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“Water/Ways”: Smithsonian Exhibit at Wells College

August 24 @ 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm

|Recurring Event (See all)

An event every day that begins at 2:00pm, repeating until August 23, 2019

One event on an unspecified date at 2:00pm

An event every week that begins at 8:30am on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, repeating until September 26, 2019

An event every week that begins at 8:30am on Friday, repeating until September 27, 2019

An event every week that begins at 10:00am on Saturday, repeating until September 29, 2019

An event every week that begins at 11:00am on Sunday, repeating until September 29, 2019


The traveling display, which explores the environmental and cultural impact of water, is a joint effort between Wells College, the Aurora Historical Society and the Aurora Masonic Center.

From above, Earth appears as a water planet with more than 71 percent of its surface covered with this vital resource for life; water impacts climate, agriculture, transportation, industry and permeates art and music in cultures the world over. Wells College, in cooperation with the Museum Association of New York, 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.

“Water/Ways” will be on view Friday, Aug. 16 through Sunday, Sept. 29 at Louis Jefferson Long Library on the Wells College campus in Aurora. [For hours of operation and other venue information, please see below.] There is no cost to attend, and parking is free on campus.

“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—while also looking at how political and economic planning have long been affected by access to and control of water resources. The exhibit also examines the ways human creativity and resourcefulness continue to provide new avenues for protecting precious water resources and renewing respect for the natural environment.


The three institutions in Aurora were expressly chosen by the Museum Association of New York (MANY) to host “Water/Ways” as part of the Museum on Main Street program—a national, state, and local partnership to bring exhibitions and programs to rural cultural organizations. The exhibition will tour a half-dozen communities in New York state from late June 2019 through April 2020.

Designed for small-town museums, libraries and cultural organizations, “Water/Ways” will serve as a community meeting place to convene conversations about water’s impact on American culture. Throughout the duration of the exhibit, the three presenting institutions—the Aurora Historical Society, Aurora Masonic Center and Wells College—will be presenting a variety of talks, public programs and other educational initiatives to raise people’s understanding about what water means culturally, socially and spiritually in their own community.

In addition, the Aurora Historical Society is presenting a complementary display, “How Cayuga Lake Shaped Aurora: Legends and Lore,” which explores stories from Aurora’s past—some of which have been long forgotten, and most of which have at least an element of mystery.

“Water/Ways” is part of the Smithsonian’s Think Water Initiative to raise awareness—through exhibitions, educational resources and public programs—of water as a critical resource for life. The public can participate in the conversation on social media at #thinkWater.


“Water/Ways” was inspired by an exhibition organized by the American Museum of Natural History, New York ( and the Science Museum of Minnesota, St. Paul (, in collaboration with Great Lakes Science Center, Cleveland; the Field Museum, Chicago; Instituto Sangari, Sao Paulo, Brazil; National Museum of Australia, Canberra; Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto, Canada; San Diego Natural History Museum; and Science Centre Singapore with PUB Singapore.

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. 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.


Public Contact: Tiffany Raymond (; 315.364.3352)


Aug. 16: 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Aug. 17–18: Closed to the public
Aug. 19–23: Monday–Friday, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Aug. 24: Opening reception, 2–4 p.m.
Aug. 25: Closed to the public
Aug. 26–Sept. 29: Monday through Thursday, 8:30 a.m. to midnight; Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Sunday, 11 a.m. to midnight


August 24
9:00 am - 4:00 pm
9:00 am - 4:00 pm
9:00 am - 4:00 pm
9:00 am - 4:00 pm
9:00 am - 4:00 pm
10:00 am - 6:00 pm
2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Event Category:


Wells College Library


Wells College
170 Main Street
Aurora, NY 13026 United States
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