Many Faces, One Community

Many Faces One Community Exhibit

Phase I (pictured above)

The Immigrant Experience

Many Faces, One Community is Midway Village Museum’s largest exhibition undertaking to date. The project involves the proposed addition of a major new gallery that will depict the history of immigration to Rockford and how our community developed through the perseverance of immigrants from many countries and cultures.

With the goal to raise $2.5 million dollars, our community commitment and challenge will ensure future generations the opportunity to understand the importance of the immigrant experience to Rockford and how it impacts life today. Become a part of the commitment to continue preserving and sharing the story of Rockford’s historical past. The capital campaign for Many Faces, One Community includes a Phase I and Phase II program. Fundraising for Phase I is nearing completion which includes the design, specifications for the building and exhibit, building construction and part of the exhibit. Phase II is completing the construction of the exhibit.

Visitors to Many Faces, One Community become engaged by the stories of our ancestors who traveled to America seeking a better life. The proposed exhibition gallery, nearly 6,000 square feet, will transport visitors back in time, as if they were new immigrants to Rockford. Visitors will learn why immigrants made Rockford their home and how they contributed to the future. Gallery elements including hands-on activities and sounds of the past are proposed in the new exhibit along with:

• A train depot with a platform
• Travel trunks and suitcases symbolizing a journey to a new life
• Architectural build outs of street scenes
• Immigrant worker’s home complete with furnishings
• Assimilation and personal items such as books, newspapers, toys
• A furniture factory featuring 19th century working conditions and technology
• Store fronts replicating immigrant communities
• Artifacts from the museum’s collection rarely displayed

Ambiance in the exhibit, created through the use of lighting and graphic effects, allow for learning opportunities to enhance the visitors’ experiences complete with interactive displays.

Many Faces, One Community Benefits for the Individual

• Better understand Rockford as a community and its many people
• Recognizes the many people from different countries who came here
• Gives access to museum collections, some never before seen by the public

Many Faces, One Community Benefits for the Community

• Construction of the exhibit brings economic opportunities to the community
• Expanded tourism opportunities and income to the community
• Examine the trends in diversity to better understand the different cultures in our community
• Future generations will appreciate the sacrifices made to advance the community
• Provides a retrospective look at change in Rockford’s industry and social life
• School children will learn about their past and how it relates to today through experiential learning meeting Illinois state curriculum standards

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How to Get Here

Take I-90 to the State St / US-20 Business (Clock Tower) Exit. Take the ramp toward Rockford. Stay straight to go onto US-20 E State St. Turn RIGHT onto STATE ST. Turn RIGHT onto PERRYVILLE RD. Turn LEFT onto GUILFORD RD. Turn left into the museum driveway.

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Contact Us

Midway Village Museum
6799 Guilford Road
Rockford IL 61107

P 815-397-9112
F 815-397-9156