Roots and Routes

By | January 21, 2023

Post By: The Missouri Humanities

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

 Missouri Humanities is paving a new path in 2023 with our next Signature Series!        
Join us in 2023 as we consider the movement of people, both voluntary and involuntary, and its influence on the cultural heritage, natural environment, and modern make up of Missouri. Through both in-person public programming and digital content, Missouri Humanities aims to explore what has influenced the movement of people into, out of, and within our state, and take a glance at how both chosen and forced migrations and changes in transportation throughout our state’s history have shaped Missouri and continue to weave a tapestry of diverse cultures that ultimately define and redefine this place.   Why “Roots & Routes: The Movement and Settlement of Missourians?” As our nation approaches our semiquincentennial in 2026, the National Endowment for the Humanities has been emphasizing the theme #OutofMany, calling upon the United States’ motto e pluribus unum, or “out of many, one.” While this motto has taken many meanings in our country’s almost 250 years, we can certainly claim one of those meanings as the unity of many different peoples, of different backgrounds, and from different places.   Like other states in our nation, Missouri’s culture, history, and demographics have been influenced both by people descended from different places across the world as well by indigenous peoples with ancestral ties to this land. Our state has also been undeniably transformed by how various peoples made these movements and by advances in transportation, whether they be on the river, the railroads, or the highways.    In this year-long series, we will dynamically examine these intricate layers of history and their impact on the past and present Missouri, which presents both a unique opportunity and a challenge to incorporate many stories from different perspectives as we explore this complex theme.   We invite you to learn more by clicking the button to visit our “Roots & Routes” webpage.   Learn More  
Executive Director, Ashley Beard-Fosnow, reflects on “Roots & Routes:”   I’m always curious to ask new acquaintances, “Where did your story begin?” or “What journeys of the past inspire your own?” The theme for this year’s signature series, “Roots & Routes,” will offer Missourians a platform to discuss our family lineages and highlight genealogical initiatives while also showcasing the trails and expeditions that have so profoundly shaped our state’s heritage. Dr. Jon Taylor, Professor of History at the University of Central Missouri, recently told me that the best onramps for engaging new audiences around history are often their own family or local histories. This rings true for me and I am eager to incorporate these conversations about the movements and settlements of Missourians into our comprehensive strategy to make the humanities a larger part of public life across the state.    

We look forward to embarking on this journey with you all next year. Keep an eye out for programming announcements, and be sure to subscribe to Missouri Humanities on YouTube and wherever you get your podcasts! #morootsnroutes
Missouri Humanities | 105 N Main Street, Ste 108, Saint Charles, MO 63301

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