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Humanities Tennessee presents Water|Ways, a Museum on Main Street (MoMS) exhibit tour project in partnership with the Smithsonian Institution's Traveling Exhibition Service, and Tennessee State Parks. Water|Ways uses large-scale images, video, digital interactives, and artifacts to explore the relationship between human beings and water.

Water is an essential biological and natural resource for life on our planet. We encounter the impact of water everyday on our climate, our landscape--and our survival.

Water’s impact on humans is not just biological and environmental; it serves as a source of peace and contemplation. We cherish our connections to nature--the sights, the sounds, and the sense of place we feel at the water’s edge. Many faiths revere water as a sacred symbol. Authors and artists are inspired by the duality of water – a soft, graceful substance, and a powerful, nearly unstoppable force.

Consider the practical role of water in American society. Its availability results in everything from settlement and migration, to what we eat and drink, to how we work. Access to and control of water resources have long been paramount to political and economic planning. Human innovation provides ways of protecting water resources and renewing respect for the natural environment.

Humanities Tennessee is pleased to present Water|Ways in partnership with six Tennessee State Parks. The exhibit, following the courses of the Tennessee and Mississippi Rivers, enables Tennesseans to reflect on the significance of this vital element and their many connections to it. How does water affect the way we live, work, create, and play? How do we care for water, and how will we sustain it for the future? 

In addition to Water|Ways, each host park will offer a variety of public programs that explore related local history and current events. Join the conversation at the following locations:

Warriors' Path State Park: 6/24/2017 - 8/6/2017

All events take place in the park's recreation building on Duck Island, Kingsport

  • Sat., June 24, 8:30-1:00pm, Dragonfly Day, opening event
  • Each Wed., June 28-Aug. 2, 11am Wonderful, Wacky, Wet Wednesday kids' water-play, learning activities
  • Each Fri., June 30-Aug. 4, 1pm, Your Story Friday, booth set-up to record water stories
  • July1-Aug. 6, Art|Ways Competition, juried visual art exhibition

Each Thurs., June 29-Aug 3, 7:00pm, Water|Ways Weekly Lecture Series

  • June 29, Protohistoric Native American Towns on the Holston River
  • July 6, TVA: Yesterday & Tomorrow
  • July 13, Highlights of the Tennessee River
  • July 20, Visionary by Design: the Future of the Tennessee River Valley
  • July 27, Water and the History of Kingsport
  • Aug 3, How Partnerships Benefit Water Quality in Northeast Tennessee

Hiwassee/Ocoee State Park: 8/12/2017 - 9/24/2017

Smithsonian Speaker Series, 7pm Etowah Community Center

  • August 29, Your Drop Matters: Protecting Life in Tennessee Streams
  • September 5, Water from a Different Perspective
  • September 12, Who Owns the Water?
  • September 19, The Future of the Tennessee River

Pickwick Landing State Park: 9/30/2017 - 11/12/2017

Speaker Series, Pickwick Landing Inn, Conference Room C

  • October 18,  Who Owns Water?
  • October 24, Visionary by Design: The Future of the Tennessee River Valley

Johnsonville State Historic Park: 11/18/2017 - 12/31/2017

Public Program Series @ the Welcome Center

  • November 18, 2pm, Folklife of Tennessee Waterways, Roby Cogswell
  • November 21, 7pm, Waterways Working for America, John Crivello
  • November 26, 2pm, The Trail Flows by, the Trail of Tears, Charlie Rhodarmer
  • December 5, 7pm, Living Lands & Water, Mike Coyne-Logan
  • December 7, 7pm, Civil War Naval History, Myers Brown
  • December 10, 2pm, The Role of Steamboatin' in the Union Victory, "Fox" Ellis
  • December 14, 7pm, Paddling the Tennessee River, Kim Trevathan

Reelfoot Lake State Park: 1/6/2018 - 2/18/2018

  • February 17, 2pm, Folklife of Tennessee Waterways, Roby Cogswell

Meeman-Shelby State Park: 2/24/2018 - 4/1/2018 

Use the tag #thinkWater to chat with others or peruse photos on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

Water|Ways programming in Tennessee is made possible in part by a generous grant from the BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Health Foundation.