Water/Ways 2019-10-24T12:46:56-04:00

See the Smithsonian in Cambridge!

Oct. 19-Nov. 30, 2019

Dorchester Center for the Arts
321 High Street
Cambridge, MD  21613

Hours: Sunday, Noon-4 p.m; Tuesday-Thursday, Noon-6 p.m.; Friday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
Additional hours: available for groups by appointment; contact the Dorchester Chamber of Commerce, 410-228-3575


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 Water/Ways traveling exhibition from the Smithsonian’s Museum on Main Street program examines water as an environmental necessity and an important cultural element.

Water/Ways explores water’s effect on the 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.

Companion exhibit showcases Dorchester’s water story

If you live or play on the Chesapeake Bay, you know how important water is to the environment, the seafood industry, recreation and more. Dorchester County has received a Maryland Heritage Areas Authority Grant to develop a companion exhibit that focuses on Dorchester County’s unique water story.

The local exhibit, which will share space with the Smithsonian exhibit, will showcase everything from the cockpit of a racing boat to a traditional oyster shucking table. Related events include a guided kayak tour, skipjack sails, art exhibits, live music, history talks and more! Be sure to check out or listing on the right side of this page.

Be a Volunteer Exhibit Host!

We’re looking for volunteers to serve as hosts at the Water/Ways exhibit when it is open to the public and when groups arrange special visits. No experience or expertise is required! We will hold a training session for our volunteers before the exhibit opens. For more information contact Ruth Clendaniel, rclendaniel@atlanticbb.net. You can sign up for volunteer slots on our online calendar here.

Educational Resources

Maryland humanities has developed a toolkit for educators to use in conjunction with the Smithsonian Water/Ways exhibit. The resources include curriculum guides, reading lists and other activities. Read more and download the resources here.

Thank you

Water/Ways has been made possible in Dorchester County by Maryland Humanities and is part of Museum Main Street, a collaboration between the Smithsonian Institution and State Humanities Councils nationwide. Support for Museum on Main Street has been provided by the United States Congress.

Water/Ways was adapted from an exhibition organized by the American Museum of Natural History, New York, and the Science Museum of Minnesota, St. Paul, in collaboration with Great Lakes Science Center, Cleveland; The Field Museum, Chicago; Instituto Sangari, Sao Paulo, Brazil; National Museum of Australia, Canberra; Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto, Canada; San Diego Natural History Museum; and Science Centre Singapore with PUB Singapore

Partner Organizations

Cambridge Main Street

Dorchester Center for the Arts

Dorchester County Department of Tourism

Heart of Chesapeake Country Heritage Area

Dorchester County Chamber of Commerce

Chesapeake Bay Foundation

Choptank River Lighthouse

Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge

Cambridge Yacht Club

Maryland Department of Natural Resources

Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Visitor Center

Richardson Maritime Museum

Main Street Gallery

Blackwater Adventures

Dorchester Skipjack Committee

University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science Horn Point Laboratory

Chesapeake College

Shore Rivers

Dorchester County Historical Society

Hoopers Island Oyster Co.

Cambridge Power Boat Racing Association

Dorchester Seafood Heritage Association

Special Events & Programming

Is your organization interested in planning a local event or programming related to the Water/Ways exhibit? If you want information about planning an event, please contact Katie Clendaniel at 443-477-0843 or katie@downtowncambridge.org. If you already have planned your event, you can submit your information here to be included in our calendar and related promotional materials.