Smithsonian traveling exhibition exploring water’s environmental and cultural impact coming to Hesston

Cynthia Barnett, author of "Blue Revolution," speaks at Hesston Mennonite Church on the Hesston College campus.

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 more. It inspires art and music.

The Hesston Public Library (300 N. Main, Hesston, Kan.), in cooperation with Kansas Humanities Council 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 Nov. 18 to December 31.

 “Water/Ways” tours six Kansas communities in 2017-18. Other host communities include: Eudora Area Historical Society; Thomas County Historical Society, Colby; Boot Hill Museum, Dodge City; Geary County Historical Society, Junction City; and Symphony in the Flint Hills, Cottonwood Falls.

“Through a partnership with the Smithsonian Institution’s Museum on Main Street program, the Kansas Humanities Council is able to bring the resources of the nation’s premier cultural institution to museums, historical societies, and public libraries in Kansas’ small towns and rural communities,” said Julie Mulvihill, executive director of the Kansas Humanities Council. “Our six ‘Water/Ways’ hosts were selected because of their innovative plans to use the Smithsonian exhibition as a springboard to explore local stories of how water has shaped their own communities and the impact water will have on their future.”

The Hesston community has been studying about the water crisis during the fall of 2017 through a community read of Blue Revolution: Unmaking America’s Water Crisis by Cynthia Barnett, led by Hesston College and the Hesston Public Library. Barnett spoke on the Hesston College campus and at other locations throughout the community on Nov. 2.

The Kansas Humanities Council is a nonprofit organization that supports community-based cultural programs, serves as a financial resource through an active grant-making program, and encourages Kansans to engage in the civic and cultural life of their communities. For more information, visit

For more information about “Water/Ways” in Hesston, contact the Hesston Public Library at 620-327-4666 or or visit


Article used with permission from the Hesston Public Library.