Maryland Humanities Announces Six Host Sites for Statewide Smithsonian Exhibition Tour: Water/Ways

June 12, 2018

(Baltimore, MD) – Maryland Humanities has chosen six sites to host Water/Ways, a traveling Smithsonian Institution exhibition, which will tour throughout Maryland from May 2019 to March 2020. The Water/Ways exhibition dives into water —an essential component of life on our planet, environmentally, culturally, and historically. Water/Ways explores water’s effect on the 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. The Maryland tour will also showcase the state’s unique water stories and history in locally generated work.

A committee, consisting of previous Museum on Main Street tour coordinators and members of the Maryland Humanities staff and Board of Directors, has selected the following host sites: The Historical Society of Baltimore County in Cockeysville, Calvert Library in Prince Frederick, Cambridge Main Street, Crisfield Heritage Foundation, The Oxford Museum, and Washington County Historical Society in Hagerstown.  The Water/Ways tour marks the first time a Museum on Main Street exhibition will visit Baltimore County and Talbot County.

Water/Ways is the sixth Museum on Main Street (MoMS) project brought to small communities throughout the state by Maryland Humanities. Each site will host the exhibition for five weeks and develop a complementary exhibit highlighting their community’s local water stories and histories.  Local exhibits and related programming will highlight the unique relationships to water in each host site’s community.  The exhibition will also serve as a community meeting place to convene conversations about water’s impact on American culture.

“With our site selections, we’ll explore the multifaceted relationship Marylanders have with water,” said Phoebe Stein, executive director of Maryland Humanities. “We’re eager to learn about the history of each of these communities and water’s impact on the lives of the people in them.

Learn about the host sites, their partners, and the tour schedule here.

Here’s what the host sites are saying:

The Historical Society of Baltimore County’s Executive Director, Kathleen Barry, said: “We are thrilled to have this chance to serve our community with a high-quality exhibition on a topic that touches everyone, while also building our own capacity and that of our partner organizations. Baltimore County is largely defined historically and geographically by its waterways, which play host to many environmental initiatives. We are sure the county’s residents will respond enthusiastically to the exhibition and the exciting related programming our partners plan to offer.”

“It is an honor to have been chosen to host Water/Ways at the Miller House! The history and culture of Washington County have been shaped by its relationship with water, and we can’t wait to be able to highlight the huge impact water has upon our community,” said Anna Cueto, Curator at Washington County Historical Society. “We are very excited to work with our partners in the community to bring a wonderful museum experience to Western Maryland.”

Robyn Truslow, Public Relations Coordinator at Calvert Library, said: “As a peninsula on a peninsula, we knew we had to host the exhibit in Calvert County somehow!  We are pleased to take the lead here but recognize that we will have many, many partners that will make this an experience with significant impact for our community. Whether we are wading into environmental issues through Senator Fowler’s sneaker-index measurement of pollution in the Patuxent River, talking about equity in access, or diving into our water-related history, this exhibit will inspire conversations, community-building, and lifelong learning.”

“The staff, board, and volunteers of Crisfield Heritage Foundation are excited to be a Water/Ways site,” said Claire Otterbein, Executive Director. “Not only will the community have access to a Smithsonian exhibit, but Water/Ways also presents the opportunity to deeply explore the many ways that water impacts life in our region in new and creative ways.”

Kathleen Clendaniel, Executive Director at Downtown Cambridge, said: “We and our partners are honored to have been selected to host this exhibit. We look forward to this opportunity as a way to deepen and strengthen our connection to the water that surrounds us. It also gives us an opportunity to better connect our partnerships with other community groups and local residents, as well as engage visitors. As someone who has been working at the intersection of heritage and our environment for years, I couldn’t be more excited to dive into the Water/Ways interpretive content and to then share this passion with others.”

Learn more about Water/Ways here

About Museum on Main Street
Museum on Main Street (MoMS) is a Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service program that teams up with state humanities councils to bring high-quality traveling exhibits to small communities through their own museums, historical societies, and other cultural venues.  Residents enthusiastically engage with exhibition content, as diverse community members come together to share and celebrate their heritage. Learn more about Museum on Main Street here.

Press Release