Smithsonian exhibit coming to city in March|[11/9/06]

Published 12:00 am Thursday, November 9, 2006

A Smithsonian traveling exhibit is coming to Vicksburg in March, David Morgan of the Mississippi Humanities Council told members of the Southern Cultural Heritage Center Foundation Wednesday.

&#8220Congratulations, Vicksburg, for being chosen,” Morgan said to about 80 people attending the SCHF annual meeting.

The exhibit will explain and celebrate the origins of American music. &#8220Mississippi is such an obvious place,” Morgan said.

Email newsletter signup

Sign up for The Vicksburg Post's free newsletters

Check which newsletters you would like to receive
  • Vicksburg News: Sent daily at 5 am
  • Vicksburg Sports: Sent daily at 10 am
  • Vicksburg Living: Sent on 15th of each month

The full title of the exhibit is New Harmonies: Celebrating American Roots Music. It will be in the SCHF buildings, the complex bordered by Clay, Adams, Cherry and Crawford streets that formerly served as a Sisters of Mercy convent and school.

This exhibit is a &#8220story of people who were already here, but whose world is remade,” Morgan said.

The music is blues, country, folk and gospel; instruments vary from fiddle to banjo, from accordian to guitar and drums.

Thirty-eight states have hosted the exhibit from the Washington, D.C.-based Smithsonian. It is traveling as part of the institute’s Museum on Main Street program.

&#8220The musics merge because this is America,” a Museum on Main Street Web site proclaims. &#8220New waves of music ride ashore in the hearts and heads of new immigrants and they create still new sounds from what they have brought with them and what they find here. And nothing expresses the tensions – or the triumphs – of this journey into democracy quite like the music that it spawns.”

Museum on Main Street serves rural communities by circulating Smithsonian exhibitions that focus on national history, Morgan said.

New Harmonies &#8220is one of several exhibits put on by the Smithsonian,” he said. &#8220The idea is to tour smaller towns in the state.”

Morgan said communities that apply to host Smithsonian exhibits must do so through state humanities councils.

MHC is a nonprofit corporation funded by Congress through the National Endowment for the Humanities. It provides public programs in traditional liberal arts disciplines to serve nonprofit groups in Mississippi.