Smithsonian traveling exhibition on display at The Bessemer Public Library
Water/Ways, brought South by the Alabama Humanities Alliance, illuminates how water shapes our lives
Bessemer, Al |October 8, 2021] — Water/Ways, a Smithsonian traveling exhibit, winds its way into town for an extended exhibition from October 18th through November 19th at the Bessemer Public Library. Bessemer is one of just five locations statewide to host Water/Ways, which will be permanently retired at the end of this tour.
The exhibit reveals how our waterways are critical to the past, present and future of our state. Alabama is home to 132,000 miles of rivers and streams, and 3.2 million acres of wetlands. These waterways connect us to nature, nurture our cities and culture, and can either unite or divide our people and communities.
“Being a host location for this Smithsonian Institution Exhibition is a great opportunity for the Bessemer Public Library as well as the City of Bessemer and Jefferson County. This opportunity will provide the library and its patron’s exposure to high quality museum exhibits right in their local library and will also increase the knowledge of the Water/Ways that supply our region. We are honored to host Water/Ways and thankful for the opportunity to provide this amazing experience to our community.” Omar Chapman, Administrative Assistant.
The Smithsonian exhibit will be complemented with plenty of local programming for audiences of all ages. Special events during the exhibit’s run include specialized youth programs such as Grab n’ Go Art Craft bags for families, Grab n’ Go Coloring Activities for kids and a water drive to assist our first responders. Guest speaker will be available on the dates listed below.
-October 21st, 10:00 am
Guest Speaker Freddie Freeman, City of Bessemer Storm Water Specialist
-October 28th , 11:00am & 3:00pm
Guest Speaker Dr. Bill Deutsch, Auburn University Aquatic Ecologist
-November 4th , 3:00pm
Guest Speaker Dr. Duncan Scott, Birmingham Southern College Biologist
-November 10th , 4:00pm
Guest Speaker Marcus Jackson, Jackson’s Bait Shop Owner
Brought to ’Bama by the Alabama Humanities Alliance
This Smithsonian exhibit comes South thanks to the Alabama Humanities Alliance. For 20 years, the Alabama Humanities Alliance has coordinated traveling exhibitions from the Smithsonian’s Museum Main Street. The program brings the Smithsonian directly to small-town America through traveling exhibitions, local research and more.
“What’s so powerful about Water/Ways is that it shows how water doesn’t just shape our landscape. It shapes our lives,” says Chuck Holmes, executive director of the Alabama Humanities Alliance. “This exhibit
is a chance for folks in communities statewide to see a Smithsonian-quality exhibit up close. It also offers us a chance to reflect on how our local waterways affect how we live, work, worship, create and play.”
For more information about Water/Ways, the public can visit www.BessemerLibrary.com or call for information at (205) 428-7882. The Bessemer Public Library is open Monday – Friday from 9:00am – 6:00pm
About Bessemer Public Library
The Bessemer Public Library, Staff, Board, and community envision a future in which: Everyone can enjoy an intellectual and culturally rich life. Our community celebrates and appreciates diversity. Our staff finds value in their contribution to the mission. Our facilities will be welcoming and comfortable spaces for all. Learn more at www.bessemerlibrary.com
About the Alabama Humanities Alliance
The Alabama Humanities Alliance is a state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Our mission is to foster learning, understanding and appreciation of Alabama’s people, communities and cultures. The ultimate goal: To use the humanities to bring Alabamians together and make our state a better place to live. Learn more at www.alabamahumanities.org