Newton, NC – The Historical Association of Catawba County has been selected to host the Smithsonian Traveling Exhibit, “The Way We Worked,” as part of the Museum on Main Street (MoMS) project – a partnership to bring exhibitions and programs to rural cultural organizations. The traveling Smithsonian exhibition will visit six communities in North Carolina before it returns to the Smithsonian in Washington, DC.

The Historical Association of Catawba County will host the exhibition August 10 to September 18, 2018. The project is supported by the United Arts Council of Catawba County’s Grassroots Arts Program, private contributions and the NC Arts Council, a division of the Department of Natural & Cultural Resources.

“We are very grateful to have been chosen to host this exhibit,” shared Dr. Amber Albert, Executive Director of the Historical Association. “It will bring great exposure for the museum and our County. With only six stops in North Carolina, we hope to draw attendance from surrounding counties.

”Workers are the backbone of American society, investing themselves physically, emotionally, and intellectually in their work. “The Way We Worked,” exhibition is adapted from an original exhibition developed by the National Archives, explores how work has become a central element in American culture.

It traces the many changes that have affected the workforce and work environment over the past 150 years, including grown in manufacturing and technology. The exhibition includes historical photographs, archival accounts of workers, film, audio and interactives, to tell the compelling story of how work impacts our individual live and the historical and cultural fabric of our communities.

The Historical Association of Catawba County formed a Smithsonian “The Way We Worked” Steering Committee of community leaders, entrepreneurs and civil servants from throughout the county to begin working on how best to capitalize on the traveling exhibition. Since November, 2017, the committee has been working on budgeting, marketing, education, and special events to bring the exhibition to the forefront of all citizens. “The steering committee agreed early on that we wanted to localize the exhibition,” shared Albert. “Our goal is to showcase the Smithsonian exhibition, but to also expand the exhibition to localize it for Catawbans.”

The Historical Association of Catawba County needs your help preserving stories by nominating someone for recognition at the upcoming event “Honoring Catawbans Workers” in conjunction with the Smithsonian’s traveling exhibit, “The Way We Worked”. Nominations are being sought for workers who have interesting or memorable stories about their work in these industries: furniture, ceramics textiles, agriculture, and fiber optics.

Selected honorees will be interviewed for an oral history, receive two free tickets to the recognition event, and receive a copy of the final DVD. To receive a nomination form, contact [email protected] or on the website at The nomination deadline is July 6.

Learn more about the Historical Association of Catawba County or the “Way We Worked” at, by calling (828) 465-0383 or by visiting the History Museum at 30 North College Ave. in downtown Newton. Hours are 9 am to 4 pm Tuesday through Saturday. Admission is free.

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