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Maryland Humanities Kicks Off Maryland Tour of Smithsonian Exhibition in Baltimore County

Press Release
For Immediate Release

Contact: Sarah Weissman, Communications Specialist
(410) 685-4186 | [email protected]

Date: May 6, 2019


Water/Ways travels the state through Maryland Humanities’ Museum on Main Street Program

(Baltimore) – Water/Ways, a traveling Smithsonian Institution exhibition, is opening at the Historical Society of Baltimore County in Cockeysville on May 25th. The Historical Society serves as the first venue of a six-stop tour of the state, presented through Maryland Humanities’ Museum on Main Street program. The Historical Society of Baltimore County (HSBC) has developed a companion exhibit showcasing Baltimore County’s history with water; each Water/Ways site creates its own exhibit to complement the exhibition.

“When you look at a map of water in our region, it is clear that you are always near water, even when you don’t realize it,” says James Keffer, Executive Director of HSBC. “We built [our local] exhibit around three themes: harnessing the power and availability of water for the growth of communities and commerce; engineering water and the landscape on a grand scale to meet current and future water needs; [and] balancing our community priorities with our natural resources for a healthy, fulfilling, and sustainable future.”

Highlights of HSBC’s local exhibit include: a student-made documentary on Ellicott City, a vintage swimsuit, and a scale model of the historic 1772 Jerusalem grist mill. The exhibit will also address The Helen Delich Bentley Port of Baltimore, drinking water, sanitation, environmental concerns, Maryland’s focus on water-based recreation, and more. With the help of 33 partner organizations there will be more than 70 public events, complementary exhibits, and educational programs in support of Water/Ways in Baltimore County, including the work of local artists.

Water/Ways is the sixth Museum on Main Street (MoMS) project brought to small communities throughout the state by Maryland Humanities. Each site will host the exhibition for five weeks and develop a complementary exhibit and related programming highlighting their community’s local water stories and histories. The exhibition will also serve as a community meeting place to convene conversations about water’s impact on American culture.

“With our site selections, we’ll explore the multifaceted relationship Marylanders have with water,” said Phoebe Stein, executive director of Maryland Humanities. “We’re eager to learn about the history of each of these communities and water’s impact on the lives of the people in them.”

Water/Ways runs at The Historical Society of Baltimore County May 25–July 6, 2019. The Historical Society of Baltimore County is located at 9811 Van Buren Lane in Cockeysville. Learn more at or call (410) 666-1878.

Tour Schedule:

May 25, 2019 – July 6, 2019
The Historical Society of Baltimore County, Cockeysville, Baltimore County

July 13, 2019 – August 24, 2019
The Oxford Museum, Oxford, Talbot County

August 31, 2019 – October 12, 2019
Washington County Historical Society, Hagerstown, Washington County

October 19, 2019 – November 30, 2019
Cambridge Main Street, Cambridge, Dorchester County

December 7, 2019 – January 18, 2020
Crisfield Heritage Foundation, Crisfield, Somerset County

January 25, 2020 – March 7, 2020
Calvert Library, Prince Frederick, Calvert County

About Water/Ways
The newest traveling exhibition from the Smithsonian’s Museum on Main Street (MoMS) program, Water/Ways examines water as an environmental necessity and an important cultural element. Water impacts climate, agriculture, transportation, industry and more. It inspires art and music.

Many faiths revere water as a sacred symbol. Authors and artists are inspired by the complex character of water—a substance that is seemingly soft and graceful that is yet a powerful and nearly unstoppable force. Water also plays a practical role in American society. The availability of water affected settlement and migration patterns. Access to water and control of water resources have long been a central part of political and economic planning. Human creativity and resourcefulness provide new ways of protecting water resources and renewing respect for the natural environment.

With the programmatic support and guidance of Maryland Humanities, selected towns will develop complementary exhibits, host public programs, and facilitate educational initiatives to raise people’s

About Museum on Main Street
Museum on Main Street (MoMS) is a Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service program that teams up with state humanities councils to bring high-quality traveling exhibits to small communities through their own museums, historical societies, and other cultural venues. Residents enthusiastically engage with exhibition content, as diverse community members come together to share and celebrate their heritage.

Learn more about Maryland Humanities here.

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