Marion Public Library will serve as host for a special exhibit in late 2017 in conjunction to a Smithsonian Institution traveling exhibit.
Kansas Humanities Council chose the library to be one of 10 partner sites for exhibits for a Kansas tour of Water/Ways, a Smithsonian traveling exhibit making a six-week tour in the state.
Six communities, the closest at Cottonwood Falls, will have the Smithsonian exhibit, and 10 other Kansas communities, including Marion, will have partner exhibits during Water/Way’s six-week tour.
Library director Janet Marler said the six host sites will be Colby, Cottonwood Falls, Dodge City, Eudora, Hesston, and Junction City.
“They will get the full traveling exhibit,” Marler said.
Water/Ways will explore numerous relationships between people and water, Marler said.
Marler said several local entities plan to help with the local exhibit, including Marion Reservoir, Marion County Park and Lake, Marion City Museum, Marion Watershed Restoration and Protection group, and the city.
The library applied to be a partner site in January and found outthis month it had been selected, Marler said.
According to the Kansas Humanities Council website, the exhibit explores how water has shapes traditions and history, impacted daily life, and what the future holds for water.
Marion economic development director Randy Collett said Marion has a great deal of flexibility in how the local exhibit is done. The library is not limited to having the exhibit on display only when the Smithsonian’s exhibit is visiting Cottonwood Falls, but can operated the display in conjunction with the Water/Ways visits to other communities.
“We’re kind of in the triangle for three of the sites,” Collett said.
He’s interested in using the opportunity to bring plenty of visitors to Marion to see the local Water/Ways stories. The participating organizations will work together to iron out all the details, Collett said.
Collett provided pages from the application to become a partner exhibit site. According to the application, Marion’s water story includes Native Americans near local waterways, the short-lived Chingawasa Springs resort, flooding in 1903, 1941, and 1951, the development of Marion County Park and Lake and Marion Reservoir.