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  • Water/Ways

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    Name: Water/Ways
    Date: September 29, 2018 - November 10, 2018
    Event Description:

    “The Michigan Humanities Council and Artworks bring the Smithsonian to Big Rapids.”

    Water/Ways is part of the Smithsonian Museum on Main Street initiative designed to bring high quality exhibits to small-town cultural organizations. Artworks is one of six locations in Michigan that will be part of this exciting touring exhibit. Water/Ways focuses on the unique impact and essential role that water plays in our communities. This exhibit allows Michigan to rediscover the value of water as both a resource for humans and a cultural symbol.

    The Muskegon River Watershed, which flows through Big Rapids and all of Mecosta County, has a rich history and has been instrumental in shaping our culture and our way of life. This interactive exhibit will remind our community of the importance of our waterways and encourage us to engage in dialogue and stewardship. Also, to remind us that water is central to the rituals of our life and that we are all downstream.

    Artworks has partnered with many community organizations to design events, additional exhibits and programs that will deepen our understanding of what the water means to us.

    “No water, no life. No blue, no green.” Sylvia Earle, oceanographer.


    A partial list of Water/Ways events and exhibits:

    The Water/Ways Exhibit will be at Artworks from September 29 through November 10.

    • Opening Reception of Water/Ways exhibit: October 4, 5:30-7:30pm
    • FSU Fine Arts Gallery: H2O exhibit. Featuring artists: Loralee Grace, Randall David Tipton, and Tom Tomasek
    • Muskegon River Trash Bash cleanup: An organized cleanup of the Muskegon river by the Big Rapids Jaycees
    • Brown Bag Presentations: Rain gardens, Michigan’s Water Resources, Vernal Ponds, Respect the Muskegon, Wetlands, Invasive Species
    • Kayak Water Tours
    • Film Viewing: Search for Sustainability, Making Waves: Battle for the Great Lakes, The Ottaway: Rebirth of a river, Yellow Jug, Old Jug
    • Labor Day Arts and Crafts Fair: Project Wet, Sammy Salmon, and more
    • Book Reading: “The Muskegon, the Majesty and Tragedy of Michigan’s Greatest River.” by Jeff Alexander
    • Splish Splash: “Water and You” exhibit
    • Self-Guided Tours: Stroll the Riverwalk and White Pine Trail
    • Project Wet: Water education for teachers and our community
    • Mecosta Conservation District: Meet and greet your natural resource providers


    106 N. Michigan Ave
    Big Rapids, MI 49307
    Date/Time Information:
    Sunday-Monday: CLOSED
    Tuesday-Friday: 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
    Saturday: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
    Contact Information:
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  • Places to Stay

    Country Inn & Suites

    15344 Waldron Way
    Big Rapids, MI 49307

    Holiday Inn Hotel & Conference Center

    1005 Perry Street
    Big Rapids, MI 49307

    Hampton Inn & Suites

    15320 Waldron Way 
    Big Rapids, MI 49307

    Quality Inn & Suites

    1705 S. State St.
    Big Rapids, MI 49307

    Super 8 Motel

    845 Water Tower Rd.
    Big Rapids, MI 49307

    The Hideaway

    11969 Tullymore Dr.
    Stanwood, MI 49346

    The Inn at St. Ives

    9940 St. Ives Dr.
    Stanwood, MI 49346

    Morley Motel 

    2097 Northland Dr.
    Morley, MI 49336
    (231) 856-7820