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Smithsonian traveling exhibition celebrating sports in American communities coming to Lincoln Co.

Baseball. Soccer. Hockey. Bowling. Kickball. Surfing. People around the country are drawn to compete in these sports and many others. Still more gather on the sidelines to cheer for their favorite athletes and teams. Nowhere do Americans more intimately connect to sports than in their hometowns. The Lincoln County Public Library, in cooperation with Kentucky Humanities Council and Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, will celebrate this connection as it hosts “Hometown Teams: How Sports Shape America,” a traveling exhibition from the Smithsonian’s Museum on Main Street program. “Hometown Teams” will be on view May 24 through July 7.

Lincoln County Public Library and the surrounding community has been expressly chosen by the Kentucky Humanities Council to host “Hometown Teams” as part of the Museum on Main Street program – a national/state/local partnership to bring exhibitions and programs to rural cultural organizations. The exhibition will tour eight communities in Kentucky from January 2018 through December 2018; an itinerary is attached, and a short video about the exhibition can be viewed at http://s.si.edu/1bSRDZd.

“Hometown Teams” will capture the stories that unfold on the neighborhood fields and courts, and the underdog heroics, larger-than-life legends, fierce rivalries and gut-wrenching defeats. For more than 100 years, sports have reflected the trials and triumphs of the American experience and helped shape the national character. Whether it is professional sports or those played on the collegiate or scholastic level, amateur sports or sports played by kids on the local playground, sports are everywhere in America.

“We are very pleased to be able to bring ‘Hometown Teams’ to our area,” said Amanda Gearhart, Library Director. “It allows us the opportunity to explore this fascinating aspect of our own region’s sports history and we hope that it will inspire many to become even more involved in the cultural life of our community.”

“Allowing all of our state’s residents to have access to the cultural resources of our nation’s premiere museum is a priority of the Kentucky Humanities Council,” said Bill Goodman, Executive Director. “With this special tour, we are pleased to be working with Lincoln County Public Library and Lincoln County to help develop local exhibitions and public programs to compliment the Smithsonian exhibition.” Such free events include Donna L.J. Murphy, Kentucky’s First Miss Basketball; Kentucky Chautauqua, Adolph Rupp; Stage Combat with Kentucky Shakespeare; Kentucky Derby Museum program; art programs; and movie showings.

Museum on Main Street invites the public to share their local sports stories through the “Stories from Main Street” website at www.storiesfrommainstreet.orgor through the free mobile app available from the Mac App Store or the Google Play Store. Both platforms record and map the location reflected in the submission and will accept written and audio stories as well as videos and photos. Selected submitted stories to “Stories from Main Street” will be featured on the website and app. The archived stories will serve as a searchable record of the unique experiences of life in American small towns. Each story can be searched via location or by topic.

“Hometown Teams: How Sports Shape America” is part of Museum on Main Street, a unique collaboration between the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES), state humanities councils across the nation, and local host institutions. To learn more about New Harmonies and other Museum on Main Street exhibitions, visit www.museumonmainstreet.org.

Support for Museum on Main Street has been provided by the United States Congress, Kentucky Humanities Council, and Kentucky Transportation Cabinet.

SITES has been sharing the wealth of Smithsonian collections and research programs with millions of people outside Washington, D.C., for more than 60 years. SITES connects Americans to their shared cultural heritage through a wide range of exhibitions about art, science, and history, which are shown wherever people live, work and play. For exhibition description and tour schedules, visit www.sites.si.edu.