The average Utahn consumes 260 gallons of water per day, making our state the highest consumer of treated water in the nation. With one of the lowest rainfalls and fastest-growing populations in the U.S., water conservation has become a critical issue for Utah. The projects accomplished the following:
H2O premiered in tandem with Utah’s Water Week. In line with Brolly Arts’ objectives of developing community and addressing community interests and issues through the arts, we created a week-long, multi-disciplinary arts project. We joined with Salt Lake Public Utilities to integrate our programming into the Water Week calendar of events, complementing the City’s educational offerings with artistic perspectives on the same issues. H2O activities were presented throughout Salt Lake both inside and out.
Brolly Arts joins with Repertory Dance Theater (RDT) to collaborate in a unique approach to this issue. Beginning on Sep. 27, 2010, with a week-long art exhibition and followed by three nights of performance starting Sept. 30 – H2O brings together dozens of artists from around the country to spark community awareness and dialogue around water issues.
“The arts have a power to touch people, to inspire them, in a way that panel discussions and city council meetings can’t,” said Amy McDonald, Founder of Brolly Arts. “These artists are leveraging that power to tackle a critical issue in the developing West.”
Each evening of H2O kicks off with two hours of free visual and performance art installations by local and national artists, curated by Brolly Arts, in the Rose Wagner’s “alternative spaces” – lobbies, hallways, and even the Womens’ Restroom. This part runs from 5:15 pm – 7:15 pm. Continuing the evening, attendees will enter the Jeanne Wagner Theatre for RDT’s fall concert, also highlighting aspects water. “We’re highlighting the mundane uses for water, which we take for granted on a daily basis as well as the aesthetic and emotional components of this precious resource,” said McDonald.
Working in video, installation, sculpture, poetry, modern dance and visual art, participating artists include Wearable Architecture by Robin Lasser and Adrienne Pao, Another Language, the Midwives Collective (from Philadelphia), Trent Alvey with musician Gentry Densley, Blaine Black, Ellen Bonett, Laurie Bray, Spencer Cope, Sallie Dean-Shatz, Julie Foster, Dave Hall and Joel Long, Ian Leinbach, Maggie Nowinski, Zara Shallbetter, Holly Simonsen and Laura McCoy, Marcela Torres, Margaret Willis, Gary Wiseman, Lynne Wimmer, and choreographers Sofia Gorder and Mallory Rosenthal.
“If people walk away from this event simply more aware of the preciousness of water and their own relationship to it, we can make a significant impact,” said McDonald.
According to the Division of Water Resources, if Utahns can reduce per-capita consumption of water 25 percent, they will conserve the equivalent of over 500,000 acre-feet of water per year — or more water than can be held in Jordanelle Reservoir and Deer Creek Reservoir combined, and more than any water project in Utah has developed.
“A little bit goes a long way,” McDonald added.