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Smithsonian’s Water/Ways Exhibit Makes Stops in Louisiana, Mississippi

Water/Ways, a traveling exhibit of The Smithsonian Institution’s Museum on Main Street program, is in the midst of a southern tour, with stops in both Louisiana and Mississippi. The exhibition looks closely at water, which, in the words of Water/Ways, “powers the environment’s engine, impacts climate and helps shape and sculpt the landscape.”

The exhibit goes beyond basic ecology and hydrology to also focus on the way water has shaped industry and culture in the United States.

“We cherish our connections to nature, particularly the sights, the sounds and the sense of place we feel at the water’s edge,” the exhibit states. “Many faiths revere water as a sacred symbol. Authors and artists are inspired by the duality of water—a substance so seemingly soft and graceful that is also such a powerful and nearly unstoppable force.”

Water also determined settlement patterns in the United States, with populations historically drawn to rivers and the coasts. That’s certainly true of the sites where the Water/Ways exhibit is stopping in both Mississippi and Louisiana. One copy of the exhibit is currently at the Ocean Springs Municipal Library on the Mississippi Gulf Coast in Ocean Springs. The exhibit will be there through November 30. Then, from December 7 through January 19, the Mississippi Agriculture and Forestry Museum in Jackson, Miss., which lies on the Pearl River and about 50 miles east of the Mississippi River at Vicksburg, Miss., will host Water/Ways.

Water/Ways just wrapped up a stop at the Schepis Museum in Columbia, La., on the Ouachita River. That copy of the exhibit will now move to Polluck, La., southwest of the Red River, where it will remain at the Grant Walker 4-H Educational Center through December 29.

Each stop of the Water/Ways exhibit features static and interactive displays, along with guest speakers, including representatives from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

For more information, search “Water/Ways” online at museumonmainstreet.org.

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