Museum on Main Street

The Museum on Main Street (MoMS) Program is the Smithsonian Institution’s Traveling Exhibition Service. NJCH works closely with the Smithsonian and NJ museums, historical societies and other cultural venues to bring MoMS exhibits to the state. Through highly targeted community programs and creative activities, MoMS exhibitions become a hub for storytelling and local pride. Residents enthusiastically engage with exhibition content, as diverse community members come together to share and celebrate their heritage.

Hometown Teams postcard
The newest Museum on Main Street (MoMS) Exhibition from the Smithsonian Institution tours  New Jersey in 2014!

Hometown Teams New Jersey Press Release (January 27, 2014)

Love of sports begins in our hometowns. We play games on ball fields and sandlots, on courts, on ice, even in the street. If we’re not playing sports, we’re watching them, sitting in stands to cheer on the local teams and our friends and family. Hometown Teams is a cultural history of the American sports landscape. It is the story of a diverse assortment of people interacting with games, activities that encourage the development of competition, fair play, and a passion for a goal. Connecting generations and making lifelong fans out of many of us, sports help to define who we are as individuals, as teams, and as Americans. No part of American culture so colorfully and passionately celebrates American ideals as does sports.

The central theme of the Hometown Teams exhibition is the ongoing cultural processes that have made America such a celebrator of sports, through teamwork, leadership, and team pride. Through a selection of photographs, artifacts, and memorabilia, the Hometown Teams exhibition explores various aspects of sports and teams, from how and why we play these games to what makes us fans and why we root for our home teams. The story is full of surprises about familiar games, histories of our teams and sports traditions, and how sports and teams have become such an intergral part of American society.


Questions? Please contact Mary Grace Whealan, Program Officer, at

Hometown Teams has been made possible in New Jersey by the New Jersey Council for the Humanities. Hometown Teams is part of Museum on Main Street, a collaboration between the Smithsonian Institution and state humanities councils across the country. Support for Museum on Main Street has been provided by the United States Congress.

February 8-9, 2014:  A two-day workshop related to Sports in Our Communities.  This Smithsonian-inspired two-day workshop helped teachers of all levels and disciplines bring sports into the classroom.  Studying how sports have shaped America offers a fertile ground for students to explore historical themes, write creatively, make art, and problem solve. The workshop included lectures on national and local sports history, a tour of the Hometown Teams exhibit, a guest panel discussion, interaction with the host institutions of the traveling exhibit, and planning sessions on how to bring sports into lesson plans. Join the Hometown Team to learn more about what sports mean to us, as individuals and as a community, and how they shape who we are and how we live our lives.

What is MoMS?

The Museum on Main Street (MoMS) program is the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service’s key initiative that directly engages small town audiences and brings revitalized attention to underserved rural communities through their own Main Street museums, historical societies and other cultural venues.

MoMS develops critical partnerships with state humanities councils to bring Smithsonian traveling exhibitions to small towns. MoMS exhibitions are a powerful catalyst – opening doors to a community’s own history, its culture, its people, and to an enhanced pride of place.

To generate grassroots engagement, MoMS works in close collaboration with state humanities councils and more than 900 institutions in rural towns across the nation. For these communities (with an average population of 8,000), the opportunity to host the Smithsonian provides much more than a quality educational experience. Through highly targeted community programs and creative activities, MoMS exhibitions become a hub for storytelling and local pride. Residents enthusiastically engage with exhibition content, as diverse community members come together to share and celebrate their heritage.

The History

It all began in 1991, when thirteen state humanities councils, in coordination with SITES, received a grant from the Smithsonian’s Special Exhibition Fund and conducted a survey of nearly one hundred small, remote cultural institutions. This landmark survey assessed the programmatic and exhibition preferences of rural museums, historical organizations and libraries and provided the basis for state humanities councils’ ongoing collaboration with SITES that eventually developed into Museum on Main Street. The survey verified that residents of America’s small towns experience severe geographic, economic and cultural isolation. These small but vibrant facilities located in rural areas often serve as community centers, well positioned to offer exciting public programs, yet are restricted from doing so by limited budgets and insufficient staff.

These small museums are routinely excluded from traveling exhibition programs because they cannot accommodate large structural components, complex installations, and expensive shipping and participation fees. Relying on the results of the survey of small museums, Smithsonian designers developed a new exhibit format that earned a Presidential Design Award for Excellence not only because it delivers high-quality content in a compact package, but also because it is tailored so precisely to the specific needs of resource-poor museums.

What is MoMS’ exhibition focus?

Museum on Main Street circulates Smithsonian exhibitions focusing on broad topics of American history and culture, like roots music, foodways, work and migration. Exhibitions are organized around elements of our shared American experience, helping host organizations explore cultural attributes that bind us as a nation. All exhibitions are freestanding, contain original objects, and travel in easy-to-handle wheeled crates. State humanities councils help local organizers to prepare exhibit-related events with scholarly consultations and preparatory workshops. Small town participants add hard work, ambition, and a sense of fun. As a result, rural museums benefit from high visibility, increased attendance, professional museum training, and capital improvements to their facilities.

Museum on Main Street exhibitions have traveled to nearly 700 towns with populations of 500 to 20,000 across the country. They have inspired heightened awareness of local history. Exciting collaborations begin between museums, educational organizations, and local businesses. Entire communities get involved unleashing a tidal wave of public programs and educational activities. The success of Museum on Main Street is evidenced not only in the broad scope of public programs in host communities, but in how the project served as a catalyst in fostering lasting institutional advancements and ambitious capital improvements. With ongoing federal support, Museum on Main Street will continue to showcase local heritage in untold numbers of under-served communities across the country.

Yogi Berra Museum & Learning Center
On the campus of Montclair State University
8 Yogi Berra Dr
Little Falls, NJ 07424

Open to the public Wednesday through Sunday,
Noon to 5:00 p.m.

The Noyes Arts Garage Stockton College Museum
2200 Fairmount Ave.,
Atlantic City, NJ 08401
(609) 347-5839

For information, contact:
The Atlantic City Free Public LIbrary
1 North Tennessee Ave
Atlantic City  08401
(609) 345-2269

Howell Living History Farm
Mercer County Parks
70 Wooden’s Lane
Lambertville, New Jersey
(609) 737-3299

Monday Closed
Tuesday-Saturday 10 AM – 4 PM
Sunday 12 PM – 4 PM

Bridgeton Public Library
150 East Commerce Street
Bridgeton, New Jersey 08302
(856) 451-2620

Monday 10 to 5
Tues. to Thurs. 10 to 8
Friday 10 to 5
Saturday 10 to 4
Saturday Summer Hours,June to Labor Day  10 to 2

Hudson County Community College
North Hudson Library
4800 Kennedy Boulevard
Union City, NJ 07087

Fall & Spring:
Mon- Fri, 8 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Sat, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Sun, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Mon- Thurs, 8 a.m. – 9 p.m.

Morris Museum
6 Normandy Heights Road
Morristown, NJ 07960

Monday Closed
Tuesday-Saturday 11 AM – 5 PM
Sunday 12 PM – 5 PM

Email MaryGrace Whealan ( with your submissions (please include a caption–location, anecodote, and year if you’d like) and note whether or not you’d like a name attached!


  • February 9th through March 9th – Sports Art Drawing Class with Jerry Winick
    Children ages 7 – 12 will have the opportunity to learn how to draw their favorite sports moments and athletes with Jerry on Sunday afternoons from 1 – 2:30 PM
  • February 19th – Film showing with Ralph Branca
    Viewing of the film “Branca’s Pitch” and have a Q&A session with Ralph Branca himself afterwards
  • March 1st – Write-on Sports workshop with Byron Yake
    Workshop for 7th grade students that teaches them the art of sports writing and beyond with acclaimed sports writer Byron Yake
    Session will run from 9 – 3 PM
  • March 4th – Women in Broadcasting
    The film “Let Them Wear Towels” will be shown; Q&A with producer Annie Sundberg following.  The film focuses on the experiences of women sports reporters
  •  TBD (most likely end of February) – Photography workshop
    Seasoned Yankees photographer Lou Rocco will teach a photography workshop to high school students focused on sports photography.  This workshop will teach students lighting techniques and aesthetic aspects to taking a good sports photograph



Lesson Plans

Get the scoop on all the ways you can teach American history with these specific lessons from the Library of Congress, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and more.

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