The Smithsonian’s Journey Stories Coming to Cecil County July 13

Cecil County Arts Council, The Historical Society of Cecil County and the Cecil County Library are partnering to host a national Smithsonian Exhibit, Journey Stories, from July 13 -August 24, 2012. The Maryland Humanities Council has chosen the Arts Council as one of f…ive sites to host Journey Stories, which will travel throughout Maryland until January 2013, through a partnership between the MHC and the Smithsonian’s Museum on Main Street Program.

Journey Stories explores tales of how we, and our ancestors came to America. American history is filled with stories of people leaving behind everything – families and possessions – to reach a new life in another state, across the continent, or even across an ocean. The stories are diverse and focused on immigration, migration, innovation, and freedom. Journey Stories uses engaging images, audio, and artifacts, to tell the individual stories that illustrate the critical roles travel and movement have played in building our diverse American society.

The partners are working to bring an exciting slate of local programming to coincide with the exhibit. Opening night is sure to excite with The Melting Pot, a showcase of local restaurants sampling the foods of our different heritages.Both the Arts Council and the Historical Society will host their own exhibitions celebrating local journey stories. The Arts Council is looking for artists wishing to show their works offering a glimpse of their own journeys, whether they be a tale of immigration, a move across country, or even an exciting vacation. The Arts Council would like artists to also showcase an artifact representative of their travels alongside their work. The Historical Society’s exhibit will focus on local stories of movement, immigration and transportation images.

The Library is planning to host a different program at each of their branch locations. So far, a lecture and performance in honor of Cecil County’s own Ola Belle Reed is planned, as are programs featuring how transportation shaped the growth of Cecil County, the tourism draws of Circus Park and White Crystal Beach, and Cecil County’s role in the Underground Railroad. For children there is a Summer Reading Program, “Dream Big,” and an Ellis Island trunk featuring the kind of items immigrants would bring with them to the new country. Teenagers may want to participate in the development of an Oral History project recording local personal journey stories.Programs are still in development and dates are getting set. Whether you have your own “Journey Story” to tell, or want to hear and learn of others, be looking out for the upcoming calendar of events of “Journey Stories” programs.

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