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Bringing the Country to New Harmonies

Work continues on the Museum on Main Street (MoMS) exhibit New Harmonies. The OEC Fabrication shop is currently working on the components for the kiosk featuring country music. There are many design features that make this kiosk visually interesting for visitors, and technically challenging for OEC staff.

Our staff had to get creative in designing and constructing the components due to some pretty strict size and weight constraints, which make the exhibit less costly to ship. Components need to be strong enough to stay together while on display, but easy to assemble and disassemble for rural museums with small staff and tight spaces. Our staff found innovative ways to customize the plain, ready-made Scenario panels used as the framework of the show. This exhibit also included sound interactives that play snippets of the different types of music featured.

SEE MORE PICTURES of OEC Fabrication at work.

photo: Rob Wilcox and Adam Metallo of Fabrication place the roofing frame on top of the Scenario panel to check the fit.

Traveling Exhibit Preview

On October 10, 2006, the Office of Exhibits Central hosted a press preview and staff opening for Native Words, Native Warriors, a joint production of the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES) and the National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI). Featuring fifteen large-scale banners, this show highlights the contributions of Native American soldiers who used their languages to help the United States armed forces in World Wars I and II.

Staff from SITES, NMAI, and OEC who had worked on this exhibition attended the preview along with special guests from the first venues hosting the show and members of the press. Comments from all were positive. Katherine Krile, project director from SITES, said, “We are all so excited to see seven years of research and hard work finalized in such a beautiful and moving tribute.”

OEC designed and edited the exhibition, two copies of which will travel around the U.S. for the next five years. The first venues hosting the exhibition are the Cherokee Strip Land Rush Museum in Arkansas City, Kansas, and the Oklahoma History Center in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

photo: Michael Headley, director of OEC, and Keevin Lewis, community services coordinator at NMAI. Photograph by Robert Alexander, NMAI.