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Press Release

January 3, 2020

Contact: John Davis
Fort Towson Historic Site, Oklahoma Historical Society
Office: 580-873-2634

Smithsonian Contact: Jennifer Schommer
Office: 202-633-3121

Smithsonian Water Exhibition Delights Local Audiences

FORT TOWSON, Okla. — Fort Towson Historic Site, in cooperation with Oklahoma Humanities (OH), continues its exploration of water’s environmental and cultural impact as it hosts the local showing of “Water/Ways,” a Smithsonian Institution Museum on Main Street traveling exhibition. “Water/Ways” will be on view through February 8, 2020.

Fort Towson Historic Site and its surrounding community were expressly chosen by OH to host “Water/Ways” as part of the Museum on Main Street project—a national/state/local partnership to bring exhibitions and programs to rural cultural organizations. After it leaves Fort Towson in February, the exhibition will travel to one more Oklahoma Historical Society site—the Museum of the Western Prairie in Altus—before it returns to the Smithsonian in April. 

“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. The exhibit 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.

“We are very pleased with the community’s reaction thus far to ‘Water/Ways,’” said John Davis, regional director for the Oklahoma Historical Society. “A number of schools and other groups are scheduled to visit the exhibition during its time at Fort Towson. It’s great exposure for the museum and the town, and a great opportunity for the community to visit an exhibit from the Smithsonian.”

Upcoming program events include “Life on the Water,” a day of hands-on programming at Fort Towson on Saturday, January 18, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Programs will be located across the site focusing on some of the historical impacts of water in the Fort Towson area, including archaeology and recovery of the steamboat Heroine, the daily life of women on a western steamboat, river navigation in southeast Oklahoma, food on a steamboat, goods transported on the steamboats, entertainment on a steamboat and songs of the river.

“Water/Ways”  is part of Museum on Main Street, a collaboration between the Smithsonian Institution and Oklahoma Humanities, and was adapted from an exhibition organized by the American Museum of Natural History, New York.

For more information about “Water/Ways,” please call John Davis at 580-873-2634 or email jdavis@okhistory.org . For hours of operation and admission prices, please visit www.okhistory.org/forttowson. Fort Towson Historic Site is located north of US 70 near Fort Towson.

About Oklahoma Humanities:

The mission of Oklahoma Humanities (OH) is to strengthen communities by helping Oklahomans learn about the human experience, understand new perspectives, and participate knowledgeably in civic life. OH is a private, 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. As the state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities, we strive to stimulate discussion, encourage new perspectives, and to actively engage people in the humanities disciplines, such as history, literature, philosophy, and ethics.

Fort Towson Historic Site is a division of the Oklahoma Historical Society. The mission of the Oklahoma Historical Society is to collect, preserve and share the history and culture of the state of Oklahoma and its people. Founded in 1893 by members of the Territorial Press Association, the OHS maintains museums, historic sites and affiliates across the state. Through its research archives, exhibits, educational programs and publications the OHS chronicles the rich history of Oklahoma. For more information about the OHS, please visit www.okhistory.org .


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