Press Release


Exhibition on American Foodways opened August 14

CHICAGO—Through a partnership with the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C, the Illinois Humanities Council (IHC) has brought “Key Ingredients: America by Food,” a portable 5-kiosk exhibition designed especially for small museums and historical societies, to Taylorville, Illinois. The exhibition opened on Sunday, August 14, 2005 at the Christian County Historical Society Museum, State Route 29 and 48, and will remain on display until September 23, 2005. The opening day events began at 2:30pmand featured a keynote lecture by Bruce Kraig, entitled “Illinois Food Traditions.” Bruce Kraig is President of the Culinary Historians of Chicago and Professor Emeritus of History and Humanities at Roosevelt University in Chicago. The day also featured a Pottawatomi Indian Demonstration. The Museum will host a series of events in conjunction with the exhibition’s stay in Taylorville. Upcoming events include: “Better Beef Means Buying Local Beef,” presented by the Christian County Farm Bureau on August 21­ at 2:30 pm and “Foods America Has Given the World,” presented by Nancy Torgerson on September 18 at 2:30pm. All events are free and open to the public. For further details please call the Christian County Historical Society Museum at 217-824-6922 or visit the Key Ingredients 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.

Taylorville is the second stop on a six-town tour for “Key Ingredients;” the exhibition started in Union and will continue the tour through 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 an educational organization dedicated to fostering a culture in which the humanities are a vital part of the lives of individuals and communities. Through its programs and grants, the IHC promotes greater understanding of, appreciation for, and involvement in the humanities by all Illinoisans, regardless of their economic resources, cultural background, or geographic location. Organized as a state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities in 1973, the IHC is now a private nonprofit (501 [c] 3) organization that is funded by contributions from individuals, corporations, and foundations; by the Illinois General Assembly; and by the NEH.


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