Grand Opening: Smithsonian Exhibit 

2/6/2012 
Churchill Memorial 

Workman on SkyscraperA public ribbon cutting ceremony and reception to open the first ever Smithsonian Institution exhibition at the National Churchill Museum entitled “The Way We Worked” will be held from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 10, at the Museum.

State Representative Jeanie Riddle and Fulton Mayor Leroy Benton will be on hand to cut the ribbon along with members of the Callaway County Chamber Ambassadors.  Following the ribbon cutting, the crowd will enjoy drinks and light refreshments in the Museum while they view the exhibition.

The ribbon cutting and reception are free and open to the public.  Admission to the exhibition and the regular Museum exhibits are free during the reception hours.

“I believe local viewers are going to be astounded by the remarkable detail and extent of this exhibit,” says Dr. Rob Havers, Executive Director of the National Churchill Museum.  “They will come away with a greater understanding of how America’s workforce has evolved over a century.”

The Smithsonian section of the exhibit shares the stories of how work became a central element in American culture and the many changes affecting the workforce and the work environment over the past 100 years.  The other section of the exhibit, The Kingdom at Work, was lead by the Kingdom of Callaway Historical Society with components added by the local labor training facilities and labor unions and focuses on the history of work in Callaway County and the surrounding area.

Visitors can tour the exhibition at the Museum February 11-March 10.

A committee of city and local chamber officials, local historians, Westminster staff and Museum personnel have been working on the local exhibit components and additional public activities in relation to the exhibit since early fall. 

Partners on the project have included the City of Fulton, Westminster College, the Kingdom of Callaway Chamber of Commerce, Kingdom of Callaway Historical Society, Labor Education Program of the MU Extension Program, Fulton Area Development Corporation, Plumbers and Pipefitters 562, International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Craft workers, United Union of Roofers, Water Proofers, and Allied Workers, Painters and Allied Trades, Sheet Metal Workers, Laborers Local 662 and Sprinkler Fitters Local 669.

The Callaway Chamber Annual Banquet on Jan. 27, which paid tribute to the exhibit, was the largest crowd ever assembled in the Chamber’s history for the banquet.  The Chamber will hold a Business Showcase from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.at the Callaway Senior Center to showcase local businesses and the Fulton Area Development Corporation (FADC) annual banquet March 1 will focus on the Callaway County workforce of the future.

This traveling Smithsonian Institution exhibition is sponsored by the Missouri Humanities Council’s Museum on Main Street program.  Missouri is the first state to receive this exhibit, which is visiting five additional Missouri cities throughout 2011 and 2012. 

The Museum on Main Street Program was recently named a Midwest Travel Treasure by AAA Midwest Traveler magazine.

“The Missouri Humanities Council hopes that residents of Fulton and the surrounding areas will enjoy the exhibition and perhaps be encouraged to think how their own experiences fit into the larger story of workers and the workplace in American history,” says Geoff Giglierano, Executive Director of the Missouri Humanities Council.

For more details about the “The Way We Worked” exhibition, interested individuals or organizations can contact Liz Murphy at 573-592-5262 or email her at Liz.Murphy@churchillmemorial.org.