Museum on Main Street

Questions? Contact:

Patricia Putman
Associate Director
[email protected]

Bring a Smithsonian Exhibition to Your Town!

Museum on Main Street (MoMS) is a collaboration between the Smithsonian Institution and Florida Humanities to bring traveling exhibitions and engaging public programs to small towns across our state. With its impassioned focus on local history, education and community redevelopment, Museum on Main Street is one of the Smithsonian’s most inspirational and enduring outreach programs. Florida Humanities has been a Museum on Main Street affiliate since 2012, providing support for more than 64 exhibitions statewide.

Florida Humanities invites small museums, libraries, historical societies, and other eligible cultural organizations to apply for funding to host the “Voices and Votes: Democracy in America” Museum on Main Street exhibition during a statewide tour from March 2024 to January 2025. Selected host sites will receive support for the design and implementation of public programs and resources that enhance the themes of the exhibit. Programming may occur before, during, and/or after the exhibition and must be free and open to a broad public audience. 

Funding Highlights and Key Dates

Application deadline: Stay tuned for future application deadlines!

Informational webinar: Watch here!

Funding notification: Week of September 25, 2023

Funding amount: Up to $10,000

Funding period: October 1, 2023 — end of exhibition tour date per venue

Voices and Votes Smithsonian Exhibit

Exhibition Dates

As part of the application process, applicants will be asked to select their preferred exhibition tour dates from the following schedule:

Venue 1

March 23, 2024 –
May 18, 2024
(8 weeks)

Venue 2

May 25, 2024 –
July 13, 2024
(7 weeks)

Venue 3

July 20, 2024 –
September 7, 2024
(7 weeks)

Venue 4

September 14, 2024 –
November 2, 2024
(7 weeks)

Venue 5

November 9, 2024 –
January 4, 2025
(8 weeks)

Eligibility and Venue Requirements

Florida non-profit organizations are eligible to apply for funding. Although eligible for grants, colleges and universities are strongly encouraged to partner with and apply through a local non-profit organization. All organizations that apply for funding must be constituted for non-profit purposes in Florida, have a verifiable Unique Entity ID (SAM) through the website, and will be processed through GuideStar Charity Check with their federal ID to ensure they are in good fiscal standing. 

Venues must be open to the public a minimum of 20 hours per week, have 650-700 square feet of available exhibition space with minimum 8 foot ceilings, be ADA compliant, and have storage space to accommodate 16 large exhibition crates.

Funding priority will be given to the following:

  • rural communities and/or communities with a population less than 25,000
  • organizations with an operating budget of less than $1-million
  • projects that reach new and/or underserved audiences

For full eligibility and venue requirements, please download the grant guidelines.

“And what can I say about the communities that host our exhibitions? Unbelievable, truly. We’re so humbled by the sense of teamwork, volunteerism, and local pride that comes to fruition at small museums, libraries and community centers. The American spirit is alive and thriving in these towns, and we are honored to inspire it.”

—Carol Harsh, Director, Smithsonian Institution Museum on Main Street program

About the Exhibition

When American revolutionaries waged a war for independence, they took a leap of faith that sent ripple effects across generations. They embraced a radical idea of establishing a government that entrusted the power of the nation not in a monarchy, but in its citizens. That great leap sparked questions that continue to impact Americans: who has the right to vote, what are the freedoms and responsibilities of citizens, and whose voices will be heard? “Voices and Votes” is a springboard for discussions about those very questions and how they are reflected in local stories. 

“Voices and Votes” includes six easy-to-assemble, free-standing kiosks that feature:

  • historical and contemporary photos
  • educational and archival video
  • engaging multimedia interactives
  • historical objects such as campaign souvenirs, voter memorabilia, and protest material.
  • a sponsor recognition banner and a variety of support materials including a publicity kit, docent handbooks, and classroom resources. 

Learn more about the exhibition themes and content at:

Photos of exhibition installation.

How to Apply

Read the Guidelines

Before you apply, please review the Museum on Main Street grant guidelines.

Read the Guidelines

Contact Florida Humanities

After reviewing the guidelines, interested applicants are encouraged to contact Florida Humanities staff for guidance on the application process including questions related to public programming plans, preparing a budget, or other exhibition logistics.

Grant Questions:
Patricia Putman
[email protected]

Preview Application

Download a preview of the Museum on Main Street online application. This is intended for reference use only.

Preview Application

Apply for Funding

Ready to apply? Click on the “Apply Now” button and log in to our online grants system using your organization’s existing login and password. Step-by-step instructions on how to create a new account are available on the online portal’s homepage.

Apply for Funding

“Voices and Votes: Democracy in America” is part of Museum on Main Street, a collaboration between the Smithsonian Institution and State Humanities Councils nationwide. It is based on an exhibition by the National Museum of American History called “American Democracy: A Great Leap of Faith.” Support for Museum on Main Street has been provided by the United States Congress.

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