Tending our shared waters

by Shanai Matteson, Water Bar

Freshwater and Water Bar & Public Studio have received an Action Grant from the Mississippi Watershed Management Organization to develop and pilot a new public education program on water. This program will blend cultural stories about water gathered from local communities with water science and policy, resulting in a new effort to prepare “Water Tenders” (local water educators) from north and northeast Minneapolis to serve water at Water Bar and other community events.

“At Freshwater, we use science to educate and inspire people to value and protect water,” said Leslie Yetka, director of programs. “We are thrilled to have this opportunity to partner with Water Bar to explore ways that art and culture can add depth and meaning to our water education programs, in ways that speak to the important role culture plays in our connections with water and environment.”

The new Water Tender curriculum will be developed through a series of listening sessions with local community partners, and will be piloted through two Water Tender trainings this winter. New Water Tenders will serve water at the Water Bar and other water outreach and education events. They will also receive stipends to collaboratively develop five new Water Bar programs at host sites within the community.

For more info, contact Shanai Matteson at 952-686-1340 or shanai@water-bar.org