It’ll be at the local West Polk Soil & Water Conservation District office from Jan. 20 to March 4, 2019

    The Minnesota Humanities Center, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) and their statewide partners announce that their popular statewide exhibit, We Are Water MN, will be continuing in 2018 - spanning the state at eight host sites for the 2018-2019 tour. Crookston is one of the eight sites.

    Originally developed as a locally-focused companion piece to the Smithsonian’s Museum on Main Street (MoMS) Water/Ways exhibit, We Are Water MN is a traveling exhibit that focuses on the relationships between people and water—how water connects story, history, faith, ethics, the arts and science. Over 13 months in 2018 and 2019 the exhibit will visit eight Minnesota communities.

    These communities include:

    •    Minneapolis (University of Minnesota – Twin Cities) October 14 – November 26, 2018

    •    Bemidji (Headwaters Science Center) December 2, 2018 – January 14, 2019

    •    Crookston (West Polk County Soil & Water Conservation District) January 20 – March 4, 2019

    •    Cloquet (Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa) March 10 – April 22, 2019

    •    Austin (Cedar River Watershed District) April 28 – June 16, 2019

    •    Northfield (Cannon River Watershed Partnership) June 20 – July 28, 2019

    •    Grand Rapids (Itasca Waters) August 4 – September 16, 2019

    •    Onamia (Mille Lacs Indian Museum, Minnesota Historical Society) September 22 – November 4, 2019

    “We are honored to be given the opportunity to continue We Are Water MN and bring the exhibit to eight more communities in Minnesota,” says Minnesota Humanities Center President & CEO, David O’Fallon. “Minnesota has a unique relationship to water, and this exhibit gives all Minnesotans the opportunity to deeply engage – through the sciences AND the humanities – with what water means to them and what the future of water is in our state. We look forward to working with our statewide partners to continue this important dialogue.”

    The Humanities Center’s traveling exhibition programming is focused on cultivating partnerships and being in communities authentically, respectfully and in a way that speaks to the multiplicity of experiences in the community. We Are Water MN does this in three ways; 1.) By exploring the connections between the humanities and water through a hands-on exhibit. 2.) By building and supporting cross-disciplinary partnerships of people who protect and affect water. 3.) By helping host communities design public events that build participants’ relationships with water.

    We Are Water MN uses an interactive story collecting strategy that focuses on individuals’ relationships with, and responsibilities to, water. The exhibit includes stories from people reflecting on the meaning and experience of water in Minnesota, stories from local people from each host site community and space for visitors to add their own stories and images. We Are Water MN also raises awareness about the quantity and quality of Minnesota’s water, connecting exhibit-goers to active water solutions.

    The University of Minnesota Crookston’s Compass Center Director of Diversity & Multicultural Programs, Lorna Hollowell, says about the program, “We are Water MN cultivates opportunities for inclusive, community-wide conversations to share stories, learn about, and celebrate our most precious common resource. Water connects us all through shared experiences and our quest to discover ways to protect and conserve it for generations to come.”

    Through the We Are Water MN traveling exhibit, each host community will tell its local water stories and envision the future of water in Minnesota. Local events may include activities like: contests, workshops, tours, speakers, theater, music or film events, school partnerships, museum displays, outdoor activities, festivals and more.

    “Through my work on the project, I’ve had the opportunity to learn about water quality from my MPCA colleagues, listen to interviews of people from the tour sites and collect images of the special places they describe,” says MPCA Outreach & Education Coordinator, Britt Gangeness. “Now I don’t just think of regional water quality trends. I think of people—THESE people—and I smile, because there are an awful lot of people out there who care about all the little plants, and animals, and flow rates, and smell of the mud, and the places where loons nest (to name a few of the many things they care about). They treasure the special events in their lives that happened in and around the water. This deep connection is what will make a difference for water quality in Minnesota.”

    We Are Water MN is a partnership of the Humanities Center, MPCA, the Minnesota Historical Society, the Minnesota Department of Health, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and the Minnesota Department of Agriculture. Additional funding is provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities. More information about We Are Water MN and host site community events can be found at mnhum.org/water.

About the Minnesota Humanities Center

    Founded in 1971, the Minnesota Humanities Center is a statewide nonprofit organization and full service event center located in Saint Paul, Minnesota. The Humanities Center offers a new way to think about our future, grounded in the humanities, and collaborates with organizations and individuals to develop programs that facilitate and frame conversations and strengthen connections.

    The Humanities Center works to bring into public life the authentic voices of all people, especially those that have been absent or marginalized. The Humanities Center is a resource for the state of Minnesota and is affiliated with the National Endowment for the Humanities.

    The mission of the Minnesota Humanities Center is to build a thoughtful, literate, and engaged society. More information available at: mnhum.org or on Facebook and Twitter.