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Smithsonian traveling exhibition

The Macon County Public Library, in cooperation with North Carolina Humanities Council, will host “Water/Ways,” a traveling exhibition from the Smithsonian’s Museum on Main Street (MoMS) program. 

“Water/Ways” will be on view through Aug. 24 at the library in Franklin. The exhibition explores the endless motion of the water cycle, water’s impact 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” will serve as a community hub to inspire conversations about water’s impact on American culture. With the support and guidance of North Carolina Humanities Council, the Macon County Public Library is partnering with numerous local organizations and individuals. 

These groups are developing a film and photographic tour of the Little Tennessee and its watershed, virtual and in-person public programs and facilitating educational initiatives to raise people’s understanding about what water means culturally, socially and spiritually in their own community.

“We have a wonderful group of local partners helping us to safely engage with the community this summer. Because while we want to make the most of the six weeks that the Smithsonian exhibit is in Franklin, we also want to continue to support organizations like Macon County Schools STEM Program, GA/NC Bartram Trail Society, Friends of the Greenway (FROGS), Mainspring, and the Nikwasi Initiative that help us protect and enjoy our waterways now and in the future,” said Kristina Moe, library assistant at the Macon County Public Library. “We want to facilitate conversations about water and are developing local content and public programs to compliment the Smithsonian exhibition.” 

Such free events include documentary films, book discussions, and outdoor activities near the Little Tennessee River.

“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. The public can participate in the conversation on social media at #thinkWater.

The exhibition is part of Museum on Main Street, a unique collaboration between the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service, state humanities councils across the nation and local host institutions. To learn more about “Water/Ways” and other Museum on Main Street exhibitions, visit Support for MoMS has been provided by the U.S. Congress.

For more information, visit or call the Macon County Public Library at 828.524.3600. The library is open by appointment from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

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