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Six Oklahoma Communities Chosen To Host Smithsonian Exhibit

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Six Oklahoma communities, in cooperation with the Oklahoma Humanities Council, will explore aspects of our musical history as they host the local showing of New Harmonies: Celebrating American Roots Music, a Smithsonian Institution traveling exhibition beginning in March 2013.

Idabel, Poteau, Hobart, Frederick, El Reno and Alva have been expressly chosen by the Oklahoma Humanities Council to host New Harmonies: Celebrating American Roots Music as part of the Museum on Main Street project – a national/state/local partnership to bring exhibitions and programs to rural cultural organizations. The exhibition will tour these six communities in Oklahoma from March 16, 2013 through January 4, 2014.

Through a selection of photographs, recordings, instruments, lyrics and artist profiles, New Harmonies will explore the distinct cultural identities of America's earliest musical forms. The exhibition will examine the progression of American roots music, as rich and eclectic as our country itself. Other musical genres profiled include zydeco, tejano, bluegrass and klezmer.

"Allowing all of our state's residents to have access to the cultural resources of our nation's premiere museum is a priority of OHC,"said Ann Thompson, Executive Director. "With this special tour, we are pleased to be working with these communities to help develop local exhibitions and public programs to complement the Smithsonian exhibition."

The Oklahoma Humanities Council has employed Dr. Hugh Foley to work in cooperation with each host site to ensure that their efforts are accomplished with historical accuracy and improved levels of museum professionalism. Dr. Foley's primary areas of scholarship are American studies with an emphasis on Oklahoma music and culture, Native American studies, and cinema. Author of the Oklahoma Music Guide, he has been published in numerous encyclopedias and books, and his video compilations on Native American music and culture have been shown at national conferences and on public television in several states.

New Harmonies: Celebrating American Roots Music is part of Museum on Main Street, a unique collaboration between the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES), state humanities councils across the nation, and local host institutions. To learn more about New Harmonies and other Museum on Main Street exhibitions, visit

Support for Museum on Main Street has been provided by the United States Congress. Local support provided by Bank of Commerce, Beaver Express Service and the University of Oklahoma Press.

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