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Smithsonian Exhibit Coming to Swainsboro

Smithsonian Exhibit Coming to Swainsboro

by Norma Kennedy | February 15, 2015
Last Edited: February 15, 2015 by Norma Kennedy
Smithsonian Exhibit Coming to Swainsboro


   Swainsboro has been named one of 12 communities in Georgia to host the Hometown Teams: How Sports Shape America tour. The Georgia Humanities Council, in partnership with the Smithsonian Institution Museum on Main Street Program, selected Swainsboro, Ft. Oglethorpe, Jonesboro, Nashville, Kingsland and Carrollton in 2016 and Jefferson, Ft. Valley, Moultrie, Forsyth, Cartersville and Monroe in 2017 to host this special exhibit.

Swainsboro will be the first of the 12 communities to host the exhibit, beginning March 19 and running through April 30, 2016 at East Georgia State College's Luck Flanders Gambrell building. A committee of community members has been and continues to work hard on planning the exhibition and various activities in the community. If you are interested in participating, volunteering, or hosting an event, please contact committee co-chairs Angie Williams at abwilliams@ega.edu or 478-289-2367 or Jen Meadows at artaffects@hotmail.com .

Hometown Teams: How Sports Shape America is a traveling exhibition that consists of seven sections with panels, banners and interactive elements. The exhibition revolves around sports and teams in American--an integral part of culture and community in towns all over the country. Sports reflect the American experience and have helped to shape our national character. The exhibit's photographs, artifacts and memorabilia are presented in a fun, quality educational manner to appeal to visitors of all ages, and giving each community the prestige of hosting a Smithsonian traveling exhibition. The tour is more than an exhibition, however. In addition to the traveling exhibition, the host communities are planning a series of sports-related programs to take place throughout the six weeks the exhibition is in their towns.

For decades, sports have been an integral part of life in Emanuel County. From three-year-olds playing T-ball to collegiate sports at East Georgia State College, sports have provided a foundation of health and social benefits to participants and spectators alike. From Adrian to Oak Park, Canoochee to Garfield, Stillmore to Summertown, Norristown to Nunez, Twin City to Swainsboro, and everywhere in between, team-like camaraderie and brotherhood make Emanuel County perform like its own well-coached team.

Just about every red-blooded, small-town, American youngster either plays or watches some type of sporting event. Weekends in the South are about "our team" winning. Emanuel County's parents teach their children to be team players and to support team effort, and the myriad sports offered here shape the values of trust, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring and citizenship.

As we all know, the strongest sports traditions in our community focus on middle and high school athletics, both public and private. The local committee will be contacting schools and different sports personalities from years past, as well as local recreation areas, to help bring together a variety of activities to highlight local sports in conjunction with the traveling exhibit. 

The community is encouraged to share memorabilia and stories that can be incorporated into the exhibit.  Additional information is forthcoming.