Advancing One Water Through Arts and Culture: A Blueprint for Action

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This report compiles informative case studies, focusing on programs that have successfully incorporated artists, art, and culture into their place-based, transformative approaches. These programs aimed to address affordability issues, make connections between people and their environment, promote holistic water resource management, increase community participation, mitigate and remediate damages, integrate community needs into infrastructure, and support community activism. From the report:

“Just as arts and culture strategies have been catalysts in other areas of community development, they can also be a transformative element in helping water leaders achieve their One Water goals. Artistic processes can reveal hidden connections, interdependencies, and relationships, which can inform thinking and planning with a systems mindset. By holistically considering the economic, environmental, and social needs of a community, artists can help projects achieve multiple benefits and minimize negative impacts. Artists can play a valuable role in watershed-scale thinking and action by serving as liaisons between different stakeholder groups or helping people see familiar things from new perspectives. They can bridge diverse interests and needs to cultivate cross-sector partnerships that work toward common goals. Artists can create compelling participatory experiences to help communities recognize that all water has value. Artistic processes and methods that prioritize inclusion and engagement of all community members can help build community connections, trust, and resilience. All of these skills are assets in tackling the complicated, interconnected water challenges of today and enabling equitable water management.”

Citation: Danielle Mayorga, Megan Demit and Alexis Frasz. Advancing One Water Through Arts and Culture: A Blueprint for Action. U.S. Water Alliance and ArtPlace, 2018.