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 Nature Center of Cape May and the Cape May – Lewes Ferry, in cooperation with New Jersey Council for the Humanities, 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. The traveling exhibit is open to the public from Nov. 25, 2019 through Jan. 6, 2020.
The opening reception for the WaterWays Exhibit will be held on Monday, Nov. 25 at noon inside the Cape May Ferry Terminal. As part of this program, the general public is invited to come share their WATER story, reflecting on the different ways water matters to them. Local residents are encouraged to reflect upon and share their perspectives and memories about water.
“Water is an important part of everyone’s life and we are excited to explore what it means culturally, socially and spiritually in our own community,” said Gretchen Whitman, Nature Center Director. “We want to convene conversations about water and have public programs to complement the Smithsonian exhibition.” Such free events include the Water/Ways Harborside Chats which began October 24th at the Nature Center and continued through December 12th. These free lunchtime lectures are conversations or “chats” presented by local organizations or individuals who all have a story to tell about how water influences our lives. For a schedule of speakers and topics, contact the Nature Center of Cape May at 609-427-3045 or follow them on Facebook @naturecentercapemay.
“For more than fifty years, our passengers have enjoyed the unparalleled scenic beauty of the Delaware Bay while traveling aboard the Cape May – Lewes Ferry,” said Heath Gehrke, Director of Ferry Operations. “Water is such a critical resource for life and we’re proud to be able to partner with these great organizations to bring more attention to this beautiful Bay and surrounding communities.”
“For the past fifteen years, the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service has provided access to quality museum exhibits for communities across the country,” said Executive Director Dr. Carin Berkowitz of the New Jersey Council for the Humanities. “We’re proud to bring Water/Ways to six locations that all intersect with water in different ways. Exhibit-goers will have the opportunity to examine the biological, economic, social, political, and recreational aspects of water, right in their own neighborhoods.”
The Cape May Ferry Terminal location is one of six sites throughout New Jersey to host “Water/Ways” as part of the Museum on Main Street program-a collaborative effort to bring exhibitions and programs to rural cultural organizations and the surrounding communities.
“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. It 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.
Designed for small-town museums, libraries, and cultural organizations, “Water/Ways” is part of the Smithsonian’s Think Water Initiative to raise awareness of water as a critical resource for life through exhibitions, educational resources, and public programs. The public can participate in the conversation on social media at #thinkWater.
About the New Jersey Council for the Humanities
The New Jersey Council for the Humanities is a nonprofit state partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities. NJCH harnesses the power of the humanities to strengthen our pluralistic society. We envision a New Jersey that delights in diversity, appreciates that there are no easy answers, and finds joy and understanding in the humanities. We work statewide with cultural and community organizations to bring dynamic programming to the local level. More information can be found at njhumanities.org.
About the Nature Center of Cape May
Founded in 1992 and adopted by the New Jersey Audubon Society in 1995, the Nature Center of Cape May is one of nine staffed nature centers throughout the state. The Center is focused on creating a responsible stewardship program for open space surrounding Cape May Harbor and providing environmental education for people of all ages. The Center’s focus on “hands-on” activities reflects a philosophy of personal responsibility for education. The nature center offers a full schedule of natural history programs for the general public throughout the year. For more information, visit www.njaudubon.org.