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VHPS to Host Smithsonian Exhibition

The Vienna Historic Preservation Society in cooperation with the Georgia Humanities Council, will host the local showing of Key Ingredients: America by Food, a Smithsonian Institution traveling exhibition that delves into the historical, regional and social traditions that merge in everyday meals and celebrations of the American table. The exhibition will be on view at the Southwest Georgia Business Development Center in Vienna beginning June 28, 2008 and continuing through August 10, 2008. 

Key Ingredients is part of Museum on Main Street (MOMS), a collaboration between the Smithsonian Institution and the Federation of State Humanities Councils. Support for Museum on Main Street has been provided by the United States Congress, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, and The Hearst Foundation. MOMS is a national/state partnership to bring exhibitions and programs to rural cultural organizations.  Vienna was not only selected as one of twelve rural communities in the state of Georgia to host the traveling exhibition, but has the distinct honor of being the first community to introduce the exhibition to the state. “We are very pleased to be able to bring Key Ingredients to our area. We hope that it will inspire many to become even more involved in the cultural life of our community,” said Janet Joiner, Community Development Director for the City of Vienna.

Curated by Charles Camp, Key Ingredients: America by Foodexplores the connections between Americans and their food traditions with a provocative, thoughtful, and interactive collection of artifacts, photographs and illustrations. The food on the American table may not define exactly what we are as a nation, but the traditions surrounding our foods speak volumes about who we are.  Most of us eat day in day out without giving a second thought to the wealth of history and culture that shapes our dining habits and taste preferences. Our recipes, menus, ceremonies, and etiquette are directly shaped by our rich and diverse history and innovations of food preparation technology.  An interactive website, www.keyingredients.org, has been developed in conjunction with the exhibition. The site invites people across the country to share their family recipes and food stories, learn about other food traditions and identify favorite small town eateries.

Founded in 1983, the Vienna Historic Preservation Society is a non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation of Dooly County’s historic and cultural resources. “This year marks our 25th Anniversary and the Smithsonian Exhibit is the highlight of the year,” said Diane Couch, VHPS President. “A broad array of programs to accompany the exhibition have been planned.  Many local exhibits will supplement the Key Ingredients exhibit and add local flavor by examining the food traditions and festivals of our community and how these things have helped define who we are,” Couch said.

The Southwest Georgia Business Development Center is located at 1150 Industrial Drive, Vienna. The exhibit is free to the public.  Please call Janet Joiner at 229-268-4920 or Diane Couch at 229-268-4458 for exhibit hours or to arrange for large group tours.


Supplemental Programs & Events: (call 229-268-4920 for details)

April 24, 2008An Evening of Shopping and Dining in Downtown Vienna
Enjoy local Southern cuisine progressive style will shopping in Vienna’s unique shops downtown.  Tickets are $10.00 each and may be purchased from the Vienna Community Development Office at 229-268-4920. 

April 25, 2008 – Professional Women’s Luncheon, sponsored by Dooly County Chamber of Commerce, Chef Audrey George, guest speaker.  George owns and operates Chef Audrey’s Bistro & Bakery, a European Style restaurant, in Warner Robins, Georgia.  She has been the subject of many articles and most recently was featured in the February 2008 issue of Southern Living.  Tickets for the event may be purchased from the Dooly County Chamber of Commerce.

May 31, 2008Southern Food with Dooly Flair, the Exhibit Kick-off Dinner
Featuring exquisite local southern food served with a twist at a new County Estate.  Tickets are $25.00 each and may be purchased by calling 229-268-4920

June 7, 2008 – Market on the Square, an arts & crafts festival in Downtown Vienna featuring a Southern delicacy – boiled peanuts and entertainment. (call 229-268-4920 for more information)

June 27, 2008 – Exhibition Grand Opening & Gala Reception (call 229-268-4920 for more information)

Other Planned Activities:
VHPS Community Awards & Recognition Program for Historic & Heritage Preservation
Recipe Contest featuring desserts using peanuts or pecans
Essay Contest

If you would like to mail a check you can send it to the following address:
Historic Vienna Preservation Society
Post Office Box 309
Vienna, Ga 31092

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