Florida Talks, At Home! Let's Talk About Water

Let's Talk About Water

Questions? Contact:

April Myerscough
Public Programs Coordinator
[email protected]

Florida Talks, At Home! Let's Talk About Water

Smithsonian Logo

To celebrate the return of the Smithsonian Water/Ways exhibition to our state, Florida Humanities is hosting a week of programs to celebrate this life-sustaining source. Join us for this series of remote programs all taking place from June 22nd through the 26th.

The Smithsonian’s Water/Ways exhibition dives into water–an essential component of life on our planet, environmentally, culturally, and historically.

In societies across the globe, water serves as a source of peace and contemplation. Many faiths revere water as a sacred symbol. Authors and artists are inspired by the complex character of water – a substance that is seemingly soft and graceful that is yet a powerful and nearly unstoppable force.

Water also plays a practical role in American society. The availability of water affected settlement and migration patterns. Access to water and control of water resources have long been a central part of political and economic planning. Human creativity and resourcefulness provide new ways of protecting water resources and renewing respect for the natural environment.

Plan a trip this summer to visit the Water/Ways exhibit. Click here for more information. 

Program Schedule

The Gulf and The Eagle
Tuesday, June 22 @ 6:00 pm

Presented by: Jack E. Davis, Historian

The Gulf of Mexico is the ninth-largest body of water in the world. While also a critical space for commercial activity, the gulf also serves as the home for a host of bird and wetland species. Jack E. Davis, Professor of History and Rothman Family Chair in the Humanities at the University of Florida, will share how the Gulf of Mexico plays an integral part of the nation’s environmental story. Davis will also show how the status of the bald eagle, a symbol of national pride, is intricately connected to healthy water sources.

Expanding Waters
Wednesday, June 23 @ 6:00 pm

Presented by: Carol Mickett and Robert Stackhouse, Artists

Our current waters are rising and getting warmer. They fuel the intensification of hurricanes and the flooding of our lands. Art helps to create a conversation by making the invisible visible. Carol Mickett and Robert Stackhouse, a team of artists, will carry you through their fascination with water and water-related phenomenon and issues through this presentation. You will see some of their early work through to their current work from the Expanding Waters exhibition. Expanding Waters creates a story in 2 and 3 dimensions about the current state of our warming waters and ways to bring our world back into balance The presence of art is particularly important when considering the philosopher Heraclitus’ famous saying that “you cannot step into the same river twice.”

Florida’s Healing Waters
Thursday, June 24 @ 6:00 pm

Presented by: Rick Kilby, Author

Rick Kilby will discuss his latest book, Florida’s Healing Waters: Gilded Age Mineral Springs, Seaside Resorts & Health Spas, a historical account of a little-known time in Florida history when tourists poured into the state in search of good health. Kilby will explore the phenomena of “taking the waters” during a golden age of bathing in Florida when the state was a prime destination for visitors seeking restoration and romance in mineral springs, surf, and spa. Travelers during this era helped establish the state’s tourist-based economy by flocking to resorts at springs such as Green Cove Springs, White Sulphur Springs, and Espiritu Santo Springs, and surf bathing at seaside properties in places such as Palm Beach and Pass-A-Grille.

State of Water, State of Mind
Friday, June 25 @ 6:00 pm

Presented by: Cynthia Barnett, Writer

Amid a scourge of pollution a half-century ago, the United States and Florida passed bedrock water legislation with the Clean Water Act at the federal level and the state’s sweeping water and land-management laws of 1972, some of the strongest in the country. As we approach the fiftieth anniversary of these water laws and celebrate their triumphs, our waters face new challenges. Florida-based author Cynthia Barnett has written four books that span the hydrologic cycle, from freshwater to rain to her new book on the sea, The Sound of the Sea: Seashells and the Fate of the Oceans. In our final “Let’s Talk About Water Lecture,” Barnett, an environmental journalist in residence at the University of Florida’s College of Journalism and Communications, will weave together lessons from the past and new challenges for the future. Her closing lecture, State of Water, State of Mind, reflects on water as Florida’s defining element–and how citizens can get more engaged with our state’s most precious resource.

Want more? Check out FORUM magazine, "Written In Water"

FORUM Magazine Spring 2021, Written in Water

In anticipation of Water/Ways, the Smithsonian Institution’s Museum on Main exhibition, our latest issue of FORUM “Written in Water” explores Florida’s all-encompassing relationship with its waterways, beginning with a look at how water’s rise informed the lives of our peninsula’s earliest inhabitants – and the lessons that apply to us today.

Read FORUM Here
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