Indiana Humanities is sponsoring a tour of the Smithsonian’s Water/Ways exhibition as part of Indiana Humanities new thematic initiative titled “Unearthed,” which explores the environmental humanities. Unearthed is a three-year thematic initiative developed by Indiana Humanities that encourages Hoosiers to discover and discuss their relationships with the natural world. Through engaging speakers, a statewide reading program, a tour of the Smithsonian’s Water/Ways exhibition, a film series, podcast, and more, Hoosiers will explore how we shape the environment, and how the environment shapes us.
The Smithsonian’s Water/Ways exhibition dives into water–an essential component of life on our planet, environmentally, culturally, and historically. In societies across the globe, water serves as a source of peace and contemplation. Many faiths revere water as a sacred symbol. Authors and artists are inspired by the complex character 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.
Six Indiana communities will host the exhibit for six weeks each and will also curate a unique companion exhibit to explore their community’s relationship to water. With the exhibit each site gets exhibit planning and program assistance, along with publicity materials, funding from IH to develop their exhibit, and one talk by an expert from the accompanying speakers bureau.
Host sites include:
- North Webster Public Library (North Webster): June 26, 2021 – August 8, 2021;
- La Porte County Soil and Water Conversation District (Rolling Prairie): August 14, 2021 – September 26, 2021;
- University of Southern Indiana/Historic New Harmony (New Harmony): October 2, 2021 – November 14, 2021;
- Riverscape/Wabash River Development Beautification, Inc. (West Terre Haute): November 20, 2021 – December 30, 2021;
- Jefferson County Public Library (Madison): January 8, 2022 – February 20, 2022;
- Cope Environmental Center (Centerville): February 26, 2022 – April 10, 2022.
Water/Ways is part of Museum on Main Street, a collaboration between the Smithsonian Institution and state humanities councils nationwide. The Museum on Main Street program works with rural communities to design and host high-quality exhibits and create dynamic public programs across the United States. Support for Museum on Main Street has been provided by the United States Congress. Indiana Humanities is proud to bring this award-winning program to six sites in Indiana over the next two years.
Water/Ways was adapted from an exhibition organized by the American Museum of Natural History, New York, and the Science Museum of Minnesota, St. Paul, 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.
- Explore, discover and share the ecological and cultural contexts of local water systems
- Encourage Indiana residents to learn more about local environmental history, including their personal impact on water systems
- Provide opportunities for Hoosiers to think and talk about water’s role in their community and the attitudes and policies that determine relationships with the natural world
May 6, 2021
Community Partners will meet with Discover Indiana and learn about Discover Indiana in the context of the Waterways project.
Deliverable: Partners will come up with a minimum of two story/stop ideas.
Community Partners will draft their stop ideas
Deliverable: The draft text all stops on the tour(s)
Discover Indiana will recommended revisions (in consultation with Community Partners) to produce a final version of the stops. This will include image selection, captioning, and copyright clearance activities.
Deliverable: Final version of all stops on the tour(s) including images
Discover Indiana in concert with Indiana Humanities will write tour introductions and publish the Waterways tours on the Discover Indiana platform.
Deliverable: Uploaded tours to Discover Indiana; any necessary permissions paperwork filed with Discover Indiana.
Discover Indiana-Indiana Humanities Water/Ways Partnership Meeting
May 6, 2021: Meeting Agenda
Meeting Video Recording (view in Kaltura)
Water/Ways has been made possible in Indiana by Indiana Humanities. Water/Ways is part of Museum on Main Street, a collaboration between the Smithsonian Institution and State Humanities Councils nationwide. Support for Museum on Main Street has been provided by the United States Congress. Water/Ways was adapted from 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.