Host Sites Announced for Smithsonian Traveling Exhibit “Water/Ways”

South Carolina Humanities is pleased to announce that six small communities in South Carolina will host the traveling Smithsonian exhibit Water/Ways in 2020-2021. Water/Ways explores what water means culturally, socially, and spiritually to communities across America.

The Water/Ways exhibit will serve as a community meeting place to convene conversations about water’s impact on American culture. With the support and guidance of SC Humanities and the Smithsonian, the host sites will develop complementary exhibits, host public programs and facilitate educational initiatives to raise people’s understanding about what water means in South Carolina and in each community.

South Carolina’s diverse aquatic landscape of Atlantic Coast beaches, mountain rivers and waterfalls, swamps, and local lakes plays an integral part in shaping our state’s identity. Dr. Randy Akers, Executive Director of SC Humanities, is pleased to be bringing Water/Ways to South Carolina: “SCH is delighted to be sponsoring the Smithsonian traveling exhibit Water/Waysthroughout the state.   It would be hard to find a topic more central to South Carolina.   Beyond the obvious fact that water is crucial for human existence, water plays a dominant role in the environmental, cultural, economic and historical fabric of South Carolina.”

Chosen by a South Carolina Humanities selection committee through a competitive application process, six South Carolina host sites will showcase Water/Ways in their respective communities. The opportunity was open to small museums, arts centers, libraries, and other community venues in South Carolina towns with fewer than 20,000 residents. We offer congratulations to these selected host sites:

June 27 – August 8, 2020
McCormick County Chamber of Commerce/Hickory Knob State Park


August 13 – September 23, 2020
Hampton County Historical Society/Hampton County Library


September 28 – November 8, 2020
SC Maritime Museum


November 13, 2020 – January 13, 2021
Friends of Congaree Swamp/Congaree National Park

January 18 – March 1, 2021
McClellanville Arts Council


March 6 – April 17, 2021
City of Westminster/Historic Railway Depot


The exhibition is part of Museum on Main Street, a unique collaboration between the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES), state humanities councils across the nation, and local host institutions. Water/Ways is the seventh Museum on Main Street exhibit that SC Humanities has brought to the state since 2004.

Support for Museum on Main Street has been provided by the U.S. Congress. Support for the South Carolina tour of Water/Ways has been provided by Dominion Energy.

If you would like more information about Water/Ways in South Carolina, please contact T.J. Wallace at or 803-771-2477. More details about the unique programs that each local community will provide will be available soon.

The mission of SC Humanities is to enrich the cultural and intellectual lives of all South Carolinians. Established in 1973, this 501(c) 3 organization is governed by a volunteer 20-member Board of Directors comprised of community leaders from throughout the state. It presents and/or supports literary initiatives, lectures, exhibits, festivals, publications, oral history projects, videos and other humanities-based experiences that directly or indirectly reach more than 250,000 citizens annually.

SC Humanities Contact: T.J. Wallace, 803-771-2477,
Smithsonian Contact: Jennifer Schommer, 202-633-3121;

Image: Sunset on Lake Thurmond, Courtesy of McCormick County Chamber of Commerce