Press Release


Exhibition on American Foodways to open June 25

CHICAGO—Through a partnership with the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C, the Illinois Humanities Council (IHC) is bringing “Key Ingredients: America by Food,” a portable 5-kiosk exhibition designed especially for small museums and historical societies, to Union, Illinois. The exhibition will open on Saturday, June 25th, 2005 at the McHenry County Historical Society, 6422 Main Street, and remain on display until August 5, 2005. The opening day events will begin at 1:00pm and will feature a keynote lecture by Bruce Kraig, President of the Culinary Historians of Chicago and Professor Emeritus of History and Humanities at Roosevelt University in Chicago, entitled “Illinois Food Traditions.” The Historical Society will also host a series of events in conjunction with the exhibition’s stay in Union. All events are free and open to the public. For further details please call the Historical Society at 815.923.2267 or visit their website at

“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 differences in cultures, ethnicities, and classes have created unique American food traditions. The exhibit also examines the tremendous 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.

Union is the first stop on a six-town tour for “Key Ingredients;” the exhibition will tour Taylorville, Marshall, Carmi, Chillicothe, and Mascoutah in 2005-2006.

For more information about “Key Ingredients,” or any other IHC program, please call (312) 422-5580 or visit

The Illinois Humanities Council is a nonprofit educational organization [501 (c) 3] dedicated to fostering a culture in which the humanities are a vital part of the lives of individuals and communities. Organized in 1973 as the state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities, the IHC creates programs and funds organizations that promote greater understanding of, appreciation for, and involvement in the humanities. The IHC is supported by state, federal, and private funds.


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