Blog Article

New Smithsonian Traveling Exhibit to Come to 7 Towns in Illinois

Chicago, April 27, 2022 – Illinois Humanities is excited to announce that seven small-town cultural organizations in Illinois have been selected to host Spark! Places of Innovation, a new traveling exhibition from the Smithsonian Institution.

Spark! will highlight innovation in rural America from the perspectives of people who have lived it. Spark! features stories from communities throughout the United States – including several small towns in Illinois – that have enhanced their vitality through advances in fields such as the arts, education, technology, agriculture, and economic development.

The 2023-24 tour is part of Illinois Humanities’ Museum on Main Street, a program conducted in partnership with the Smithsonian Institution specifically to support cultural organizations in small communities. Each host organization produces a companion exhibit with unique programming that connects local history and culture to the exhibit themes.

Five of the organizations that will host Spark! Places of Innovation are based in communities that will be featured in the exhibition: Equality, Hillsboro, Rushville, Marshall and Chatsworth, which will be collaborating with organizations in nearby Fairbury, another featured community. “We received an outstanding pool of applications, and the communities chosen to host Spark! should be very proud. We’re excited to amplify the work of our partners, and we’re eager to see how they bring this exhibit to life through their own communities’ stories of innovation,” said Illinois Humanities Executive Director Gabrielle Lyon.

Spark! Places of Innovation will kick off its Illinois 2023-24 tour on June 17, 2023 in Equality, Illinois, where it will be hosted by the Gallatin County Tourism Committee.

The full traveling exhibition schedule includes the following seven stops in Illinois:

  • June 17-July 22, 2023: Gallatin County Tourism Committee, Equality
  • July 29-September 2, 2023: Imagine Hillsboro, Hillsboro
  • September 9-October 14, 2023: Community Connection of Central Illinois, Chatsworth
  • October 21-November 25, 2023: The HUB Arts and Cultural Center, Rushville
  • December 2, 2023-January 6, 2024: Durand Charm, Durand
  • January 13-February 17, 2024: Havana Area Chamber of Commerce, Havana
  • February 24-March 30, 2024: Marshall Public Library, Marshall.

Photo in banner by Randy von Liski