In The News

The Smithsonian Is Coming To Savanna!

This article originally appeared in the Prairie Advocate.

SAVANNA, Ill. — Through a grant from the Illinois Humanities Council, the Savanna Historical Society is pleased to announce “The Smithsonian” is coming to Savanna, Illinois.

Savanna is one of only 6 communities, chosen to host this exhibition in order to bring Smithsonian quality exhibitions into small and medium sized communities in Illinois. Other communities in Illinois, that were chosen to receive the exhibition, were Carbondale, Marshall, Ottawa, Waterloo, and Beardstown.

The exhibition, entitled “The Way We Worked”, will be held in the 1st floor Community Room of the Savanna Museum and Cultural Center, 406 Main Street Savanna, Illinois. The exhibition will run February 25th thru April 7th, with operating hours of Wednesdays thru Sundays 2:00 PM thru 6:00 PM, or other times by appointment. This exhibition is free and open to the public (donations always welcome).

“The Way We Worked” exhibition explores how work became a central element in American culture, by tracing the many changes, that affected the workforce and the environments. It shows how Americans worked a diverse array of jobs, to power our society. It answers questions of why we work, and what aspects of life do our jobs fulfill. Whether we work for professional satisfaction and personal growth, or to insure the well being of ourselves and our families, work is part of nearly every American’s life. This exhibition will offer insight into our local community’s own work culture, with programming and other interpretive opportunities.

Several local businesses will also be setting up kiosk-type displays, which showcase their businesses. These displays will show how local businesses have helped build our community and have influenced our society.

And, a Film Festival

The Savanna Historical Society is also sponsoring a “First” for Savanna, a film festival! During the 6 weeks stay of the exhibition, the SHS will show several films that portray both informative and humorous aspects of WORK. Plans are underway, after the showing of the films, for informal discussions of highlighted occupations, with local representatives.

In conjunction with the exhibit, the Society will welcome back Brian “Fox” Ellis on March 17th to present a program on the mussel shelling industry on the Mississippi River. Ellis has become a much requested guest speaker with his dynamic and well prepared presentations. A published schedule of events will soon be made available for all aspects of the exhibition (Watch The Prairie Advocate News and for details).

People who would like to volunteer as tour guides during the exhibition are asked to call Jean Jones, at 815-273-3761. No formal training or experience is required to become a docent. Enthusiasm and commitment are the main qualifications needed. A training workshop, will be held for volunteers the evening of Feb. 23 or the morning of Feb. 24th. Docents will need to be present for the four hour shifts the museum will be open.

“The Way We Worked” is part of the “Museum on Main Street” (MoMS) program, a partnership between the “Smithsonian Institution Travelling Exhibition Service” and the Illinois Humanities Council.