What makes a house a home? House & Home, a new exhibition opening in November at the Hays-Heighe House at Harford Community College, will explore the history and cultural meanings of the American home. Several events will be held in conjunction with the exhibit.

On November 14, the exhibition will open with a talk by Sharon Stowers, Ph.D., titled “The Taste of Home: The Foods We Eat to Celebrate Our Families and Our Cultures.” Dr. Stowers’ presentation will be given twice that day: 12:20-1:30 PM and then again at 6:30-8 PM. Dr. Stowers is Associate Professor of Anthropology and Sociology at Harford Community College. She earned a Master’s degree in Nutritional Science Education, a Master’s degree in Applied Anthropology, and a Ph.D. in Socio-Cultural Anthropology from the University of Massachusetts.

On December 2, HCC Interior Design Instructor Betty Reeves, M.A. will give a presentation on the history of holiday decorating from 12:30-1:30 PM. The audience will be invited to create a home-made “green” holiday ornament during the presentation, which is titled “‘I’m Dreaming of a Green . . . :’ The History of Holiday Decorating and Green Decorations for Today.” Ms. Reeves holds a Master of Art degree from the University of Baltimore and a Bachelor of Fine Art degree from the Maryland Institute College of Art. Before becoming a full-time faculty member of the Interior Design department, Betty Reeves was a professional interior designer.

One focus of the exhibition at the Hays-Heighe House will be on the ways that holiday celebrations and family recipes help to shape our concepts of “home.” The Hays-Heighe House will collect and display family recipes as part of the exhibition. Recipes can be mailed to; put Recipe in the subject line and either insert the recipe into the email or attach it to the email as a Word or PDF document.

On December 5, 2013 from 1-5 PM, there will be a Holiday Open House at the Hays-Heighe House. Visitors may view the House & Home exhibit while enjoying holiday music.

All events are free and open to the general public. Space is limited; reservations are recommended. Call 443-412-2539 or email

The exhibit can also be viewed during regular hours at the Hays-Heighe House, which are Tuesdays 1-3 PM, Fridays 10 AM-12 PM, and on December 7 and January 4 10 AM – 12 PM.

Drawn from the flagship installation at The National Building Museum, House & Home explores how our ideal of the perfect house and our experience of what it means to “be at home” have changed over time. Visitors will learn about issues of housing inequality, land distribution, and the role of the government, from the Colonial period though the Homestead Act and the creation of the Federal Housing Administration in the 1930s.

Featured films, construction materials, domestic artifacts, and photographs immerse viewers in how transformations in technology, government policy, and consumer culture have impacted American domestic life. Related sections of House & Home look outward, exploring the relationship of the individual house to the larger society by presenting examples of contemporary community development through film.

House & Home was organized by The National Building Museum in Washington, D.C. and curated by Sarah Leavitt, Curator, The National Building Museum. House & Home has been made possible through NEH on the Road, a special initiative of the National Endowment for the Humanities. It has been adapted and is being toured by Mid-America Arts Alliance. Founded in 1972, Mid-America Arts Alliance is the oldest regional nonprofit arts organization in the United States. For more information about the traveling exhibition and other NEH on the Road exhibitions, visit or

For more information about the events at the Hays-Heighe House at Harford Community College, contact Iris Barnes, Hays-Heighe House Coordinator at 443-412-2495 or

Harford Community College is located at 401 Thomas Run Rd., Bel Air, MD, 21015.