Decorate the Well in Gratitude

July 26, 2008

Invigorate the Common Well: Episode 3: Decorate the Well in Gratitude

Presented by In the Heart of the Beast Theater, in collaboration with On the Commons

HOBT celebrates its newly restored lobby drinking fountain with a free family festival.

HOBT concluded Phase One of the Invigorate the Common Well project with live music, an outdoor street carnival, puppet shows, and art-making activities, on the final day of the 68th Aquatennial Festival right here on Lake Street.

Lake Street, from Bloomington to 15th Avenue, was closed for the day to make room for activities inspired by old-fashioned carnival games about disappearing aquifers, brain teasers about water issues, a fortune teller, and “taste testing.”

Public and private advocacy groups created interactive, kid-friendly demonstrations about storm water runoff, sewage treatment and rapidly filling landfills, in Spanish and English.

The festival continued Inside the theater, with hands-on art making activities, short videos, puppet shows and a gallery of water paintings contributed through an open community call for paintings about water.

The emphasis was on FUN for all as we considered local and global issues surrounding WATER and how individual actions can make a difference.

Area 1: The Quality of Our Mississippi Watershed

(This area sponsored by Minneapolis Public Works, Division of Surface Water & Sewers)

Into the River Riverwalk
  • A giant game board, progressing from the Headwaters to the Mouth of the Mississippi River through the situations of our daily lives that affect the positive & negative quality of the River.
What Do You Find in the River?
  • A Fishpond built especially for very small children to discover what one finds in the River
  • A performance for small children (and their families) focusing on Minnesota’s 150 Year Connection to Water
Fortunes Here!
  • A fortune teller will endow people with their ability to be fabulous stewards of Our Common Water, citing absurd, fun and heroic situations within the backdrop of watershed / commons thinking.
Photo Opportunities
  • See yourself as part of the Mississippi Watershed!
Information/Advocacy Booths
  • Mpls Public Works, Div. of Surface Water & Sewers
  • Friends of a Mississippi River
Inside the Lobby
  • The Renovated Drinking Fountain!!
  • Prayer Ties Gathered from Episode 1: Come to the Well
  • Participatory Installation of Painting of Water Flags to Decorate the Well in Gratitude
  • Cabinets of Water Curiosities
Inside the Foyer
  • Designs for the 8 New Public Drinking Fountains Commissioned by the City of Minneapolis
  • Video Collage of Water moving from Rain to the River, through the public works to our fountain, and back to the river

Area 2: About the Quantities of Water We Use

Shrinking Wonder ! ? !
  • A game of “musical chairs” focused on the situation of the shrinking aquifers.
Carry Me!
  • Experience how heavy Water is… Water hand carried in world, and water carried in pipes.
Allota Wata
  • Reductionist cooking show with host “Allota Water” demonstrating how much of the world’s Water is available for use, and how much USA uses compared to the rest of the world.
For a Strawberry Pie
  • Puppet show revealing the visible & invisible consumption of US water through the making of strawberry pie in the middle of the winter.
Wrestling Match: Lawn vs. Prairie
  • Handpuppet show wrestling with the question of why lawns are such Water guzzlers.
Cycles of Water
  • An interactive display of the Cycles of Water, about: the journey water makes up and down and back to the ground and around and around; the journey water makes through time; the cycles of health and poison back to health again, what we can do.
Information/Advocacy Booths
  • HOBT Main Information Booth
In the Auditorium
  • Participatory Painting of Flags to Decorate the Well in Gratitude
  • Invigorate the Common Well Mural
Videos in the Back Stage
  • Our Water Commons – Video collage exploring the physical necessity of water, and the question of who sits “at the table” of water deliberations.
  • Water: a Right or a Privilege? – Video Documentary Presenting questions & issues of the privatization of water & the commons of water.

Area 3: Questions of Public and Private Water, Tap and Bottled Water

Is Water Trivial??
  • Guessing game about facts of Minneapolis Water Works, bottled pO and other water systems.
Taste Testing
  • Compare the taste of tap water w/ bottled waters.
  • Sponsored by the MN Dept. of Health, Drinking Water Division
From River to the River
  • A performance featuring the journey of water from the Mississippi River, through the waterworks, and back to the River.
  • Includes a bit about bottled Water as well.
Information /Advocacy Booths
  • On the Commons
  • Water Reclamation Group
  • Stop the Bottle Campaign
  • Minneapolis Water Works Drinking Water Treatment and Distribution
  • The Minnesota Department of Health, Drinking Water Division

The Dedication Ceremony

3 – 3:45 pm in the Street and in the Theatre’s Lobby

  • Anishinabe Academy Drummers sing Honor song to the Water
  • Welcome from Sandy Spieler
  • A blessing and few words from Clyde Bellecourt
  • A few more words From Sandy Spieler, Performance of What If?!, and words from Gary Schiff, Karen Clark, Rachel Breen, the plumber, Susan Gust and Harvey Winje
  • Intro to Joko and Tri Sutrisno, Gamelan students, Roy McBride, HOBT performers
  • Invitation to the Well – White animals, Gamelan and dancers inside, poem outside.
  • Final honor song/dance lead by thenDanza Mexica Cuauhtemoc
  • Music by the Brass Messengers follows
  • Music by the Gamelan follows in the Fountain Room