Smithsonian exhibit Water/Ways coming to Centerville, IN

Centerville, IN – Cope Environmental Center announces the public opening of the world-famous Smithsonian Institution Museum on Mainstreet traveling exhibit Water/Ways. The public is invited to the ribbon cutting at 11:00 AM on Saturday, Feb. 26. Be the first in Wayne County to see this interactive exhibit which highlights the role water plays in our daily lives and how it affects the local community.

Cope Environmental Center is one of a small select group of Indiana cities chosen by Indiana Humanities to host Water/Ways. “Water has been a major factor in Indiana communities’ formation, growth and culture, and this is a wonderful opportunity for the residents in and around Wayne County to consider how water defines and contributes to their community,” said Keira Amstutz, president and CEO of Indiana Humanities. “It also gives them a unique opportunity to experience a Smithsonian exhibit right in their own backyard.”

The interactive exhibit dives into where our waterways are, their role as cultural and physical borders and as connectors and highways, how we harness its power at home and at work, as well as the human effect on our waterways. A final portion, developed by Cope Environmental Center staff and community, explores the various journeys of a drop of water landing in Wayne County and the value of wetlands in cleaning water.

“Cope Environmental Center is very excited to have been chosen to host this exhibit. It is exciting to have a Smithsonian Institute quality exhibit in our community and on such as important and universal topic as water,” says Karin Hostetter, Executive Director. “Wayne County has at least three very different primary uses of water – natural areas, agricultural, and human consumption. We hope this exhibit will allow guests to stop and reflect on their relationship to water and the role it plays in our lives. With our emphasis on sustainable living, this is a very important subject to us.”

The public is invited to the ribbon cutting to help kick off the official opening of the exhibit. Accompanying the Smithsonian Institute exhibit is a community art show featuring water related works of art. In addition, a variety of programs are occurring during March and April including guest speakers, field trips, on-site programs, and special gift shop items. Details for each event will be posted on Facebook and available at on the Upcoming Programs and Calendar pages. Water/Ways can be toured free of charge from Feb. 26 – May 9, 2022, Monday through Saturday, 9:00AM – 4:00PM in the Sustainable Education Center of Cope Environmental Center at 1730 Airport Rd.

Water/Ways is part of Museum on Main Street, a collaboration between the Smithsonian Institution and Indiana Humanities, and was adapted from an exhibition organized by the American Museum of Natural History, New York. Museum on Main Street works with rural communities to design and host high-quality exhibits and create dynamic public programs across the United States. Indiana Humanities is proud to bring this award-winning program to Indiana communities from June 2021 to mid-2022. The Indiana exhibition is sponsored in part by Indiana American Water.