From above, Earth appears as a water planet with more than 71 percent of its surface covered with this vital resource for life. Water impacts climate, agriculture, transportation, industry and more. It inspires art and music. The Pascagoula River Audubon Center, in cooperation with Mississippi Humanities Council, will examine water as an environmental necessity and an important cultural element as it hosts “Water/Ways,” a traveling exhibition from the Smithsonian’s Museum on Main Street (MoMS) program. “Water/Ways” will be on view Saturday June 2nd through Saturday July 7th, 2018.
The Pascagoula River Audubon Center and the surrounding community has been expressly chosen by the Mississippi Humanities Council to host “Water/Ways” as part of the Museum on Main Street program—a national/state/local partnership to bring exhibitions and programs to rural cultural organizations. The exhibition will tour 6 communities in Mississippi from June 2nd through March 8th, 2019; an itinerary is included below.
“Water/Ways” explores the endless motion of the water cycle, water’s effect on landscape, settlement and migration, and its impact on culture and spirituality. It looks at how political and economic planning have long been affected by access to water and control of water resources. Human creativity and resourcefulness provide new ways of protecting water resources and renewing respect for the natural environment.
Designed for small-town museums, libraries and cultural organizations, “Water/Ways” will serve as a community meeting place to convene conversations about water’s impact on American culture. With the support and guidance of state humanities councils, these towns will develop complementary exhibits, host public programs and facilitate educational initiatives to raise people’s understanding about what water means culturally, socially and spiritually in their own community.
“We all live in a watershed and everything we do impacts our water. Water connects us and shapes us, from our landscapes to our lifestyles,” said Erin Parker, Pascagoula River Audubon Center’s Programs Manager. In addition to hosting “Water/Ways” the Audubon Center has developed local exhibit and public programs to compliment the Smithsonian exhibition. Such events include the free exhibit opening on Saturday, June 2nd that includes “A River in Stitches” Quilt Exhibit opening reception from 1-3pm and musical skit from local third graders as they perform “The Singing River Gets The Blues” at 10am. Each Saturday the Audubon Center will host a public program at 1pm that ties in with “Water/Ways” and includes a “Water/Ways Talk” with Dr. Jim Guisen, Mobile Baykeeper Talk, Writing on the River with Mary Ann O’Gorman, and a Rain Barrel Workshop with Center Director Mark LaSalle.
“We are super excited and proud to be the first host site for this traveling exhibit from the Smithsonian! Water/Ways is all about water and how it shapes our landscapes, how it plays a role in religions, how we value it aesthetically, how lack of water is just as critical as too much water — any way that water is connected to people is probably explored in this exhibit.
This exhibit is really incredible for people to see that this is here in Moss Point. It is very interactive and engaging! Water is much more important than people realize. This will help them understand the importance of water.
We are proud of this partnership with Mississippi Humanities Council. It is a perfect fit. We are already exploring more ways to work together. The Pascagoula River is a very unique body of water in Mississippi and the country,” said Parker.
“Water/Ways” is part of the Smithsonian’s Think Water Initiative to raise awareness of water as a critical resource for life through exhibitions, educational resources and public programs. The public can participate in the conversation on social media at #thinkWater.
“Water/Ways” was inspired by an exhibition organized by the American Museum of Natural History, New York (www.amnh.org), and the Science Museum of Minnesota, St. Paul (www.smm.org), in collaboration with Great Lakes Science Center, Cleveland; The Field Museum, Chicago; Instituto Sangari, Sao Paulo, Brazil; National Museum of Australia, Canberra; Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto, Canada; San Diego Natural History Museum; and Science Centre Singapore with PUB Singapore.
The exhibition is part of Museum on Main Street, a unique collaboration between the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES), state humanities councils across the nation, and local host institutions. To learn more about “Water/Ways” and other Museum on Main Street exhibitions, visit www.museumonmainstreet.org.
Support for MoMS has been provided by the U.S. representative for Mississippi’s 4th congressional district, Steven Palazzo, and the U.S. Congress.
SITES has been sharing the wealth of Smithsonian collections and research programs with millions of people outside Washington, D.C., for 65 years. SITES connects Americans to their shared cultural heritage through a wide range of exhibitions about art, science and history, which are shown wherever people live, work and play. For exhibition description and tour schedules, visit www.sites.si.edu.
See this exhibit from the Smithsonian. Water is much more important that most people realize
WATER/WAYS Mississippi Itinerary
May 31 – July 7
Moss Point, Pascagoula River Audubon Center
5107 Arthur St, Moss Point, MS 39563
July 14 – August 25
Meridian, Mississippi Industrial Heritage Museum
1808 4th St, Meridian, MS 39301
August 31 – October 13
Clarksdale, Lower Mississippi River Foundation
291 Sunflower Ave, Clarksdale, MS 38614
October 20 – November 30
Ocean Springs, Ocean Springs Municipal Library
525 Dewey Ave, Ocean Springs, MS 39564
December 7, 2018 – January 19, 2019
Jackson, Mississippi Agriculture & Forestry Museum
1150 Lakeland Dr, Jackson, MS 39216
January 25, 2019 – March 8, 2019
Columbus, Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway Transportation Museum
318 7th St. N., Columbus, MS 39703