Art connects in a time of distance

Art has the power to inform and connect us, reaching across language and culture, in ways that facts and figures cannot. This was the inspiration behind Freshwater’s new Water Steward program, Art for Water. With support from a Hennepin County Green Partners grant and the Rice Creek Watershed District, Freshwater piloted our first cohort of water steward artists this spring. Twelve artists participated in the combination of face-to-face classes and online curriculum designed to equip them with information and tools to create art that engages their neighbors and inspires behavior change to improve the health of our waters.

After completing the science-based curriculum, the artists are now developing interactive public art experiences, supported by a stipend. Of course, the artists have the tricky task of creating this interactive public art in the time of COVID-19 and social distancing. Their projects range from a coloring book based on a local creek to a large, mobile puppet that can travel through neighborhoods sharing a water message. Freshwater is proud and grateful to be able to support and empower artists at a time when many of them have lost much of their expected work. Artists and their creations hold the power to unite, inform, and inspire us, particularly in times when we need them most. We can’t wait to see these projects come to life and will share them as they do, so stay tuned!

See photos from February’s in-person class.