Traveling Smithsonian Exhibition Hometown Teams: Sports in American Communities Comes to Fort Myers in Summer 2018

Baseball. Soccer. Hockey. 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 Smithsonian’s Museum on Main Street (MoMS) program will celebrate this connection in the new traveling exhibition Hometown Teams: Sports in American Communities. The exhibit will make its way to the Alliance for the Arts in the summer of 2018.

Hometown Teams will capture the stories that unfold on the neighborhood fields and courts; or underdog heroics, larger‐than‐life legends, fierce rivalries, and gut‐wrenching defeats. For well over one hundred years sports have reflected the trials and triumphs of the American experience and helped shape the national character. Whether it’s professional sports, or those played on the collegiate or scholastic level, amateur sports or sports played by kids on the local playground, the plain fact is sports are everywhere in America.

This project gives communities an opportunity to share these stories, celebrate local legends and collect memorabilia from the community. With the support and guidance of Florida Humanities Council, the Lee County Black History Society will develop a complementary exhibit focusing on local sports icons, host humanities programs and facilitate educational initiatives about sports and ideals such as team work, fair play, leadership and respect.

This exhibit is made possible by a Florida Humanities Council Grant awarded to the Southwest Florida Historical Society. Project partners include the Smithsonian, the Alliance for the Arts and the Lee County Black History Museum.

Specific exhibit dates and details will be released in December 2017.

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