PROGRAM: MN Water/Ways

Presented by:
Minnesota Humanities Center
Current Initiative: Water / Ways National Partner: Smithsonian – Museum on Main Street Local Partner: Nonprofits, Other Subject: History, K-12 Education, Other, Professional Development Audience: All, Children and Families, Educators, K-12, Rural Communities

Water/Ways is a traveling exhibition and community engagement initiative of the Smithsonian’s Museum on Main Street program. It 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.

We Are Water MN is a companion exhibit that was developed with statewide partners and that tells the story of Minnesota’s water. It is an interactive story collecting exhibit that focuses on individuals’ relationship 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.

Water/Ways 2017 Timeline:

JAN 7-FEB 19: Lanesboro Arts, (Lanesboro, MN)

FEB 25-APR 9: Becker County Historical Society (Detroit Lakes, MN)

For Educators:

Educators are encouraged to bring students to visit Water/Ways; however, if they cannon make the trip, the Minnesota Humanities Center has educational materials to bring the exhibit to them! Some include:


Students will learn about pollution through the scientific method and will learn about water as a finite resource that must be shared.


Students will learn about relationships with water through a Dakota creation story and their own personal stories. They will also create a watershed model that shows how water moves from place to place.


Students will learn about point of view and absent narratives. They will also learn how to create their own community water story.


Students will learn how to put their learning into action by hosting a water fair.