Are You thirsty?

by Loren Niemi | Jul 14, 2011
| 6 Comments
Competition Finalist

This entry has been selected as a finalist in the
Challenge II: Ideas for Addressing Water Issues in Minnesota competition.

Summary:

"Are You Thirsty?" is a metaphor for our relation to water. It is a two person performance that uses the power of puppet and mask theatre to engage the audience in asking what choices have we made and what can we make to re-member that the water which is within us is also the water that flows through and around us.

About You

Organization: In he Heart of the Beast Puppet & Mask Theatre Visit websitemore ↓↑ hide↑ hide

About You

First Name

Loren

Last Name

Niemi

Country

United States, MN

City

Minneapolis

About Your Organization

Organization Name

In he Heart of the Beast Puppet & Mask Theatre

Organization Website

Your Idea

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Name your idea

Are You thirsty?

Describe how you would use $15,000 to help your community become aware of and address water issues in Minnesota.

In the Heart of the Beast Puppet & Mask Theatre has worked with water issues for over a decade now. We have done water based community residencies, public art installations and performances around the use, abuse and reclaiming of water. One of those performances is "Are You Thirsty?" a small, easily transported 40 minute touring show which is an exploration of a myriad of questions contained in a cup of water--one of our most precious and necessary shared resources. This performance demonstrates how much of the earth’s water is available for drinking, compares tap and bottled water, and helps us understand ourselves as part of the natural water cycle—bringing water issues vibrantly to life. $15000 would allow us to make it available to another 50 organizations, churches, schools, and and especially to out state communities who otherwise would not be able to afford to see a live performance.

How do you define your "community"?. How are water issues affecting your community?

Sandy Spieler, HOBT's Artistic Director. often defines our community as the earth and who dwell on it. Consequently the Theatre uses puppet artistry to give voice to the interlocking and interdependent lives of plants, animals and people as we work with water issues. We continually pose the question of our individual and collective responsibilities and activism in meeting the growing issues of local and global water stewardship though the creation of metaphor to make connect the community and the invocation of delight to engage the heart.

Innovation

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Describe how your idea is creative.

"Are You Thirsty?" is a metaphor for our relation to water. It is a two person performance that uses the power of puppet and mask theatre to engage the audience in asking what choices have we made and what can we make to re-member that the water which is within us is also the water that flows through and around us.

Impact

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Describe how how you expect your idea to make a difference in your community.

Our history is one of building community through the engagement of imagination and emotions. The primary example of that is the annual MayDay Parade and Festival, which is created, built and performed with the community and witnessed by over 40,00 people each year. We would not be doing water work if it did not matter. From the 1983 Circle of Water Circus which presented the history of the Mississippi River from the beginning of time to the present moment, to the community residencies we have done from Ely to Winona with water as their central theme, we know that our work invites, engages, inchants and educates all at once.

Our audiences tell us that the shows “move” them, that they raise questions, create images of possibilities, foster dialogue. But do they inspire action, do they affect any change in practice, policy making or civic participation? This is difficult to measure, but HOBT has been working on raising awareness and inviting engagement in water issue since 1981. However, the environmental devastation to the Earth is now so huge, yet general public attention is moving so slowly towards the necessity for changed practice by each and every one of us. The gift of puppet and mask work is that it animates and gives form to the inanimate and powerless to address this most pressing issue of our time - connecting performance with civic engagement with a mix of partners and advisors who continue to contribute to the work we present. We offer both a performance (in English and/or Spanish) and a study guide to all who come to "Are You Thirsty

Sustainability and Growth

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Describe how your idea will "stick" in your community and how you think it could be repeated in other communities.

The performance of "Are You Thirsty?" is the basic building block of awareness and action for an audience. It begins a dialogue about what can be done. The ideas and images in the performance can be repeated, franchised, disseminated both as a performance and through the use of the study guide. HOBT is both capable and willing to work with individuals and communities to take the next steps - whether it be community residencies, networked actions or training individuals and groups in the use of our art forms to restore and invigorate our water and world.

Martina Yusay said: This make sense! I want to review this and so interesting! - Rabbi Binyomin Lisbon about this Competition Entry. - 1940 days ago read more >
Loren Niemi said: If you want to have a direct conversation about "Are You Thirsty?" our touring shows or HOBT's water work - feel free to connect with us ... about this Competition Entry. - 2181 days ago read more >
Alejandra Tobar said: I've experienced this show more than once and I can't tell you the incredible conversations I've overheard post watching this show---of ... about this Competition Entry. - 2668 days ago read more >
Ansgar Holmberg said: I am sending you all kinds of good energy (water energy?) that this wonderful ministry will continue to grow. about this Competition Entry. - 2670 days ago read more >
Muriel Horowitz said: wonderful project- I agree that the images and words combine to make a powerful impression on all who see it. about this Competition Entry. - 2673 days ago read more >
Katina Petersen said: There are a couple of ideas that aim to combine water and art...I wonder if there's room for collaboration? about this Competition Entry. - 2712 days ago read more >

Loren Niemi updated this Competition Entry. - 2713 days ago

Loren Niemi updated this Competition Entry. - 2715 days ago

Loren Niemi submitted this idea. - 2715 days ago