Smithsonian “Water/Ways” exhibit coming to Lake Area

Smithsonian “Water/Ways” exhibit coming to Lake Area
Smithsonian “Water/Ways” exhibit coming to Lake Area(Calcasieu Parish Public Library)
Published: Jan. 13, 2022 at 12:16 PM CST
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Lake Charles, LA (KPLC) - A traveling exhibit on the many impacts water has on our society from the Smithsonian’s Museum on Main Street Program is coming to the Lake Charles Central Library.

The exhibit will be hosted by the Cameron Parish Public Library, the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities, and the Calcasieu Parish Public Library.

The “Water/Ways” exhibit explores the endless motion of the water cycle, 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. Human creativity and resourcefulness provide new ways of protecting water resources and renewing respect for the natural environment.

The “Water/Ways” exhibit will be on view starting January 22 through March 5 at the Central Branch of the Calcasieu Parish Public Library, located at 301 W. Claude Street in Lake Charles.

The exhibit will open with a special grand opening ceremony on Jan. 22, from 11 am to 1 pm. The public is invited to attend and refreshments will be provided by Louisiana State Representative, Ryan Bourriaque.

The Cameron Parish Public Library System and the surrounding community was expressly chosen by The Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities to host “Water/Ways” as part of the Museum on Main Street program to bring exhibitions and programs to rural cultural organizations.

However, due to damages caused by Hurricane Laura, the Calcasieu Parish Public Library will serve as a host to house the exhibition for the Cameron Library.

“Water is an important part of everyone’s life, especially here in Southwest Louisiana, and we are excited to explore what it means culturally, socially, and spiritually in our own community,” said Christy Comeaux, Public Information Officer for the Calcasieu Parish Public Library.  “We are thrilled to help our friends at the Cameron Parish Public Library, who have developed several public programs to complement the Smithsonian exhibition.”

Events associated with the exhibit include:

  • Exhibit Grand Opening – Saturday, January 22 from 11 am - 1 pm
  • “Waterways and Wetlands.” – Friday, January 28 at 6 pm: Dr. Craig Colten will lead a community discussion on waterways and wetlands in South Louisiana. Topics included in the discussion range from wetlands restoration to the effect of land loss on cultures. Dr Colten is Professor Emeritus at the Department of Geography and Anthropology at Louisiana State University.
  • “Pollution and Water Filtration.” – Friday, February 4 at 6 pm: Nanette Fontenot will read and discuss the books The Water Princess by Susan Verde and A House by the River by William Miller. A craft will follow the discussion.
  • “Wetlands and Preservation.” – Friday, February 11 at 6 pm: Phillip Trosclair will discuss what people can do to fight coastal erosion and their social responsibilities.  Mr. Trosclair has written and backed many projects to protect our wetlands and wildlife in his many years with the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries.
  • “Our Relationship with Water and Industry.” – Friday, February 18 at 6 pm: Clair Hebert Marceaux, will discuss Southwest Louisiana’s relationship with water and industry.  Clair is the Port Director at the Cameron Port, Harbor, and Terminal District.
  • “Born on the Bayou” – Friday, February 25 6 pm: Dr. Liz Skilton will lead a discussion on coastal loss and its effects on our people after a film screening of the film, “Born on the Bayou.” Dr. Skilton is the Associated Professor of History and Director of Public History at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.
  • Friday, March 4 at 6 pm: A to-be-determined event is being planned for this date.

All programs, except for the grand opening, will be held using the Zoom online meeting platform.  Those interested in joining the discussions can call (337) 721-7116 (Calcasieu) or (337) 598-5950 (Cameron) to sign up.

For more information on the “Water/Ways” exhibit and the programs, you can visit or

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