The Smithsonian’s Water/Ways exhibition dives into water–an essential component of life on our planet, environmentally, culturally, and historically. 

Water/Ways will tour six small communities in South Carolina from June 2020 to April 2021.

About the Exhibit

In societies across the globe, water serves as a source of peace and contemplation. 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.


Tour Schedule

June 27 – August 8, 2020
McCormick County Chamber of Commerce & Hickory Knob State Park
Things to Do in McCormick County

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
Things to Do in Westminster

Host Sites & Local Programming

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.

McCormick County

6/27 - 8/8

Hampton County

8/13 - 9/23

Georgetown County

9/28 - 11/8

Richland County

11/13 - 1/13

Charleston County

1/18 - 3/1

Oconee County

3/6 - 4/17
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Special Thanks to Our Partners


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. 

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.

Support was provided by the Richland County Government Hospitality Tax Funds. 

If you would like more information about Water/Ways in South Carolina, please contact T.J. Wallace at or 803-771-2477.