September 3, 2016 – October 16, 2016PrintWater/Ways is a traveling exhibit from Museum on Main Street, a partnership between the Smithsonian Institution and State Humanities Councils nationwide that serves the small-town museums and citizens of rural America.

Water is a critical resource. An essential component of life on our planet, water powers the environment’s engine, impacting climate and helping to shape and sculpt the landscape.

Water’s impact on humans is not just biological and environmental; it serves as a source of peace and contemplation. We cherish our connections to nature, particularly the sights, the sounds, and the sense of place we feel at the water’s edge.

Many faiths revere water as a sacred symbol. Authors and artists are inspired by the duality of water – a substance that is seemingly soft and graceful that is yet a powerful and nearly unstoppable force. Water also plays a practical role in American society. The availability of water affected settlement and migration patterns. Access to water and control of water resources have long been a central part of political and economic planning. Human creativity and resourcefulness provide new ways of protecting water resources and renewing respect for the natural environment.

Water Matters, a water initiative from the Smithsonian, will debut in May 2016. The initiative will include two exhibitions: Water/Ways and H2O Today. Water/Ways will be designed for small and rural museums and will focus on the relationships between people and water. H2O Today will reach museums in larger cities and will explore global water issues and water science.