Museum on Main Street

In 2000, the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities partnered with the Smithsonian Institution through its Museum on Main Street (MOMS) program to bring traveling exhibits to rural audiences and small museums that do not have access due to space and cost limitations. Museum on Main Street brings rural Americans one-of-a-kind access to prestigious Smithsonian exhibitions and first-rate educational programs. Most importantly, Museum on Main Street gives rural museums a chance to demonstrate their enormous talents and their meaningful contributions to small town life. Click here to learn more about Museum on Main Street.


2018-2019: Water/Ways

Water is life; 60 percent of our bodies are made of water. Water is a natural resource, and water is a threat. Water gives inspiration to artists. Water grows the seafood we eat and provides shipping routes for businesses. Water has shaped the geography and history of our state.

In Louisiana, we have a unique relationship to water. Now the Smithsonian Institution and the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities offer local communities a new way to explore the myriad ways water affects our lives.

In June 2018, “Water/Ways,” an exhibition produced by the Smithsonian Institution’s Museum on Main Street program, will arrive in Louisiana for a yearlong tour that stops in six sites, ending in April 2019. The tour scholar is Dr. Craig E. Colten of LSU Department of Geography and Anthropology. This marks the eighth time that the LEH has partnered with the Smithsonian Institution and Louisiana communities to host a Museum on Main Street tour.

The 2018-19 Water/Ways tour in Louisiana is made possible by a grant from the Walton Family Foundation.

*Programming schedule will be added as dates are set by sites.

7/9 Monday- 11am Crude Life: Exploring Gulf of Mexico Biodiversity through Art and Science with biologist-artist Brandon Ballengee
7/10 Tuesday- 11am Crude Life: Exploring Gulf of Mexico Biodiversity through Art and Science with biologist-artist Brandon Ballengee
7/21 Saturday –  1pm Film Screening: Finding Common Ground (2016) and Q&A with filmmakers Kevin McCaffrey, Lenny Delbert, and Matt Bethel
7/25 Thursday – 11am-1pm Marsh planting in Davant, LA with Blaise Pezold from the Meraux Foundation
7/26 Friday – 11am Virtual tour of the delta with National Audubon Institute and Restore Mississippi Delta

7/28 Saturday – 1pm Film Screening: Vanishing Pearls (2013) and Q&A with filmmaker Nailah Jefferson and president of the Louisiana Oyster Task Force Byron Encalade

Thank the Heroes of the Great Flood
August 11, 2018
10 a.m. – 3p.m. @Mattie St, Between Range & Benton
All rescuers and those who were rescued invited!!

The Art of Building a Pirogue– Jules Lambert
August 18, 2018
11 a.m.-1 p.m.@ Arts Council of Livingston Parish 133 Hummell, D.S.

Station 15- Film
August 23, 2018
7 – 8:30 p.m. @Denham Springs/Walker Library 8101 US-190, Denham Springs, LA 70726
Discussion following the movie

Girl Scout Badge Day
August 25, 2018
9-12:00 a.m.@Old City Hall 115 Mattie St, Denham Springs, LA 70726

General Russell Honore’ Lecture
General Honore will publicly discuss local water issues with the Mayor of Denham Springs.
August 25, 2018
6 pm. @New city Hall 116 N. Range Ave, Denham Springs

Diversions- Film
August 30, 2018
Group discussion lead by:  Dr. Craig Colton of L.S.U.
7-8:30 p.m. @Denham Springs/Walker Library 8101 US-190, Denham Springs, LA 70726

Rising Above – Great Flood of August 2016
Adin Putnam, Local Photographer
September 1, 2018
1 – 3 p.m. @Denham Springs/Walker Library 8101 US-190, Denham Springs, LA 70726

Paddle Down the Amite River
September 8, 2018
8:00am -Noon -Meet at Grays Creek Baptist Church is located at 21039 Hwy 16, Denham Springs, La. 70726
Leader:  John Cavalier for more info 225-937-4239

Fragile Grounds by Jessica H Schexnayder and Mary H. Manhein – Book Discussion
September 20, 2018
7:00pm -@Arts Council of Livingston Parish 133 Hummell, D.S.
Moderator:  John Cavalier

Delena Beckley Lecture
Delena Beckley: History and readings from diaries
written years ago by people in the area. Program to be
held at the Caldwell Parish Library.

History of the Ouachita River with Zach and Marie Keahey
In the Schepis Museum Zach and Marie Keahey will be
sharing a talk given by Jack Keahey on the history of
the Ouachita River. This presentation was given on a
trip he and his wife, Marie took on the Delta Queen.
Zach Keahey is the grandson of Jack Keahey.
Jorenda Stone will also give a presentation of the
upcoming event “Year of the River 2019”.

“The Forgotten Expedition” with Professor Trey Berry
OCTOBER 10, 2018, 5:30 P.M. – SCHEPIS MUSEUM
Professor Trey Berry will present “The Forgotten
Expedition”, 1804-1805, Journals of Dunbar and
Hunter Exhibition. Professor Berry will describe native
people, geology, weather, flora, fauna and investigating
hot springs along the water ways.

The Art of Bousillage
Festival will feature an exhibit on Fish Net Making, the
Art of Bousillage, and the EARA Keel Boaters exhibit
and reenactment with their Keel Boat on site. The
EARA Keel Boaters will also exhibit on October 14.

Mounds-Film Screening and Discussion with Tana Trichel
Tana Trichel will be showing the film “Mounds” at the
Caldwell Parish Library. This film was commissioned
by the Walton Family. She will also be sharing
information about the mounds at Poverty Point and
other areas. Mr. Bob Meredith will share history of the
mound located on his property at 120 Hwy 559
Columbia, LA 71418

Diversions-Film Screening and Discussion with John Stringer
John Stringer will present the film, “Diversions”,
commissioned by the Walton family. Mr. Stringer will
also speak on the effect water has on property, crops,
and other effects water has on our daily life.

Impact Study of Ouachita River with Greg Richardson
Dr. Bob Eisenstadt will present an “Impact Study” of
the Ouachita River from Arkansas through Louisiana.
Greg Richardson, of Caldwell Parish Port Commission
will add information on the impact the Port has made
in Caldwell Parish

Water Safety and Recreation with David May
David May from the Corps of Engineers will present a
program at the Schepis Museum on Water Safety and

Feature Film and Group Discussion: Station 15
Heidi Goldsmith, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
November 17 . 2:30–4:30 p.m.

Art Exhibit and Group Discussion: Crude Life
Brandon Ballengée, artist, environmental activist and postdoctoral researcher, LSU
Department of Biological Sciences
November 27 . 10 a.m.–Noon and 6–8 p.m.

Field Trip with Brandon Ballengée
November 29 . 9:30 a.m.–1:30 p.m.

Book Discussion: Fragile Grounds-Louisiana’s
Endangered Cemeteries
Jessica Schexnayder and Mary Manhein
November 29 . 6-7:30 p.m.

Lecture: Louisiana v. Arkansas: The Corney Creek Interstate
Water War
Dr. Craig Colton, Carl O. Sauer Professor, LSU Department of Geography and
December 4 . 6–7:30 p.m.

Feature Film and Group Discussion: Born on the Bayou
Heidi Goldsmith
December 6 . 6–8 p.m.

Youth Paint-By-Number Modular Art Installation
December 10 . TBA

Culinary Seafood Event
Quincy Vidrine, LSU AgCenter Area Nutrition Agent
December 13 . 6–8 p.m.

Interview and Group Discussion:
Nation’s Largest Contiguous Wetlands Reclamation Project
Ron Johnson, co-owner of Honey Brake Lodge
and Drew Keeth, CEO of Honey Brake Lodge
December 18 . 5:30 p.m.–7 p.m.

For more information and a list of scheduled events, visit:

If you have questions about Water/Ways, please contact LEH Grants Manager Chris Robert at







Past MoMs tours in Louisiana:



Past Tours 2016-17: Hometown Teams

In 2016, the LEH will host “Hometown Teams: How Sports Shape America,” a Museum on Main Street exhibit that 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. The 2016 tour sites are:

  • Old Post Office Museum, Winnsboro, March 19-April 30
  • Claiborne Parish Library, Homer, May 7-June 18
  • Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame and Northwest Louisiana History Museum, Natchitoches, June 25-August 6
  • Lincoln Parish Library, Ruston, August 13-September 24
  • Southern Forest Heritage Museum & Research Center, Long Leaf, October 1-November 12
  • Abita Springs Trailhead Museum, Abita Springs, November 19-January 1




Past Tours 2013-14: The Way We Worked

Since 2000, the LEH and the Smithsonian Institute’s Museum on Main Street program have teamed with communities in rural areas to deliver state-of-the-art exhibits and build the capacity of small museums in Louisiana. “The Way We Worked” is the sixth exhibit coordinated by the LEH, with more than 110,000 museum visitors in thirty-four Louisiana communities benefiting from more than $290,000 in LEH funding.

Adapted from an original exhibition developed by the National Archives, “The Way We Worked” explores how work became such a central element in American culture by tracing the many changes that affected the workforce and work environments over the past 150 years. The exhibition draws from the Archives’ rich collections, including historical photographs, archival accounts of workers, film, audio and interactives, to tell the compelling story of how work impacts our individual lives and the historical and cultural fabric of our communities. Louisiana sites will focus on local industries including timber, railroads, spring water, tourism, and agriculture.

  • Jonesboro, Jackson Parish Library, November 2, 2013 – December 15, 2013 
  • Minden, City Hall, December 21, 2013 – February 2, 2014
  • Bunkie, Haas Auditorium, February 8, 2014 – March 23, 2014  
  • DeRidder, Main Library, March 29, 2014 – May 11, 2014
  • Angola, Louisiana State Penitentiary Museum, May 17, 2014 – June 29, 2014

For more information on MoMs, contact LEH Director of Public Relations and Programs Brian Boyles at or 504.620.2632.



Past Tours 2011-2012: Journey Stories

Journey Stories examines the intersection between modes of travel and Americans’ desire to feel free to move. The story of the intersection between transportation and American society is complicated, but it tells us much about who we are people who see our societal mobility as a means for asserting our individual freedom. The exhibit uses engaging images with audio and artifacts to tell the individual stories that illustrate the critical roles travel and movement have played in building our diverse American society. Click here to learn more about Journey Stories.

  • St. Martinville The Acadian Memorial May 28-July 9, 2011
  • Leesville Vernon Parish Tourism Commission July 16-Aug. 27, 2011
  • Denham Springs Old City Hall Museum Sept. 3-Oct. 15, 2011
  • Lake Providence Louisiana State Cotton Museum Oct. 22-Dec. 3, 2011
  • Long Leaf Southern Forest Heritage Museum Dec. 10, 2011-Jan. 28, 2012
  • St. Francisville West Feliciana Historical Society Feb. 4-March 19, 2012




Past Tours 2008-2009: New Harmonies: Celebrating American Roots Music

What is American Music? What are the roots of Jazz, Rock and Roll, Hip Hop and Country Swing? Many of us listen to music day-in and day-out without giving a second thought to the wealth of history and culture that shapes today’s popular music. Our music is built upon the melding of different cultural groups and is a direct reflection of America’s diversity.

New Harmoniesis an interactive exhibit that examines the ongoing cultural process that has made America the birthplace of more music than any place on earth. The exhibition provides a fascinating, inspiring and toe-tapping listen to the American story of multi-cultural exchange.

State Scholar: Ben Sandmel 
Sandmel comes to the role of state humanities scholar for “New Harmonies” with impressive credentials. He is a foklorist, the drummer/producer for The Hackberry Ramblers and author of Zydeco! (University Press of Mississippi, 1999). Currently working on a book about the late New Orleans R&B legend Ernie K-Doe, as a freelance writer, he also writes music reviews for Louisiana Cultural VistasClick here to learn more about New Harmonies.

  • Abita Opry, Inc, Abita Springs
  • Lincoln Parish Library, Ruston
  • Jeanerette Bicentennial Park & Museum, Jeanerette
  • La Musee de la Ville de Kaplan, Kaplan
  • Delta Music Museum, Ferriday
  • Louisiana State Oil & Gas Museum, Oil City



Past Tours 2006-2007: Key Ingredients: America by Food

Key Ingredients explores the connections between Americans and the foods they produce, prepare, preserve and present at the table—a provocative and thoughtful look at he historical, regional and social traditions that merge in everyday meals and celebrations. Our recipes, menus, ceremonies and etiquette are directly shaped by our country’s rich immigrant experience, the history and innovations of food preparation technology, and the ever-changing availability of key ingredients. Click here to learn more about Key Ingredients.

  • Julien Poydras Museum and Arts Council, New Roads
  • Old Courthouse Museum, Natchitoches
  • Larose Civic Center, Larose
  • Jena Cultural Center, Jena
  • St. Mary Parish Library, Baldwin
  • Acadian Prairie Cultural Center, Eunice



Past Tours 2004-2005: Yesterday’s Tomorrows: Past Visions of the American Future

Yesterday’s Tomorrows explored the history of the future—our expectations and beliefs about things to come. From ray guns to robots, to nuclear powered cars, to the Atom-Bomb house, to predictions and inventions that went awry, Yesterday’s Tomorrows helps us understand the values and hopes Americans hold and have held about the years to come. Click here to learn more aboutYesterday’s Tomorrows.

  • Minden Chamber of Com./Webster Parish Library, Minden
  • Old Town Hall Museum, Pineville
  • Brimstone Historical Society and Museum, Sulphur
  • The Princess Theatre, Winnsboro
  • Iberville Museum, Plaquemine
  • Jeanerette Bicentennial Park and Museum, Jeanerette



Past Tours 2001-2002: Produce for Victory: Posters on American Home Front, 1941-45

Produce for Victory contained the best of the Smithsonian’s wartime images, collected by its curator of graphic arts during World War II. It traced the evolution of the poster as an art form that was key to mobilizing and maintaining stateside support, in human and natural resources, for the global battle overseas. Inexpensive, accessible, and ever-present, the poster was an ideal agent for making war aims the personal mission of every American. Click here to learn more about Produce for Victory.

  • Herbert S. Ford Memorial Museum, Homer
  • Hermione Museum, Tallulah
  • Varnado Store Museum, Franklinton
  • Louisiana Political Museum & Hall of Fame, Winnfield
  • Zigler Museum, Jennings
  • West Baton Rouge Museum, Port Allen