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San Diego Artists Take On Drought In New Central Library Exhibit

San Diego Artists Take On Drought In New Central Library Exhibit

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Photo credit: San Diego Central Library Special Collections

Charles Hatfield, pictured in this undated photo, was hired by San Diego City leaders in 1915 to make it rain.

Photo credit: San Diego Central Library Special Collections

Flooding in Mission Valley in 1916 after 30 inches of rain fell in San Diego in less than two months.

A century-old story about San Diego’s search for water is the basis of "Rainmaker," a new exhibit at the downtown library.

The city was in a drought around the time of the 1915 Panama-California Exposition in Balboa Park. City leaders voted to pay so-called rainmaker Charles Hatfield to release his secret formula into the atmosphere. Whether as a result, or by coincidence, San Diego was deluged. It rained more than 30 inches in less than two months.

The new library exhibit presents the work of 12 artists who offer perspectives on drought and climate change.

What can artists can do to shape people’s understanding of drought that is different from what scientists or politicians can do? Why did San Diego leaders hire a rainmaker 100 years ago?

Susan Myrland, curator of the "Rainmaker" exhibit, and Richard Crawford, supervisor of special collections at the San Diego Public Library tell the story of Charles Hatfield and the new exhibit Tuesday on Midday Edition.

The "Rainmaker" exhibit is on display at the Central Library, located at 330 Park Blvd. in San Diego, until Nov. 29.


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