If your answer is “yes” — and for your children’s sake it should be — then we strongly recommend the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service’s exhibit that began Saturday at the Cleveland Bradley County Public Library, in the Community Room.
It’s called “Journey Stories” and it features six weeks of captivating information that brings culture, understanding and interest for your benefit and for your children should you make the conscious decision to bring them along. We encourage it.
Each week will feature a new journey. Each exhibit’s run will begin on Saturday and conclude the following Friday. Library staff and volunteers will make the switch-over on Friday nights in time for crowds to begin enjoying the new exhibit on Saturdays.
This week’s exhibit, which runs through Friday, is “Native American Journeys.” Next week’s will be “Journeys of Faith.” Following weeks will feature “Industrialization: Journeys of Progress,” “African American Journeys,” “Journeys of War and Depression,” and “A Mosaic: Journeys of Immigration.”
Each week, the exciting exhibit will feature not only Smithsonian pieces, but also a local flair involving elements of Cleveland and Bradley County history that are being loaned from area families, the Museum Center at Five Points and perhaps other sources.
A separate volunteer will be in charge of each week’s local exhibit that will supplement the Smithsonian display. Local pieces will always align with the Smithsonian pieces, but will add a Cleveland area community historical touch.
As an added attraction, a “Lunch and Learn” session will be held each Wednesday at noon in the library’s Community Room which will be the location for the Smithsonian and local exhibits as well. The Lunch and Learns will last about an hour. The public is invited to attend the Lunch and Learns. Bring just yourself, or, if you want to eat at the site, bring your own bagged lunch or pick up a lunch at the library’s popular Bookworm Cafe.
Each Lunch and Learn is expected to feature a special speaker, an oral history or a documentary.
And a big “by the way,” everything is FREE. Whether you wish to tour the Smithsonian/local exhibit or any of the Lunch and Learns, you will pay NO admission. Given the magnitude of the Smithsonian exhibits, this is huge; add to that the natural interest of the local historical exhibits and you have a fun-filled, fact-filled, educational experience that is good for you and even better for school-aged children because it exposes them to history.
We encourage you to stay on the watch for future information about the exhibits. Staff writer Joyanna Weber will be presenting a weekly series of front-page articles about the Smithsonian and local exhibits, and the efforts by library staff and many volunteers to bring it to the community.
A very special thank-you to the Cleveland Mosaic Center and Ocoee Region Multicultural Services for their perseverance in hosting the exhibits. Funds that are making this happen are coming from a program grant written by Ben Judkins of the ORMS organization. Grant funding is being provided through Humanities Tennessee.
“It (the six-week event) really has evolved into something exciting,” Judkins said in a recent interview.
Each week, the exhibits will run from 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday through Saturday, and from 6 to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday. Pick the time that’s best for you.
Questions may be directed to the library.
Otherwise, enjoy the exhibits!