The Smithsonian Institution is in Dorchester County now through Nov. 30 with the traveling “Water/Ways” exhibit which is currently on view at the Dorchester Center for the Arts in Cambridge.
Cambridge Main Street, the Dorchester Center for the Arts and Dorchester County Tourism, in cooperation with Maryland Humanities, collaborated with more than 20 Dorchester County partners for the exhibit and related programming. The exhibit, which examines water as an environmental necessity and an important cultural element, is part of the Smithsonian Institution’s Museum on Main Street (MoMS) program.
Dorchester County also has developed a companion exhibit which will be on display with the Smithsonian exhibit. This complementary exhibit interprets Dorchester’s own water story through the lenses of tradition, innovation and resiliency.
The Dorchester exhibit will showcase the cockpit of a powerboat racer, as well as a traditional oyster-shucking table and a piece of modern oyster aquaculture equipment. Interactive displays will include videos, interviews, hands-on activities, artifacts and items that exemplify the significant role that water has played in local history, culture, the economy and the environment, said Julie Gilberto-Brady, manager of the Heart of Chesapeake Country Heritage Area.
“We’ve created a local companion exhibit featuring local, Dorchester County residents and their connections to the water,” Gilberto-Brady said. “We tell their stories with video, photography and hands-on activities. Visitors also can sit in the cockpit of a racing powerboat or try their hand at oyster shucking.
“In addition, a host of local partner organizations have been planning public events, activities, exhibits and programming tied to the Water/Ways exhibit. These include art exhibits, guided kayak river tours, skipjack sails, live music, storytelling, environmental talks, book groups and historical presentations.”
Cambridge and the surrounding community were expressly chosen by Maryland Humanities to host “Water/Ways” as part of the Museum on Main Street program – a national/state/local partnership to bring exhibitions and programs to rural cultural organizations. The exhibition will tour six communities in Maryland from May 25, 2019 through March 7, 2020.
“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” is meant to serve as a community meeting place to convene conversations about water’s impact on American culture. Water/Ways” is part of the Smithsonian’s Think Water Initiative to raise awareness of water as a critical resource for life through exhibitions, educational resources and public programs.
In Dorchester County, Water/Ways will run from Oct. 19-Nov. 30 at the Dorchester Center for the Arts, 321 High Street Cambridge. It will be open on Sundays, from noon – 4 p.m.; Tuesdays-Thursdays, noon – 6 p.m. and Fridays-Saturdays, 10 a.m.- 6 p.m. More information, including a full listing of local events and programming, is available on the Dorchester County Water/Ways website: www.visitdorchester.org/waterways.