Hometown Teams Has Come and Gone!

UPDATE: Hometown Teams completed its very successful run on May 31, 2015. The next day it was packed into crates by museum staff and shipped to its next stop at the Waterworks Visual Arts Center in Salisbury, NC.

The Wake Forest Historical Museum proudly presents Hometown Teams: How Sports Shape America, a fascinating traveling exhibition brought to us by the North Carolina Humanities Council and the Smithsonian Institution.

After two years of preparation and planning, the exhibition launched with an April 16th Preview Party. Sponsors and invited guests gathered to celebrate before going inside for the first official glimpse of the 800 square foot exhibition.

As a particularly “kid friendly” exhibit, the displays are bright, engaging, interactive, and fun. They come with great titles including: More than a Game; Fields of Glory; Take Me Out to the Ballgame; Playing the Game; Root, Root, Root for the Home Team; and Sports Explosion.  And the message is simple: “Hometown sports shape our lives and unite us and celebrate who we are as Americans.”

True to form, the Smithsonian Institution’s Museum on Main Street program– designed to bring top tier resources to smaller communities– does a phenomenal job. The displays rely on sports facts, inspirational stories, interesting trivia, and sharp cultural observations to broaden our understanding of the many ways in which sports help us work, play, and experience life as a nation.

In addition to the traveling exhibition, Executive Director Ed Morris has pulled together some of the museum’s most interesting local artifacts to illustrate the story of sports in Wake Forest. This collection occupies the borders around the Smithsonian pylons and kiosks and includes vintage helmets and apparel from Wake Forest High School,  a white 1940s Wake Forest College night game ball, and a display case dedicated to the mid-century athletic program at the town’s segregated DuBois School.

As only the second North Carolina museum to host this traveling exhibition–the first was the Mount Airy Museum of Regional History and the next will be Waterworks Visual Arts Center in Salisbury–  the Wake Forest Historical Museum is making great strides in bringing world class cultural experiences to our town and the broader regional community.

The exhibition runs from April 17 – May 31, 2015 and is free and open to the public. All visitors are welcome. During the exhibit’s run the museum will operate on extended hours:


Monday – Friday: 9am to noon & 1:30pm to 4:30pm

Saturday: 10am to 2pm

Sunday: 2pm to 5pm

This is an exceptionally good experience for families and school groups, made possible through the support of the North Carolina Humanities Council, the Smithsonian Institution, and the generous contributions of our local exhibit sponsors.

To all of you, we extend our gratitude. Thank you for making this happen!

(Answers to the seat cushion questions: RED SEAT – Baseball and other sports are dream games for data hounds. Every at-bat, hit, and home run provides information for tracking the progress of your favorite team and the achievements of your favorite players. BLUE/GRAY SEAT – As a display of good sportsmanship, athletes make a point of acknowledging the opposing player or team. In most scholastic sports, teams will often line up, and players will move down the line to shake their opponents’ hands.YELLOW SEAT – Jack Norworth may just have been looking for a rhyme with “back” when he wrote “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” in 1908. But the song made the candy-coated popcorn treat a baseball favorite. )

Hometown Teams: How Sports Shape America is part of Museum on Main Street, a collaboration between the Smithsonian Institution and the North Carolina Humanities Council, a statewide nonprofit and affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Support for Museum on Main Street has been provided by the United States Congress.

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