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Volume 4, No. 8: August 2007

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Sac and Fox at Sikeston
  Cowboy Festival
Digital Humanities Network
Chautauqua 2008 Details
When Love of Books Begins
History-Biography Conference
Governor's Humanities Awards
MHC Board Recruitment
Michael's blog: "Hands-On,
Body-Involved Learning"
Creating Interest in Whole Communities
Our partnership with the Smithsonian Institution has drawn whole communities into the interpretation of a historical subject. This partnership began in 1998 with the "Barn Again!" exhibit. What began as something about buildings became an outpouring of meanings about the quality of life and memory in places that farm.
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New Harmonies Exhibit in 2009

The Missouri Humanities Council will host the state’s exclusive tour of the Smithsonian exhibition New Harmonies: Celebrating American Roots Music in 2009. Through a selection of photographs, recordings, instruments, lyrics and artist profiles, New Harmonies explores the distinct cultural identities of gospel, country, blues and other forms of roots music as they record the history of the American people and set the foundation for many musical genres appreciated world wide today.  The main beat of the exhibition is the on-going cultural process that has made America the birthplace of more music than any place on earth.  The exhibition provides a fascinating, inspiring, and toe-tapping listen to the American story of multi-cultural exchange through historic images, instruments and artifacts, and audio components.  The story is full of surprises about familiar songs, histories of instruments, the roles of religion and technology in music, and the continuity of musical roots from the earliest spirituals to the latest hip hop CD.  This exhibition will travel to six rural Missouri communities throughout 2009.

Photo of Mahalia Jackson
Mahalia Jackson (1911-1972), "The Queen of Gospel Music"
Photo by Les Leverett

MHC will begin accepting applications from rural (non-metropolitan) communities interested in hosting New Harmonies in September of 2007.  Sites will be selected in December, and planning activities will begin in the spring of 2008.  New Harmonies requires at least 900 square feet of space with a minimum 8-foot ceiling for the exhibit and complementary displays.  If your small-town museum, library or other community organization is interested in hosting New Harmonies in 2009, please contact Patricia Zahn at 1.800.357.0909 or patricia@mohumanities.org for more information about the application process.

Photo of Native Flute Player
Native American Flute Player, about 1908
Library of Congress

More information about New Harmonies is available on the Smithsonian Website at http://www.museumonmainstreet.org/newharmonies/index.htm  It includes a recommended reading list of books related to the exhibition as well as tools for teachers to create lessons on the theme.  New Harmonies is the sixth exhibition in an ongoing partnership between state humanities councils and the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES) known as Museum on Main Street.

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