It is an exciting time for sports in America. Major League Baseball is heading towards the playoffs. On all levels, athletes are gearing up for the football, basketball, and other athletic competitions. Behind all these teams are their communities and supporters, which is at the center of the Smithsonian Institution’s new travelling exhibit, Hometown Teams.
In Illinois, Dennis Cremin, professor of history at Lewis University, has been consulting with local organizations across the state who are hosting the “Hometown Teams: Sports in American Communities” exhibit of the Smithsonian Institution’s Museum on Main Street (MOMS) program.
"Beyond the spectacular new Smithsonian exhibit, the companion displays in the local communities are a central component of this program," said Cremin. "These Illinois towns hold the local stories, and they are able to put them on display for their communities. Just as I teach my students at Lewis University about the elements of Museum Studies, I consult with these outstanding local organizations.” In Illinois, the MOMS program is administered by the Illinois Humanities Council, and the communities apply to host the travelling Smithsonian created exhibit.
Hometown Teams features sports as a way to get to the core of American experience. In a time when many towns across Illinois experiences decrease in population and significant changes in their racial and ethnic makeup, the community's culture and pride is often most evident in the support of their local teams. This is one area where everyone can celebrate their past and look towards the future. The local exhibits features some famous athletes, but the emphasis is really on the competitions that played out between schools or community organizations. The Smithsonian exhibit focuses on the nation, but it is on the local and regional level that many diverse stories come to life.
Hometown Teams is part of the Museum on Main Street program, a partnership with the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service. The exhibits travel to small to medium-sized communities, which brings Smithsonian-quality exhibitions to local museums, libraries and other organizations around the state.
Hometown Teams visits:
For additional information about Hometown Teams, visit the Illinois Humanities Council’s website at www.prairie.org.
Lewis University is a Catholic university in the Lasallian tradition offering distinctive undergraduate and graduate programs to more than 6,600 traditional and adult students. Lewis offers multiple campus locations, online degree programs, and a variety of formats that provide accessibility and convenience to a growing student population. Sponsored by the De La Salle Christian Brothers, Lewis prepares intellectually engaged, ethically grounded, globally connected, and socially responsible graduates. The seventh largest private not-for-profit university in Illinois, Lewis has been nationally recognized by The Princeton Review and U.S. News & World Report. Visit www.lewisu.edu for further information.
Follow Lewis University