MHC Announces Host Sites for Smithsonian Traveling Exhibition

Through a partnership with the Smithsonian Institution’s Museum on Main Street (MoMS) division, the Mississippi Humanities Council is bringing “Water/Ways,” a portable multi-kiosk exhibit, to Mississippi in 2018. “Water/Ways” will visit six communities from May 2018 through March 2019, including Clarksdale, Columbus, Jackson, Meridian, Moss Point, and Ocean Springs.

The Lower Mississippi River Foundation (Clarksdale), the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway Transportation Museum (Columbus), the Mississippi Agriculture & Forestry Museum (Jackson), the Mississippi Industrial Heritage Museum (Meridian), the Pascagoula River Audubon Center (Moss Point), and the Ocean Springs Municipal Library (Ocean Springs) will each host the traveling exhibit for six weeks. In addition to the exhibit, each site will develop a local complementary exhibit and weekly programming in conjunction with “Water/Ways.”

“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.

Designed for small-town museums, libraries and cultural organizations, “Water/Ways” will serve as a community meeting place to convene conversations about water’s impact on American culture. With the support and guidance of the Mississippi Humanities Council, these towns will develop complementary exhibits, host public programs and facilitate educational initiatives to raise people’s understanding about what water means culturally, socially and spiritually in their own community.

“We are thrilled to be able to bring Water/Ways to these six communities. Each site has a unique relationship to water, and we are excited to see their ideas come to life as they host this exhibit,” said Caroline Gillespie, MHC program officer and “Water/Ways” state coordinator.

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

Support for MoMS has been provided by the U.S. Congress. Support for the Mississippi Humanities Council comes from the National Endowment for the Humanities.