A group of McDuffie Museum supporters recently participated in a workshop to prepare for an exhibit scheduled to visit Thomson in 2009.
The traveling exhibit, Key Ingredients, is sponsored by the Smithsonian Institute and the Georgia Humanities Council. The exhibit's first conference workshop was held in Macon in August. The purpose of the conference was to introduce the representatives from all 12 host sites and provide detailed information on the 1,005 square foot exhibit as well as an overview of the project including informative web-sites, speakers, and reading essentials.
Museum Board Member Judy Shapiro and Acting Museum Coordinator Mary Anne Coussons attended the two-day event.
"Key Ingredients is a very exciting opportunity for Georgia," said Arden Williams, Georgia Humanities Council Program Officer. "We believe that the twelve host community organizations that were selected are some of the best in the state. The Georgia Humanities Council as well as the Smithsonian is proud to be working with the communities to make the traveling exhibit a success in our state."
The conference opened up with dinner at the Fresh Air Barbeque Restaurant. Craig Pasco of Georgia College and State University and guest curator for the upcoming BBQ National exhibit at the Atlanta History Center provided a history of barbeque in Georgia and the South. Other special guest speakers included renowned chef, Virginia Willis, cook, teacher, author and culinary television producer, who, among other things, was the Kitchen Director for Martha Stewart Living Television. Chef Audrey George, another speaker and presenter, was chosen as one of The Chefs of the South. Concerned with the lack of manners taught to our children of today, Chef George teaches a weekly "Manners Class" to local students instructing them on table manners, appropriate ways of setting the table, food knowledge and much more.
"The two-day conference was actually too much to absorb in such a short period of time," stated Ms. Shapiro. "We went over our time allotment on every session."
Brian Crockett, State Council Liaison, Museum on Main Street, was impressed with the Thomson presentation on our history and town by Ms. Shapiro and Ms. Coussons.
"Folks from Thomson should be proud of the work by the McDuffie Museum members and should look forward to adding their own stories and recipes to the local gumbo," he said. "Key Ingredients is all about celebrating what's unique in local cuisine. America's food traditions are more diverse than what you might observe from chain restaurants off the Interstate. It's Thomson's unique culinary heritage that's of most interest."
The Key Ingredients: America by Food is scheduled to arrive in Thomson on Jan. 10, 2009.