By Patrick McCallister
For Hometown News
DEBARY - For six weeks, the Smithsonian Institution will be in DeBary. From Sept. 1 to Oct. 13, Journey Stories will be on display at the Gateway Center for the Arts, 880 North U.S. Highway 17-92, Charles Richard Beall Boulevard.
"It is about mobility and travel in the United States," Mary Waldroff, program coordinator, said. "It covers who came here, and migration - where did they go to (once here), and why."
Locals will add their touch, too. The Gateway Digital Photography Group will simultaneously display Rivers to Rails, a photography exhibit about local mobility.
Journey Stories is part of the Museum on Main Street traveling exhibition service. Carol Harsh, director, said the exhibition is popular wherever it goes. She said a veneration of mobility is deeply engrained in the American psyche. It's one of the things that define the nation, she said.
"We have the right of mobility, and not every country does," she said. "It's a right we should cherish - it's an important part of the American dream."
For about a year, the center for the arts has had a lecture series on how migration and mobility technology have affected the local area.
Journey Stories is a free-standing panel exhibit with sound. Rivers to Rails is a wall display. Admission will be free. While the exhibit will open to the public on Sept. 1, there'll be a grand opening reception on Sept. 8 from 4 to 9 p.m.
The center for the arts is open weekdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. On Saturdays, it's open from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Ms. Waldroff said the museum may extended its hours while Journey Stories and Rivers to Rails are on display.
Ms. Waldroff and Ms. Harsh said the exhibit has much about the joys of American mobility, but includes troubling reminders about periods of involuntary and unwanted migration, such as slave ships. Ms. Waldroff said visitors will be encouraged to talk about their families', or their own, journey stories, too.
For information about Journey Stories, visit www.museumonmainstreet.org/journeyStories. The center for the arts is at www.gatewaycenterforthearts.org. The phone number is 668-5553.