BELLE GLADE — 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 Dolly Hand Cultural Arts Center at Palm Beach State College in Belle Glade, in partnership with the School District of Palm Beach County and in cooperation with Florida Humanities, 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 Jan. 10 through Feb. 26.
The Dolly Hand Cultural Arts Center in partnership with the School District of Palm Beach County was chosen by Florida Humanities to host Water/Ways as part of the Museum on Main Street program — a Smithsonian outreach initiative to bring exhibitions and programs to rural communities.
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.
“We are excited that students and community members will have the opportunity to explore the Water/Ways exhibit and discover water from new perspectives,” said Lisa Toy, sustainability coordinator for the School District of Palm Beach County.
In addition to the exhibit, the theater and the school district will host free events on the topic of water, including film screenings, Brown Bag Talks for the public, and school class field trips. “We want to convene conversations about water and have developed local exhibitions and public programs to compliment the Smithsonian exhibition,” said Mark Alexander, executive director of Palm Beach State College theatres.
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. Congress and Florida Humanities.
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.