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Tennessee Waters: Shaping Our Land, Our Lives and Our Future




Would your nonprofit like to participate in a

statewide traveling exhibit tour?


Humanities Tennessee invites you to submit a letter of intent to receive Tennessee Waters: Shaping Our Land, Our Lives and Our Future. The exhibit will tour Tennessee beginning in August, 2018, and will be available at no cost to host sites across the state for periods of four to six weeks. In addition to the exhibit, Humanities Tennessee will also provide a public discussion program, publicity and evaluation material, a marketing stipend, and optional support for local humanities programs.

About the Exhibition

Our public utilities treat over 918,400,00 gallons of water daily for Tennesseans, who each uses an average of 158 gallons of water each day. Our Waters is a panel exhibit exploring the significance of this vital resource, how water guided and supported people across our state over time, how our actions are crucial determinants of the quality of our water and access to it, and the overall environmental, historical and cultural impact of water in our state. This important chapter of our state’s story provides for audiences a context for current conversations about growth, sustainability, jobs and the economy.

The exhibit includes seven 3’ x 7’ easily assembled, freestanding pop-up banners.  This is a small-scale, lightweight exhibit ideal for a wide variety of spaces and nontraditional venues, reaching a broad range of audiences—large and small. With the Our Waters project  hosts will engage visitors with challenging new perspectives of community life highlighting our relationship to the natural features of the places we call home.

Hosts may also apply for up to $2500 for related humanities programs such as community research projects, companion exhibits, or book/film discussions—projects that might spark consideration of local water traditions, map stories of fishing spots in your watershed, or share your collective insights with the governor’s new TN H2O committee on the future of our water.

Partnership Roles

Humanities Tennessee provides each host organization, free of charge, with:

  • Tennessee Waters for a 4-6 week period,
  • a scholar-led public discussion program,
  • a $250 stipend for publicity and/or reception event costs,
  • publicity and evaluation materials, and
  • funding opportunities for related programming.

In return, hosts will be asked to:

  • identify a Project Director to lead on site and serve as contact for Humanities TN,
  • be responsible for widely publicizing and evaluating the exhibit and events,
  • unpack/install and de-install/pack panels, return to Humanities TN (we cover all shipping costs),
  • host public events: an exhibit reception and one of our scholar-led public discussions,
  • consider implementing humanities-based companion programming with our support.

How to Apply

Humanities Tennessee is accepting letters of intent fromnon-profits interested in hosting Tennessee Waters as part of its ongoing tour. Competitive letters must:

  • describe the organization and its mission, including the potential exhibit space, intended audience, and desired goals for participation;
  • describe any ideas you may have about additional programming, and interest in funding for programs;
  • view the speaker selection here and indicate your preference;
  • include preferred date/duration for hosting and provide one alternative time; and
  • include signatures of a Board Officer and the Project Director.

Letters of intent should be mailed or emailed to:

Humanities Tennessee, 807 Main Street, Suite B, Nashville, TN 37206

Melissa Davis,, or Paul McCoy,

Tennessee Waters: Shaping Our Land, Our Lives and Our Futureis made possible in Tennessee by Humanities Tennessee, an independent affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Tennessxee Historical Society, and the Albert Gore, Sr. Research Center at Middle Tennessee State University.