Crossroads Smithsonian Exhibit

Upcoming Event

Crossroads: Change in Rural America
Seaford Museum

Delaware Humanities is excited to announce the Smithsonian Institution Museum on Main Street’s exhibit Crossroads: Change in Rural America will be in Delaware from September 10, 2022 through June 25, 2023.

About the Exhibit

In 1900, about 40% of Americans lived in rural areas. By 2010, less than 18% of the U.S. population lived in rural areas. In just over a century, massive economic and social changes led to massive growth of America’s urban areas. Yet, less than 10% of the U.S. landmass is considered urban.

Many Americans assume that rural communities are endangered and hanging on by a thread—suffering from outmigration, ailing schools, and overused land. But that perception is far from true in many areas. Many rural Americans work hard to sustain their communities. Why should revitalizing the rural places left behind matter to those who remain, those who left, and those who will come in the future? All Americans benefit from rural America’s successes. We can learn great things from listening to those stories. There is much more to the story of rural America!

Crossroads: Change in Rural America offers towns a chance to look at their own paths to highlight the changes that affected their fortunes over the past century. The exhibition will prompt discussions about what happened when America’s rural population became a minority of the country’s population and the ripple effects that occurred.

Despite the massive economic and demographic impacts brought on by these changes, America’s small towns continue to creatively focus on new opportunities for growth and development. Economic innovation and a focus on the cultural facets that make small towns unique, comfortable, and desirable have helped many communities create their own renaissance. The future is bright for much of rural America as small towns embrace the notion that their citizens and their cultural uniqueness are important assets.


Coastal Towns Historic Village
Ocean View, DE
September 10 – November 12, 2022

Greater Harrington Historical Society
Harrington, DE
November 19, 2022 – January 28, 2023

Delaware Agricultural Museum and Village
Dover, DE
February 4 – April 15, 2023

Seaford Museum
Seaford, DE
April 22 – June 24, 2023

Postcards from the Exhibit

Postcards are available at the exhibit for attendees to write in their reflections on their town based on different questions. Below are some we’ve received so far: