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Crossroads: Change in Rural America has arrived in Morgantown


Crossroads: Change in Rural America has arrived in Morgantown! The city is excited to host this Smithsonian Institute exhibit and to share it with the community.

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 moved millions of Americans into urban areas. Yet, only 10% of the U.S. landmass is considered urban.

Many Americans consider rural communities to be endangered and hanging on by a thread—suffering from brain drain, inadequate schools, and a barren, overused landscape. Why should revitalizing the rural places left behind matter to those who remain, those who left, and those who will come in the future? Because there is much more to the story of rural America.

Crossroads: Change in Rural America offers small 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.


This exhibit will be on display at the Eva Hawes Community Center from November 23 through December 29 and will be open to the public Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday from 3-6pm and Saturdays from 9-1. Anyone wanting to view the exhibit with a family group of 5 or more or wanting to view the exhibit outside of those times may schedule an appointment by calling City Hall. We encourage anyone highly vulnerable to Covid-19 to call to schedule a time to view the exhibit outside of open exhibit hours.

For more information about this exciting exhibit and the virtual events we are hosting along with it, follow our Facebook page or call City Hall.


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