As part of our next thematic initiative exploring Hoosiers’ relationships with their environments, Indiana Humanities will sponsor a tour of the Smithsonian’s Water/Ways exhibit.

Indiana communities will host the exhibit for six weeks each and will receive extensive training, funding and other resources from the expert staffs of the Smithsonian and Indiana Humanities. Each of the hosts will also curate a unique section of the exhibit that explores their community’s relationship to water.

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. 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 11 sites in Indiana over two years. The Indiana exhibition is sponsored in part by Indiana American Water.

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.

Program Details

About the Exhibition

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.

2021-2022 Tour Dates

As part of the Indiana tour, Water/Ways will visit the following communities during 2021 – 2022.

North Webster Public Library (North Webster): June 26, 2021–August 7, 2021

La Porte County Soil and Water Conservation District / La Porte County Public Library (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 and 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

Cedar Lake Historical Association (Cedar Lake): April 15, 2022 – May 22, 2022

Carnegie Public Library of Steuben County (Angola): May 28, 2022 – July 17, 2022

Culver Union Township Public Library (Culver): July 23, 2022 – September 4, 2022

Switzerland County Tourism (Vevay): September 10, 2022 – October 23, 2022

Benton County Soil & Water Conservation District / Otterbein Public Library (Benton Co.): October 29, 2022 – December 11, 2022

Eligibility and Requirements

The six sites selected to host the exhibit receive:

  • Free rental of the Smithsonian’s Water/Ways exhibit
  • An exhibit support manual, a program guide and curriculum materials
  • Assistance in exhibit and program planning from Smithsonian and Indiana Humanities team members, as well as consultants
  • Publicity materials such as posters, brochures, a media kit, etc.
  • Funding from Indiana Humanities to develop the local companion exhibit, for events and to spread the word
  • One talk by an expert from a speakers bureau curated by Indiana Humanities
  • Statewide publicity and promotion

The six sites selected to host the exhibit agree to:

  • Assign a project director for the exhibit who will attend two statewide planning meetings and coordinate the project from beginning to end
  • Implement publicity in the local community and region in coordination with Indiana Humanities
  • Produce a local companion exhibit and host at least three public humanities programs related to the exhibit themes
  • Host a grand opening/ribbon cutting and invite public officials, media, legislators and others
  • Provide a final budget and cost share report tracking all staff and volunteer time, facility expenses and other donated resources
  • Provide a secure, dry space to store empty crates for the duration of the exhibit
  • Contribute hard work and cover additional out-of-pocket expenses as needed

Program Highlights


Six Indiana Communities Selected to Host National Smithsonian Exhibit about Water

Indiana Humanities will provide additional funds and resources to help residents explore their community’s relationship to water.

Learn more

Funders and Partners


Contact Lyndsey Blair, Program Associate
lblair@indianahumanities.org | 317.975.0060

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