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Armand DeKeyser, executive director of the Alabama Humanities Foundation, told member of the Wetumpka Chamber of Commerce about the traveling Smithsonian exhibit which will be hosted at Elmore County Museum in 2014. Photo by Kevin Taylor
Armand DeKeyser, executive director of the Alabama Humanities Foundation, told member of the Wetumpka Chamber of Commerce about the traveling Smithsonian exhibit which will be hosted at Elmore County Museum in 2014. Photo by Kevin Taylor

Wetumpka to be host to ‘priceless’ exhibit

Published 4:33am Sunday, June 16, 2013

Wetumpka will be one of six communities in Alabama to host a Smithsonian Institute Museum on Main Street traveling exhibition next year, according to Armand DeKeyser, executive director of the Alabama Humanities Foundation.
DeKeyser was the keynote speaker at Thursday’s Wetumpka Area Chamber of Commerce quarterly luncheon.
“Museum on Main Street is a great program,” said DeKeyser. “It gives small town museums a chance to offer exhibits they could not otherwise.
“The exhibit coming to Wetumpka will be ‘The Way We Worked.’ It highlights the work experience of Americans over history and offers multiple experiences. Normally you would have to travel to Washington to see something like this.”
DeKeyser also spoke briefly about the Alabama Humanities Foundation and its mission.
“We traffic in inspiration,” he said. “Virtually all of our programs are provided at no charge, but they are really priceless and offer opportunities for lifelong learning.”
Vanessa Lynch, chamber executive director, said she is excited about the pending exhibition.
“I would love to have a lot of involvement from those not only in Wetumpka but also from other communities in the region,” she said. “We want this to make a big, lasting impression.”
The traveling exhibit was adapted from an original exhibition developed by the National Archives. It explores how work became a central element in American culture by tracing the many changes that affected the workforce and work environments during the past 150 years. The exhibition draws from the archives’ collections to tell the story.
It focuses on why people work and the needs their jobs fulfill, as well as the places Americans work. An exploration of the tools and technologies which enabled and assisted workers also reveals how workers sometimes found themselves with better tools, but also with faster, more complex and often more stressful work environments.
Joe Allen Turner, a member of the Elmore County Historical Society, spoke briefly to the audience about the Elmore County Museum where the exhibit will be on display.
“We moved into the old post office in 2008 and we’re really proud of it,” he said. “I encourage all of you to come down and look for yourselves at what we have.”
Hope Brannon talked to the group about the Kelly Fitzpatrick Memorial Gallery, established on the second floor of the city’s administrative building last year.
“The gallery is named for Kelly Fitzpatrick, who was Alabama’s primary art promoter during his lifetime,” she said. “He lived most of his life in Wetumpka.
“The gallery offers expanded exhibit opportunities for artists.”

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