Smithsonian Traveling Exhibition: Celebrating Sports in American Communities
Baseball, Soccer, Basketball, Bowling, Kickball, Surfing. People around the country are drawn to compete in these sports and many others. Still more gather on the sidelines to cheer for their favorite athletes and teams. Nowhere do Americans more intimately connect to sports than in their hometowns.
The San Lorenzo Valley Museum in cooperation with Exhibit Envoy will celebrate this connection as it hosts Hometown Teams: How Sports Shape America, a traveling exhibition from the Smithsonian’s Museum on Main Street program. Hometown Teams will be on view October 14 through November 26, 2017.
San Lorenzo Valley Museum and the surrounding community has been expressly chosen to host Hometown Teams as part of the Museum on Main Street program — a vital partnership that brings exhibitions and programs of national significance to local cultural organizations. The exhibition will tour five communities in California from April 15, 2017 through January 20, 2018. A short video about the exhibition can be viewed at https://youtu.be/Nv6cxWLl-OU
Hometown Teams captures the stories that unfold on the neighborhood fields and courts, and the underdog heroics, larger-than-life legends, fierce rivalries and gut-wrenching defeats. For more than 100 years, sports have reflected the trials and triumphs of the American experience and helped shape the national character. Whether it is professional sports or those played on the collegiate or scholastic level, amateur sports or sports played by kids on the local playground, sports are everywhere in America.
“We are very pleased to be able to bring Hometown Teams to Santa Cruz County,” said Ellen Brenna Dougherty, Director of Museum Operations “It allows us to explore the role sports play in the lives of individuals and communities and to celebrate the fascinating contributions that Santa Cruz has made to American sports.”
The San Lorenzo Valley Museum installation will feature local artifacts, photographs and stories, including an early O’Neill longboard, early NHS, Inc Santa Cruz skateboard deck and associated artifacts, and one of the first portable on-field baseball pitching machines, the “Power Pitcher,” invented by Scotts Valley resident, Larry Ponza.
The Museum will be hosting free events including an opening celebration and “tailgate party” on Saturday, October 14 at 2 p.m. Guests are invited to bring their favorite game day foods, wear their favorite team’s colors, and meet the new Head Coach of the Santa Cruz Warriors, Aaron Miles.
Admission to the exhibit is always free and the Museum is open Wednesday through Sunday from 12pm to 4pm. To learn more about Hometown Teams and other Museum on Main Street exhibitions, visit www.museumonmainstreet.org.
Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES) connects Americans to their shared cultural heritage through a wide range of exhibitions about art, science, and history, which are shown wherever people live, work and play. For exhibition description and tour schedules, visit www.sites.si.edu. Support for Museum on Main Street has been provided by the United States Congress.