ATLANTIC CITY — The Atlantic City Free Public Library is helping to bring an exciting exhibit created by the Smithsonian Institution to the city for a six-week stay.
The library is one of six organizations in New Jersey selected to host “Hometown Teams” — a traveling exhibition that celebrates American sports and sportsmanship. Atlantic City will be the second stop on the Hometown Teams’ 2014 road trip.
The exhibit will be displayed at the Noyes Arts Garage Stockton College, located at the Wave parking garage at 2200 Fairmount Ave., from March 22 to May 4. Visitors will be able to view the exhibit from 10am-6pm Wednesday through Sunday during its stay. The library will hold a ribbon-cutting pep rally at 2pm Saturday, March 22, at the Arts Garage to kick off the exhibit’s visit to Atlantic City.
“We are honored to host an exhibit from a well-known institution such as the Smithsonian in Atlantic City,” library archivist Heather Halpin Perez said. “We think it’ll be a great opportunity for residents and visitors to see a national exhibit locally.”
The Washington, D.C.-based Smithsonian developed this display especially for smaller museums and/or rural audiences. As a companion to Hometown Teams, the Atlantic City Free Public Library will present a new exhibit, “The Atlantic City Experience: Devotion and Determination.” This sports-based exhibit, which will also be located at the Arts Garage, will showcase some of the people and places that are a part of the fabric of the city’s rich sports history. Highlights will include Atlantic City Olympians and all-stars, women sports greats both before and after the enactment of Title IX, and the many venues in Atlantic City where sporting events have occurred.
The theme of the Hometown Teams exhibition is the ongoing cultural processes that have made America such a celebrator of sports, through teamwork, leadership and team pride. Through a selection of photographs, artifacts and memorabilia, the Hometown Teams exhibition explores various aspects of sports and teams, from how and why we play these games to what makes us fans and why we root for our home teams. The story is full of surprises about familiar games, histories of our teams and sports traditions, and how sports and teams have become such an integral part of American society.
The library will receive funding from the New Jersey Council for the Humanities for programming related to the exhibit. The programs will be held 6pm Thursdays at the Arts Garage. They will focus on various Atlantic City sports topics, with local sports figures serving as guest speakers.
“Atlantic City is an American sports story,” Atlantic City Historical Museum Coordinator Beth Ryan said. “From Boardwalk Hall to the beaches, from the basketball courts to the baseball diamonds, we have many stories to tell. The Smithsonian exhibit will allow us the opportunity to bring these Atlantic City stories to light with special programming that visitors and residents of all ages can enjoy.”
Hometown Teams has been made possible in Atlantic City by the New Jersey Council for the Humanities. Hometown Teams is part of Museum on Main Street, a collaboration between the Smithsonian Institute and State Humanities Councils nationwide. Support for Museum on Main Street has been provided by the United States Congress. Please call (609) 345-2269, ext. 3064, for more information about Hometown Teams.