Water/Ways is a traveling exhibition and community engagement initiative of the Smithsonian Institution’s Museum on Main Street program. In Minnesota, Water/Ways is led by the Minnesota Humanities Center in partnership with Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, Minnesota Historical Society, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, Minnesota Department of Health, Minnesota section of the American Water Works Association, and six greater Minnesota communities.
Traveling ExhibitionWe Are Water MN, a companion exhibit that was developed with statewide partners, tells the Minnesota water story. We Are Water MN is an interactive story collecting exhibit that focuses on individuals’ relationships with and responsibilities to water. The exhibit includes stories from people reflecting on the meaning and experience of water in Minnesota, stories from local people from each host site community, and space for exhibit visitors to add their own stories and images. We Are Water MN also raises awareness about the quantity and quality of Minnesota’s water, connecting exhibit-goers to active water solutions.
Story MapsCheck out the stories collected before and during each site on these story maps:
Your Water Story
Be a part of the We Are Water MN conversation!
Your water picture is worth 1,000 words (or some other cool prizes)! Enter our Instagram contest!
Contest Rules and Details
Host CommunitiesEach host community is developing an exhibit that tells their local story and hosting community events in partnership with other local organizations.
Prairie Woods Environmental Learning Center
June 25-August 7, 2016
Nicollet County Historical Society
August 13-September 25, 2016
Goodhue County Historical Society
October 1-November 13, 2016
Audubon Center of the North Woods
November 19, 2016-January 1, 2017
January 7-February 19, 2017
Becker County Historical Society
February 25-April 9, 2017
Educator ResourcesEducators are encouraged to bring their students to Water/Ways!
Can’t make the trip? Here are some educational materials to bring Water/Ways programming to you! Educator Resources provide background information, lesson planning, and teaching guides about the exhibit. These guides help students gain appreciation of other cultures’ relationships with water, understand how water is a shared, managed resource, and allow students to share their own water stories—all through activities, projects and investigations!
Students will learn about point of view and absent narratives. They will also learn how to create their own community water story.
Community Stewardship Activity
Project GoalsThe Humanities Center, its partners, and project host sites will ensure that visitors to Water/Ways will understand their reciprocal relationship with water by carrying out the four project goals:
• Share national, state, and local histories and narratives about water.
• Reinforce Minnesotans’ individual relationships with water.
• Reinforce Minnesotans’ individual responsibilities to water.
• Build relationships between Minnesotans through community engagement events and activities preceding, during, and after the exhibit.