We Are Water

Creating awareness about water issues through street art

by Drew Mons | Jul 19, 2011
| 1 Comment

Summary:

Many public awareness campaigns rely on billboards, brochures, TV or bus stop ads, and other traditional media to get their message across. But since water issues can be seen everywhere in our communities, why not employ more fun and innovative ways to get people thinking about water conservation and related issues?

About You

read more ↓↑ hide↑ hide

About You

First Name

Drew

Last Name

Mons

Country

United States, MN, Ramsey County

City

Saint Paul

About Your Organization

Organization Name

Organization Website

Your Idea

read more↑ hide↑ hide

Name your idea

We Are Water: Creating awareness about water issues through street art

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

My idea is to enlist people who do "non-destructive" street art (such as chalk, temporary stencils, paper cutouts, and other interesting alternatives to graffiti) to create an innovative public awareness campaign about water. The broad theme would be "We Are Water" - not only are our bodies made up largely of water, but it's essential for any community to thrive.

The street art would be featured in public places where water is an important symbol, like Minnehaha Falls and the Spoonbridge & Cherry. The art might incorporate statistics about water, or lines of poetry about water, or other messages. The art pieces would not only get people thinking, but can also compel people to change their behavior. For example, the first 50 people who upload a photo of the street art at the Spoonbridge & Cherry sculpture to their Facebook page would win a low-flow showerhead. This would spread the word and also help individuals make small positive changes in how they use water in their own lives. The impact could be measured by how many people post and share photos and info about the art via social media, as well as how many households receive prizes to help them change their water use habits for the better.

This kind of street art is becoming more popular, and many kinds of people could participate. Even youth are already creating and sharing ideas using this medium of art. For instance, some of my students at Cretin-Derham Hall are engaging in knit bombing, in which messages are created in public places using knitted yarn.

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

My family and I live in the Merriam Park neighborhood of Saint Paul. However, we have friends and family across the metro so we consider the Twin Cities to be our community. This idea was inspired by my students at CDH, but I foresee a broader range of residents in the Twin Cities who could participate in creating and/or viewing the street art.

My wife and I have two small children. Every day my family and I see how water issues affect our community, since we live not far from the Mississippi River and we spend a lot of time outdoors. We're concerned that our tap water remains clean and pure, and we try to take steps to conserve water so that it will be there for the next generation. Although we do some things - like using a rain barrel and trying to limit the length of our showers - we could do much more. I think that other people living in my community are like that -- they care about water issues, but they are busy and overwhelmed with the problem, so they don't always take the steps necessary to make changes in their lives.

Innovation

read more↑ hide↑ hide

Describe how your idea is creative.

Many public awareness campaigns rely on billboards, brochures, TV or bus stop ads, and other traditional media to get their message across. But since water issues can be seen everywhere in our communities, why not employ more fun and innovative ways to get people thinking about water conservation and related issues?

Impact

read more↑ hide↑ hide

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

The impact could be measured by how many people post and share photos and info about the art via social media, as well as how many households receive prizes to help them change their water use habits for the better.

Sustainability and Growth

read more↑ hide↑ hide

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

The competition element of this -- being able to win stuff -- would appeal to many. Also, it is a fun and fairly low-cost way to raise awareness when compared to traditional forms of media.

Every community has places that feature water or where water is an important. Also, the forms of art - stenciling, knitting, and so on -- can be done by many people, not just professional artists. So this idea could be replicated in other communities.

Devon Roberts said: Street art is cool and very effective to encourage other people to join the activity. - Feed the Children about this Competition Entry. - 1814 days ago read more >

Drew Mons updated this Competition Entry. - 2741 days ago

Drew Mons submitted this idea. - 2741 days ago