Speak Your Piece: a podcast about Utah's history

Season 3, Ep. 1: History of Water in Utah: "The Most Complicated Plumbing System..."

May 27, 2021 Brad Westwood, Senior Public Historian, Utah Dept. of Heritage & Arts
Speak Your Piece: a podcast about Utah's history
Season 3, Ep. 1: History of Water in Utah: "The Most Complicated Plumbing System..."
Show Notes

April 19, 2021 (Season 3, Ep. 1: 1 hr & 32 min.) Utah Dept. of Culture & Community Engagement version of this SYP episode. This link will get you to some Speak Your Piece EXTRA materials not included here. 

Utah Humanities' Megan van Frank and The American West Center's Gregory E. Smoak speak about a remarkable public history effort, built in partnership with the Smithonian Institution, under the banner of Think Water Utah. The offering includes two traveling exhibits (Water Ways and H2o Today), an essay (written by Smoak), much digital/recorded content and numerous special events, which have been ongoing since 2020 and will end in 2022.  See the list of exhibit locations, events and digital content, related to this topic below at Think Water Utah Exhibitions & Resources.

Brad Westwood caught-up with Megan and Greg, for a discussion on the water history of Utah. A topic that is, historically (and in a contemporary sense) underappreciated and at times made obsure to the general public. Key players in water resource decision making are Utah's local water conservency districts. This SYP episode tells a history that all Utahns should better understand, so to make the most inclusive and sustainable decisions regarding Utah's future.

Much of this podcast is based on Smoak's historical essay. This essay is the center piece of the Think Water Utah.  After you have listen to this SYP episode read Utah Water Ways.

Megan van Frank: Megan's background is in anthropology, history and and museum studies. She has managed professional education programs at the MIT and has curated and managed cultural collections at the Australian Museum, Sydney Univ.  Museums, Natural History Museum of Utah, and the Utah Museum of Fine Arts. Megan directs Utah Humanities' "Museum on Main Street" and "Museum Interpretation Initiative" programs which both provide resources and on-site assistance to both small and large museums spread across the Utah.
Gregory E. Smoak
: Greg is an Associate Professor, Department of History, University of Utah and the Director of the American West Center (U of U). He is also the author of Ghost Dances and Identity: Prophetic Religion and American Indian Ethnogenesis in the Nineteenth Century (2006) and Western Lands, Western Voices: Essays on Public History in the American West (2021).

Exhibitions: (1) Water I Ways  — April 3 – June 6, 2021 | John Wesley Powell River History Museum (2) H20 Today  — April 26 – July 31, 2021 | Uintah County Heritage Museum & August 7, 2021 – February 5, 2022 | Bear River Heritage Area at the Hyrum City Museum (3) Decisions DownstreamNatural History Museum of Utah, January 15, 2021 to July 31, 2021 (4) Confluence Utah Museum of Fine Arts, Feburary 18 to December 4, 2021