The application period for the 2024-2025 Museum on Main Street tour are now closed!
Upcoming Tour: Crossroads: Change in Rural America
Application Period Opens: March 15, 2023
Application Period Closes: May 15, 2023
Important: If your community is less than 15,000 in population, then you are eligible to apply to host the upcoming MoMS exhibit. If the population exceeds 15,000, please contact us before you fill out an application to discuss your situation and avoid disqualification. There are several reasons why we may make an exception for larger communities.
Pictured above: A horse-drawn plow and tractor till a field in Shelby County, IA, 1941. Source: National Archives.
Step 1: Contact your Texas Heritage Trail Program (THTP) regional executive director.
As part of the application review committee, your THTP executive director will be the biggest advocate for your application. Their insight into your community is weighed heavily and their familiarity with your organization and community will go a long way to provide important context during our review meetings.
Step 2: Review the application and begin thinking about potential partners, venues, etc.
We don’t require you to have figured everything out by the time you apply. However, if we’re deciding between two or more competitive applicants, we may contact you to gain more information about what MoMS would look like in your community, including details about your potential exhibit venue, committed partners, etc. It would likely help your case if you had already begun thinking about these items and started to plant seeds with community members.
Our advice: Begin having conversations about this project with folks in your community, but be clear that this is an application process and there is no guarantee that your community will be selected as a host.
Step 3: Download the fillable PDF application form.
When complete, email the PDF application and your written answers to THCheritagetourism@thc.texas.gov.
Review and Selection Process
The review committee consists of staff from various THC programs, including Heritage Tourism, Texas Main Street, Museum Services, and Texas Heritage Trails.
In late May, committee members will independently review and score each application on two qualities: enthusiasm and capacity. Because our review process strives to approach each application holistically, we believe that weighing these two qualities equally allows us to fairly judge an applicant’s baseline abilities while rewarding even small demonstrations of effort and creativity.
The committee will then convene to discuss each application, using the following questions as a guide, after which applicants will be rescored and selected.
- Do the applicant’s goals suggest a long-term vision for the organization?
- What is the organization’s capacity for self-assessment and determination to improve?
- Do previous projects suggest a fun or innovative approach to subject matter?
- Has the applicant mounted large-scale or citywide projects before?
- Are they connecting their local story to the Crossroads story in interesting or innovative ways? Do they seem uniquely suited to host Crossroads?
- How strong or weak is their level of actual (not potential) planning support?
- Based on the number of preservation or tourism entities present in the community and previous heritage projects the applicant has organized, how strong or weak is the applicant’s current heritage tourism landscape?
- Have they previously engaged with local and regional partners?
- Do the quantity and quality of potential partners, both local and regional, suggest the potential for broad geographic impact if this applicant is chosen as a host site?
Ideally, the seven final selections will represent a variety of organization types and abilities—some highly accomplished, others just starting to demonstrate their potential. We’re confident that the collaborative nature of the MoMS experience, the depth of the training provided, and the exposure to other exhibit hosts will provide enough support to any host community that exhibits a base level of enthusiasm and capacity.
Final selections will be announced mid-June. All applicants will be personally notified regardless of the result.
Important: We will begin communicating with host communities shortly after their selection is announced in mid-June 2023 in preparation for our Orientation Workshop in late August. The Orientation Workshop is a required training, so we kindly ask that if you are applying to host, you avoid booking travel during the last two weeks of August. If the project coordinator is unable to attend this workshop, then the community forfeits its participation on the tour and another community will receive its scheduled slot.
Our Process Now and in the Future
Not only is this our first time coordinating a MoMS tour, this will be the first time MoMS has had an official state coordinator to serve all of Texas. What’s more, we’re uniquely adapting this program to serve as a vehicle for heritage tourism training and consultation services, a move that sets us apart from MoMS coordinators in other states. As we pilot this program and perfect our state-specific approach, we’ll continue to learn what the ideal host community looks like in Texas.
In other words, the selection process is in an evolutionary state and may continue to change with each subsequent round of selections.
Our hope is that a combination of objective and subjective evaluation and our reliance upon the expertise of committee members will result in a fair assessment of each applicant in a field that can be as much art as it is science. Where one community may be too novice to successfully take on a project of this size, another may be so advanced as to not benefit from our consultation. There may be a distinct lack of geographic distribution among the applicants such that we have to reject a high-quality application. Or we may choose a community based on its creative potential or the deep connection its local history has to the national exhibit’s theme.
The ideal host organization is as much informed by the caliber, diversity, and geographic distribution of the applicant pool as it is by the organization’s own merit. For this reason, we encourage many different kinds of communities and organizations to consider themselves eligible to host this exhibit.