ALA/American Anthropological Association invite public libraries to host traveling exhibition “World on the Move: 250,000 Years of Human Migration”

For Immediate Release
Mon, 10/10/2022


Hannah Arata

Communications Specialist

Public Programs Office

American Library Association

CHICAGO – The American Library Association (ALA) invites applications from public libraries in the United States and territories interested in hosting the traveling exhibition World on the Move: 250,000 Years of Human Migration, developed by the American Anthropological Association and the Smithsonian’s Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage.

ALA will accept applications from October 10, 2022, to November 14, 2022. Learn more and apply online.

Fifteen public libraries will be selected to host the 1000 square foot exhibit for approximately five weeks. Selected sites will also receive a $500 stipend to conduct public programs, events or activities related to the human migration themes explored in the exhibition.

As libraries plan their applications, they will want to reach out to potential community partners, including nearby colleges, museums, faith-based institutions and cultural centers, to discuss possible programs and events to accompany the exhibition. Examples include speaker programs, performing arts events, film screenings, town halls or other activities.

World on the Move brings the lens of science, history, and lived experience to a timely yet timeless topic: migration and displacement. By presenting case studies from across human history and a breadth of cultures, World on the Move will help visitors reframe how they think – and talk – about migration by:

  • Recognizing that migration is a shared human experience.
  • Appreciating the complexity and diversity of migration stories.
  • Feeling safe to discuss issues surrounding migration.
  • Sharing migration stories with family members, neighbors, and friends.
  • Feeling proud of their family’s migration stories.
  • Gaining greater empathy towards migrants in their communities and elsewhere.

The World on the Move: 250,000 Years of Human Migration tour will be overseen by the ALA Public Programs Office. To stay informed about other ALA traveling exhibitions, grant opportunities, and professional development from the Public Programs Office, sign up for our newsletter.

About the American Library Association

The American Library Association (ALA) is the foremost national organization providing resources to inspire library and information professionals to transform their communities through essential programs and services. For more than 140 years, the ALA has been the trusted voice for academic, public, school, government, and special libraries, advocating for the profession and the library’s role in enhancing learning and ensuring access to information for all. For more information, visit

About the American Anthropological Association

Founded in 1902, the American Anthropological Association, with 8,000 members, is the world’s largest scholarly and professional organization of anthropologists. The Association is dedicated to advancing human understanding and applying this understanding to the world’s most pressing problems.

About the Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage

The Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage uses the power of culture to increase understanding, strengthen communities and reinforce our shared humanity through rigorous research, educational programming and community engagement. Through the Smithsonian Folklife Festival, Smithsonian Folkways Recordings, exhibitions, documentary films and videos, symposia, publications and educational materials, the center works to sustain traditional and expressive culture such as music, language and craft in a wide variety of locations around the world.

About the Smithsonian Folklife Festival

The Smithsonian Folklife Festival, inaugurated in 1967, honors contemporary living cultural traditions and celebrates those who practice and sustain them. Produced annually by the Smithsonian’s Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage in partnership with the National Park Service, the festival has featured participants from all 50 states and more than 100 countries. Follow the festival on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.