Museum on Main Street

No part of American culture so colorfully and passionately celebrates American ideals as does sports.

The national narrative of the Smithsonian Institution exhibit will be complemented by Alabama’s own story as it is found in the six exhibition host cities of Gadsden, Haleyville, Brewton, Anniston, Livingston and Enterprise.

Our love of sports begins in our hometowns. We play them on ball fields and sandlots, on courts and on ice, in parks and playgrounds, even in the street. From pick-up games to organized leagues, millions of Americans of all ages play sports. Win or lose, we yearn to compete and play another day.

If we’re not playing sports, we’re watching them. We sit in the stands and root for the local high school team, or gather on the sideline and cheer on our sons and daughters as they take their first swing or score their first goal.

Hometown sports are more than just games — they shape our lives and unite us and celebrate who we are as Americans.

Americans today have a wider selection of sports to play and watch than ever before. What has occurred in our hometowns is nothing less than an American sports explosion.

The essential qualities of sports – competition, fair play, and the zeal to win – embody the American spirit.

Hometown teams represent the community, instill pride in it, and create a bond that is passed from one generation to the next.

High school football and basketball games generate hometown passion and loyalty. Little League baseball games teach youngsters the fundamentals of fair play. Adult softball and bowling leagues keep us connected to the games we enjoyed in our youth. On a broader level, university and professional teams stir our support and make lifelong, dedicated fans out of many of us.

Our connection to sports spans generations. It all begins in our hometowns at an early age. We put balls in the hands of infants and register our sons and daughters for development leagues and clinics. Later, they play on town teams. Many young athletes will go on to play high school and even college sports.

As older adults, we might move to the grandstand, but our desire to remain fit and competitive keep us engaged in sports beyond the role of spectator. For much of our lives, sports and hometown teams play a big role in defining who we are.

Hometown Teams 2016

  • Gadsden (pop. 36,542), Gadsden Public Library: March 4 – April 18
  • Haleyville (pop. 4, 137), Venue TBD: April 20 – June 7
  • Brewton (pop. 5, 436), Venue TBD: June 9 – July 25
  • Anniston (pop. 22,666), Public Library of Anniston and Calhoun County: July 27 – September 12
  • Livingston (pop. 3, 506), University of West Alabama Center for the Study of the Black Belt: September 14 – October 31
  • Enterprise (pop. 27,775), Enterprise Public Library: November 2 – December 11

PAST MUSEUM ON MAIN STREET EXHIBITS

2014-2015 “The Way We Worked”
– Pell City, Pell City Center for Education and Performing Arts
– Athens, Limestone County Event Center
– Valley, H. Grady Bradshaw Chambers County Library & Cobb Memorial Archives
– Hanceville, Wallace Center Community College
– Demopolis, Marengo County History and Archive Museum
– Dothan, Troy University Dothan Campus Library

2012-2013 “Museum on Main Street”
– Red Bay, Community Spirit Bank’s Weatherford Centre
– Ashland, Old Adams Drugstore in Ashland Square
– Andalusia, Alatex Memorial Park
– Fairhope, Fairhope Museum of History
– Northport, Northport Heritage Museum
– Wetumpka, Elmore County Museum

2011 “Journey Stories”
– Jasper, Bankhead House and Heritage Center/Walker Area Community Foundation
– Alexander City, Main Street Alexander City
– Marion, Marion-Perry County Chamber of Commerce
– Mobile, National African-American Archives and Multicultural Museum
– Eufaula, Barbour-Eufaula Chamber of Commerce
– Arab, Arab Historic Village

2009 “New Harmonies”
– Tuscumbia, Tennessee Valley Arts Center
– Livingston, Center for the Study of the Black Belt
– Chatom, Washington County Museum/Washington County Library
– Fort Payne, Landmarks of DeKalb/Big Wills Arts Council
– Troy, Troy-Pike Cultural Arts Center
– Tuskegee, Tuskegee Human and Civil Rights Multicultural Center

2006 “Between Fences”
– Decatur, Carnegie Visual Arts Center
– Demopolis, Demopolis Higher Education Center
– Greenville, Butler-Greenville Public Library
– Centre, Cherokee County Public Library
– Headland, Solomon Memorial Library
– West Blocton, Cahaba Lily Center

2004 “Key Ingredients”
– Chatom, Washington County Public Library
– Aliceville, Aliceville Museum
– Foley, City of Foley Museum and Archives
– Alexander City, Adelia M. Russell Public Library
– Eufaula, Barbour-Eufaula Chamber of Commerce
– Bridgeport, Bridgeport Alabama Museum

2002 “Yesterday’s Tomorrows”
– Sylacauga, Isabel Anderson Comer Museum and Arts Center
– Troy, Pioneer Museum of Alabama
– Tuscumbia, Tennessee Valley Arts Center
– Tuskegee, Tuskegee Human and Civil Rights Multicultural Center
– Guntersville, Guntersville Museum and Cultural Center

1997 “Barn Again”
– Butler, Choctow Historical Society
– Scottsboro, Scottsboro-Jackson Heritage Center
– Elberta, Baldwin County Heritage Museum
– Monroeville, Monroe County Heritage Museum

Alabama Humanities Foundation would like to say thank you to Alabama Power Foundation, Alfa Insurance and Norfolk-Southern Railroad for their financial support as exhibition sponsors of Museum on Main Street.

For more information about Museum on Main Street, contact Thomas Bryant at (205) 558-3997 or tbryant@alabamahumanities.org.