Traveling Smithsonian exhibit stops in Wisner
WISNER -- A new exhibit in northeast Nebraska shows off what makes rural life so great.
Anne Ausdemore was born on a farm in Iowa, then chose to raise her own family in another small town: Wisner.
"Knowing everybody that we see, that we sit with at church, that we go to school with, is a wonderful way of life," Ausdemore, a community volunteer, said.
The other stops include(d) Kimball, Tecumseh, Falls City, Red Cloud, McCook, and Chadron. Next is Red Cloud from February 18 to March 31 at the National Willa Cather Center.
"The exhibit is called 'Crossroads: Change in Rural America'; and the crossroads themes is where we've been, where we are, and what are things to make rural life even more important," Ausdemore said.
Early in January, she and friends like Wayne Erickson unpacked 17 shipping containers weighing up to 400 pounds each to set up the exhibit in the town's senior center.
"It's actually -- the 'community' is more of a thing in rural communities," Erickson said.
"There's a really neat part that features postcards for you to answer questions [...] so it's a way for the community to give input," Ausdemore said.
One visitor, who had moved from Omaha to Wisner, said rural life gets better as you get older.
"Oh yes! [There's] not as many people -- the traffic [...] and you get to know your neighbors here, versus Omaha," said Sandra Sassman.
According to the free exhibit, 95% of the USA is rural. The six interactive displays encourage visitors to celebrate that in Wisner, where it is open daily until February 11th.