Traveling Smithsonian Exhibition schedules U.P. visit

LANSING— The Smithsonian Institution will visit six rural Michigan communities, including one in the Upper Peninsula. The Michigan Humanities Council will coordinate the Smithsonian’s exhibition tour of The Way We Worked as it travels September 2012 through July 2013.  The fourth stop, February 15 – April 1, 2013, will be at the Escanaba Public Library.

The Way We Worked, adapted from an original exhibition developed by the National Archives, explores how work became a central element in American culture by tracing the many changes that affected the workforce and work environments over the past 150 years. The exhibition draws from the Archives’ rich photographic collections to tell this compelling story.

The exhibit features graphics, audio components, photo flipbooks, film and numerous artifacts on the history of our national workforce. Visitors will have the opportunity to take an interactive approach through Stories from Main Street. This website and accompanying phone application make it easy to record and share memories of your small town. You’ll also be able to hear what others like about their hometowns throughout the nation – you can browse stories by subject matter or on a map. The Way We Worked focuses on the small-town pride that engulfs our state – whether you can make it to the exhibition or not, sharing your story from Main Street is a great way to get involved!

In addition to its national focus, local programming will accompany the exhibit to educate visitors on the host cities’ local work history and how it shaped the area over time. The host cities have workforce backgrounds in shipping and lumber, tourism, calcite, agriculture and more, making each site’s exhibit profoundly different from the one before. To stay updated on what each site is offering throughout the exhibit, visit Travel the state with the Smithsonian and learn about the different workforce avenues that helped shape our great state!

Sept. 14 – Oct. 29, 2012
Presque Isle County Historical Museum (Rogers City)

Nov. 2 – Dec. 17, 2012
Dale A. Lyons Building
Southwestern Michigan College (Dowagiac)

Dec. 21, 2012 – Feb. 11, 2013
Cromaine District Library (Hartland)

Feb. 15 – April 1, 2013
Escanaba Public Library (Escanaba)

April 5 – May 20, 2013
Pere Marquette District Library (Clare)

May 24 – July 8, 2013
Hart Area Public Library (Hart)

Logos, exhibition images and images relating to each site’s work history are available for the media. Please contact Kate Bartig, (517) 372-7770 or, for additional information and media contacts for each site.

The Way We Worked, an exhibition created by the National Archives, is part of Museum on Main Street, a collaboration between the Smithsonian Institution and State Humanities Councils nationwide. Support for Museum on Main Street has been provided by the United States Congress.