Smithsonian’s traveling Water/Ways Exhibition coming to the MIDFLORIDA Event Center
PORT ST. LUCIE – Across the globe, and here at home, water impacts climate, agriculture, transportation, industry and more. It inspires art and music. The City of Port St. Lucie, in cooperation with Florida Humanities, will examine water as an environmental necessity and an important cultural element as it hosts “Water/Ways,” a traveling exhibition from the Smithsonian’s Museum on Main Street (MoMS) program.
The MIDFLORIDA Event Center has been expressly chosen by Florida 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 cultural organizations. Earlier this year, Florida Humanities awarded the City of Port St. Lucie a $5,000 grant to execute this program.
“Florida Humanities’ mission is to preserve, promote and share the history, literature, culture and personal stories that offer Floridians a better understanding of themselves, their communities and their state,” said Lashonda Curry, Florida Humanities Director of Communications. “We are excited that the ‘Water/Ways’ exhibition, in partnership with the Smithsonian Institution, will be shared with the community of Port St. Lucie — an area of our beautiful state that has a unique connection to their local waterways and the St. Lucie River.”
“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 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.
“Port St. Lucie is honored to host the Smithsonian’s ‘Water/Ways’ Exhibition brought to us by Florida Humanities,” said City of Port St. Lucie Mayor Shannon Martin. “Water Quality is prioritized in the City’s Strategic Plan and it is important for our residents to not only enjoy and protect our unique natural resources, including the St. Lucie River, but also to experience art and educational opportunities that demonstrates the impact of our waterways.”
In addition to the exhibit, and in partnership with the Oxbow Eco-Center and the St. Lucie County Public Library System, “Water/Ways” will feature numerous educational programs throughout the duration of the exhibit, including guided docent tours.
In partnership with the St. Lucie Cultural Alliance, a special showcase will also be exhibited alongside the “Water/Ways” exhibition, featuring masterpieces by legendary landscape photographer Clyde Butcher. Butcher, a self-taught professional photographer who is known for his remarkable black and white and landscape photographs, composes his work throughout the United States and helps the public experience scenes out of reach and untouched. “Living Waters and the Florida Landscape,” a traveling show by the Aquatic Preserve Society, was unveiled at the MIDFLORIDA Event Center in early October and will be on display through the duration of the “Water/Ways” Exhibit.
“Water/Ways” and its complementary programs will serve as a community meeting place to convene conversations about water’s impact on American culture. It’s part of Museum on Main Street, a collaboration between the Smithsonian Institution and Florida Humanities. Support for the exhibition and programming was provided through a grant from Florida Humanities with funds from the National Endowment for the Humanities.
“Water/Ways” will be on display at the MIDFLORIDA Event Center Oct. 30 through Dec. 23, 2021. A ribbon cutting and grand opening celebration is scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 30 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the MIDFLORIDA Event Center, located at 9221 SE Event Center Place, Port St. Lucie, FL 34952. Residents are encouraged to attend.