Monday, July 1, 2013

Water Warriors

“We don't set out to save the world; we set out to wonder how other people are doing and to reflect on how our actions affect other people's hearts.”

Pema Chodron

Art for Water raises awareness of the shrinking availability of clean water through the creation of public-participation art installations. Working with people of all ages, we inform about the state of water globally and engage in a dialogue about our relationship with water. We create art as a group, making possible the experience of interdependence. Our hope is that when the level of understanding deepens, along with a connection to the personal and interpersonal, then it is possible to realize a shift in insight – a seed of awareness is then positioned to blossom. People who are aware make different decisions than those who are unaware.

Art for Water is looking for volunteers who are interested in exploring water from an ecological perspective that includes the sacred: Water Warriors. We are water. Advocating for the protection and stewardship of water, while embracing our identity as water not only sustains life, but also affirms it. As Water Warriors we are not interested in transcending the suffering of the world, but in moving toward it with compassion, understanding, and equanimity. We are warriors of non-aggression who listen to cries for help and enter challenging situations to alleviate sorrow.

The condition of the Earth’s water is a revealing commentary on just how little regard most of its inhabitants have for themselves, each other, and our environment. Water Warriors cultivate our own awareness. The only way one can advocate effectively for awareness is through being aware, which is contagious. When one lives intentionally, one’s actions affect all of those with whom one comes in contact.

How will we do this?
  • Through mindfulness meditation,
  • Monthly meetings where we 
    • discuss the mystery, beauty, magic, as well as the predicament of water, 
    • gather for a meal, 
    • design projects and 
    • assign tasks that support Art for Water.

Our Kickoff Meeting has been POSTPONED to accommodate our Warriors that are traveling this summer! 

The Kickoff Meeting will be Monday, September 16 at 6:00PM.  

Regular meetings will be held every 3rd Monday of the month.

If you are interested in being a Water Warrior, and/or you would like to attend our Kickoff Meeting, please contact Christine Badalamenti at or leave us a message on our facebook page,

Thursday, May 23, 2013

NH Fourth Grade Water Science Fair

Do not take lightly good deeds,
Believing they can hardly help.
For drops of water, one by one,
In time can fill a giant pot
-Patrul Rinpoche

On a sunny morning, this Wednesday, May 8th, Christine Badalamenti (Bada) and I set out for the New Hampshire Fourth Grade Water Science Fair in Concord.  It promised to be a beautiful day full of adventure, both for the fourth graders visiting the fair, and for me.  I have been an Antioch University New England student intern with Christine Destrempes for Art for Water this spring semester.  While Christine left to travel the world, Bada and I agreed to take the reigns for this fair.  Organizing a fair activity for children was a new experience for me, and I was excited.

Christine, Bada, and I had brainstormed several ideas for activities to do with the fourth graders.  We landed on the idea of creating a public-participation mobile.  We arrived at the fair with the wire structure created and paper cut into the shapes of raindrops; all we needed was some students to share their thoughts!  Classes of fourth graders came to our tent where we asked them questions about water conservation and why it is important.  They were asked to think about how they use water in their daily lives and where they get their water.  Popular responses for how they use water were to brush their teeth, drink, take showers, and go swimming.  A couple of more creative responses were to wash their dog and water gun fights.  Then we asked if they washed their clothes and we discussed how we use water to make most of the items we use.

After thinking about how water is used and how it comes easily from the tap, we talked to them about how 1 billion people in the world do not have access to clean water and 2 billion people do not have basic sanitation.  In order to give scale for how many people that is, we asked them how long it would take to count to 1 billion.  At first they started out guessing small, such as 3 days or 50 days.  They were often amazed to find that it would take 32 years to count that high, which would make them 42 by the time they had finished counting.  At this point one girl thought that was so old, she would be dead by then! 

Then we did our water carry activity with them, because around the world, girls their age have to carry the family’s water supply 4 to 8 miles a day.  We had a 6-gallon jug filled with water and asked them to take turns picking it up.  They really enjoyed this and some struggled to lift the jug an inch, while others seemed to take pride in being able to lift it a foot off the ground.  But all were amazed to think about having to carry the jug for miles on their backs.

After some discussion about water for context, we set them to our activity to write or draw how they can use less water in their own lives, or some other special message about water.  We gave them the quote from the start of this blog, to encourage them to think about how their own small actions can make a difference.  And as the day progressed they had visual evidence of this fact, as each individual drop was added to the display making a large and beautiful piece of art.  While thinking about how to use less water, one girl made a connection between water being used to manufacture items and water conservation, and suggested that instead of shopping with disposable bags, we shop with a reusable one.  Others stuck mainly to such items as taking shorter showers and plugging the sink when they wash dishes.

By the end of the day we had a large art installation that contained approximately one hundred water drops contributed by fourth grade New Hampshire students, and if they all go home and turn off the faucet while they brush their teeth, what a difference that will make!

Erika Stimpson
Art for Water Intern

Monday, April 29, 2013

Name That Animal Track Contest: We Have the WINNERS!

Saturday morning, April 13, Art for Water, intern Erika Stimpson, and volunteers Noel Greiner, Kat O’Brien, Tabatha Surma, Sheryl Fletcher and her sons Aidan and Liam ages 8 and 11 held their breath as the sun rose to melt away the last night’s snow and reveal dry pavement ready for stenciling.  The commencement of this monumental art project was pushed back an agonizing 2.5 hours, hopeful it would be warm enough and dry enough to begin on the same day as Green Up Keene.  At 11:00am they all hit the pavement, literally, to paint the stencils for Name That Animal Track Contest cosponsored by Keene Department of Public Works.  Art for Water has been collaborating with Keene Public Works to produce this community-wide stenciling installation to inform locals and visitors of the direct connection between Keene’s over 5,000 storm drains to its local waterways like Beaver Brook and the Ashuelot River.  Animal tracks can be found painted walking into storm drains in Keene to remind us that what we throw into our storm goes into their drinking water- and ours!

Art for Water and volunteers spent all of Saturday painstakingly stenciling these tracks with wild winds that required all hands on deck, including those of the volunteer photographers Ryan Assiu and Jason Smith!  Intern Erika Stimpson said one of the most rewarding parts of the day was watching Aidan and Liam transcend normal 8 to 11-year-old attention spans, exhaustion, and the allure of spray paint to be helpful, careful, and thoughtful–seeing the value in giving their time to an environmental and community cause.  Some challenges of the day were managing the wind while trying to use newspapers to keep the surrounding pavement clean, avoiding being “smushed by a car,” and enduring through the curious glances of onlookers who seemed to think they were graffiting public property!  They persevered through teamwork!

Stencils of different mystery animal tracks were painted near family-friendly facilities in Keene and all community members were encouraged to find them and take a picture near them to be entered to win a prize.  There were also four specific animal tracks painted near public elementary schools in Keene and students were encouraged to identify all four of them in order to be entered to win a prize.  Toadstool Bookshops, Target, Innate Gear, and Art for Water donated prizes. 

We have the winners- but first, the answers!  The tracks that were located near public elementary schools in Keene were otter, duck, fox, and raccoon.  Around town you will also find human, canine, mink, skunk, bear, moose, and heron.  Two of our photo winners were Ben and Hazel from Monadnock Waldorf School, and they actually found the stencils outside of Benjamin Franklin Elementary School and took their picture near it!  Our winner to identify all four prints outside of his school was Jack, grade 4 in Miss Starkey’s class at Jonathan M. Daniel School!  Way to go Jack!  All three students will have their prizes delivered on Monday, April 29. 

Monday, April 15, 2013

Name That Animal Track Contest

What kind of animals drink from our local waterways?

Art for Water and Keene Department of Public Works introduce Drain Campaign: Keene, a collaborative effort to make the public aware of the direct connection from the city’s over 5,000 storm drains to the Ashuelot River, Beaver Brook, and beyond. Drain Campaign: Keene is a dynamic stenciling program that creatively reminds us of the importance of keeping our local waterways clean.

To launch Drain Campaign: Keene Art for Water is sponsoring Name That Animal Track Contest for elementary school children. Stencils of animal tracks have been applied near storm drains surrounding Keene Public Elementary Schools this past Saturday, during Green Up Keene.  Students who correctly identify all four animal tracks near their school will be entered to win a prize to include a $25 gift certificate to The Toadstool Bookshops and a stainless steel water bottle from Innate Gear.  There are also more mystery tracks around town near family-friendly sites like the YMCA, Keene Skate Park, Robin Hood Park, and the Recreation Center.  The first 20 people who find these tracks and take a picture with it will also win a prize to include a stainless steel water bottle from Innate Gear!

Contest entries should include the student’s name, school, grade, and teacher.  Photo entries should include the photographed person’s name and the best way to send his/her prize. 

Name That Animal Track Contest runs from Saturday, April 13 through Earth Day, April 22.
Submit contest entries and photos via email to
Contest winners will be announced in the Keene Sentinel and prizes will be delivered to each winner at her or his school. 

Monday, March 11, 2013


Celebrate World Water Day at WaterJam

On Friday, March 22nd Art for Water is hosting WaterJam, an evening of music, stories and poetry. Local, regional and international performers will inspire and entertain as we celebrate the significance of water from a creative point of view. 

Bob, Libby and Jay of Atom Planet
Art for Water raises awareness of the shrinking availability of clean water creatively through monumental, public-participation art installations made by people of all ages - but this year for World Water Day we're doing something a little different. World Water Day, a United Nations program, is held annually on March 22nd as a means of focusing attention on the importance of freshwater while advocating for the sustainable management of freshwater resources. Currently there are more than one billion people living without access to clean water and five million of them die every year from preventable water-related diseases. By 2025 it is predicted that the demand for clean water will exceed supply by 56%. These numbers are staggering and present a looming crisis that goes largely unnoticed; this can happen especially in places privileged to have plenty of safe water, like Keene – but Keene is also privileged to have plenty of interested and thoughtful citizens who care about our local and global neighbors. 

Come share with your community and help us celebrate the magic, mystery, and metaphor of water at Colonial Corner right next to the theater on Main Street in Keene from 7:00 to 9:00pm on March 22nd. Listen to writer and Master Storyteller, Paul Hertneky of Hancock, NH, and magical Native American storyteller and Antioch grad student, Jesse Varga. Verandah Porche of Vermont will read original poems and perform with musician, Patty Carpenter, of Brooklyn, NY. Atom Planet of Vermont will dazzle us with their blend of eclectic acoustic world soul pop–with kazoo! Antioch PhD candidate, Apollinaire William from Rwanda will sing a capella. Lauryn Morley, native of South Africa, and Moriah Peterson, both Antioch New England grad students, will perform folk music. Jason Lambert, playwright and actor from Peterborough, will be our Master of Ceremony.

Public-participation is what Art for Water does, so you will have an opportunity to engage in BabbleOn, an interactive harmonic experiment. What’s that, you ask? Don't worry, it'll be fun.

Admission to WaterJam is free, but donations to Pure Water for the World, Harris Center for Conservation Education, Monadnock Conservancy, or Friends of the Ashuelot River will be welcome. A heartfelt thanks to Bagel Works for providing refreshments.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Twitter Contest for World Water Day

Attention Writers and Tweeters!  

You may have heard that Art for Water is hosting Water Jam, an event to raise awareness about inequitable/unsustainable water issues, raise money for local and global water NGOs, and to celebrate, the vitality, beauty, and significance of water.  Local talent will be performing music, short stories, and poetry directly about or inspired by water. 

We are inviting the twittersphere to add their voice to our mission. 

Art for Water is hosting a contest through twitter.  

We are searching for unique, creative, and inspiring words about water; bring an issue to light, spark an intriguing inquiry, ask a question, offer a solution, move us, make us remember water in our lives.  We will be accepting entries from 12:00AM EST February 22 through 12:00PM EST March 18.  The winner will be announced on World Water Day, March 22, at Water Jam, 7:00PM EST. Standout tweets will be displayed during our multimedia event and will be highlighted online, through video, and in a slideshow.   

Feel free to enter more than once!  We will contact the winner to send a prize.

Please submit your entry through twitter using: