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Oklahoma Communities Selected to Host Dynamic Smithsonian Traveling Exhibition

Oklahoma Communities Selected to Host Dynamic Smithsonian Traveling Exhibition

Oklahoma City, OK – Five Oklahoma communities, in cooperation with Oklahoma Humanities, will explore aspects of our state’s water as they host the local showing of Water/Ways, a Smithsonian Institution traveling exhibition beginning in July 2019.

Norman Public Library East, Ada Public Library, Locust Grove Arts Alliance, Heavener Runestone Park, and Museum of the Western Prairie in Altus have been expressly chosen by Oklahoma Humanities to host the exhibit as part of the Museum on Main Street project—a national, state, and local partnership to bring exhibitions and programs to rural cultural organizations. The exhibition will tour these five communities in Oklahoma from July 2019 through April 2020.

Water is an important element in American culture. We are drawn to water for peace and contemplation. The sights and sounds of water make us feel connected to nature. Many faiths revere water as a sacred symbol. Authors and artists are inspired by the graceful ways in which water flows, but also by its unstoppable force.

Water has also played a vital role in our society. Water routes made significant impacts on our settlement and migration patterns. We use it for manufacturing and agriculture and economic planning. Water/Ways examines the many ways in which we use water and how we can sustain it for the future. Complementary programs in each community will highlight local connections to water.

“Allowing all of our state’s residents to have access to the cultural resources of our nation’s premiere museum is a priority of Oklahoma Humanities,” said Ann Thompson, Executive Director. “With this special tour, we are pleased to be working with these communities to help develop local exhibitions and public programs to complement the Smithsonian exhibition.”

Oklahoma Humanities has contracted with Dr. Mark Davies, Wimberly Professor of Social and Ecological Ethics at Oklahoma City University, to serve as an advisor to each of the host sites as they develop and implement public programming that shares the local narrative of water.

Water/Ways 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 and was adapted from an exhibition organized by the American Museum of Natural History, New York. To learn more about Water/Ways and other Museum on Main Street exhibitions, visit http://www.museumonmainstreet.org.

Support for Museum on Main Street has been provided by the United States Congress. Local support provided by Beaver Express, the Chickasaw Nation, and Ozarka Water.