “Between Fences,” portable 5-kiosk displays designed especially for small museums and historical societies, to Illinois. The ever popular “Key Ingredients: America By Food” will have engagements in the communities of Union, Taylorville, Marshall, Carmi, Chillicothe, and Mascoutah from June 2005 through April 2006; “Between Fences,” the newest exhibition in the Smithsonian Institution’s traveling exhibition service, will visit Oakland, Rockton, Murphysboro, Bushnell, Mt. Vernon, and Mahomet from September 2005 through July 2006.

“Key Ingredients,” which will be touring Illinois for the second time, 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, this exhibition investigates the way different cultures, ethnicities, and classes have helped to shape American food traditions. The exhibition 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.

“Between Fences” is a cultural history of fences and land use. By focusing on this dominant but often overlooked feature of the American landscape, “Between Fences” examines how neighbors and nations divide, protect, and define themselves through the boundaries they build. Through the photographs and artifacts included in the exhibition, “Between Fences” evokes the multiple meanings of these everyday icons, allowing audiences to investigate early settlement patterns, town architecture, transportation systems, contemporary and historical immigration, and civility among neighbors.

“Key Ingredients” and “Between Fences” are part of the Smithsonian’s Museum on Main Street (MOMs) program. MOMs serves small-to medium-sized communities with populations of less than 20,000 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. Each exhibition consists of five freestanding structures that contain interactive components and artifacts. In addition to the resources provided by MOMs, each host community will add elements to their installation of the exhibit and produce a series of local programs related to the exhibitions’ themes.

For more information about the MOMs program, contact Ryan Lewis at 312.422.5585 ext 231 or via email at Information about the program may also be obtained by visiting


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