The Water Tank Project, New York, United States

The Water Tank Project is part art exhibition, part awareness campaign. For the duration of the project, art above will be complemented by action on the ground through educational programs, public tours, social media activities and a symposium dedicated to inspiring fresh views on global water issues. Launching summer 2014, The Water Tank Project will transform the New York City skyline.

Artwork by acclaimed artists and New York City public school students will be wrapped around rooftop water tanks throughout the city, celebrating the talents of established and emerging artists, and calling attention to the global water crisis.

Our aim is to produce art as social intervention, to inspire awe and joy, to educate, and to alter attitudes and habits among those who experience The Water Tank Project, ultimately creating meaningful and long-lasting change.

The Water Tank Project is the inaugural initiative of Word Above the Street, a non-profit dedicated to fostering environmental awareness and social advocacy through art.

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Education and Youth Engagement

The Water Tank Project believes that the seeds of meaningful change take root when nourished by education. To that end, The Water Tank Project collaborated with Children’s Movement for Creative Education (CMCE) to develop ‘Trace the Tap’, a water-focused curriculum that encourages students to explore the importance of clean water from biological, environmental, cultural and economic perspectives.

‘Trace the Tap’ reveals to students the bigger picture of a resource they encounter every day and has the potential to empower a new generation of water stewards. It guides them to develop an understanding of the vital importance of water in supporting life, and gives them the tools to investigate local, national and international water issues. The knowledge acquired through this program will give young people a foundation on which to build leadership roles and ultimately educate their communities about one of the most pressing concerns of our time.

This twelve-week supplemental program, supported by both the Department of Education and the Department of Environmental Protection, will be offered through our website.

Student Artist Initiative

In collaboration with Studio in a School, The Water Tank Project engaged New York City public high school students in a competition for the chance to see their artwork featured on a water tank.

With the launch of The Water Tank Project this summer, a selection of student artwork will be displayed alongside art by some of today’s leading artists, strengthening the community’s involvement and reinforcing its connection to the project.

The Water Tank Project believes that providing an educational platform within a public art project is crucial to fostering dialogue about critical issues. The artwork produced by student artists for The Water Tank Project reveals a fundamental grasp of the countless issues surrounding water, and gives hope that a new generation of water stewards will help protect our most vital resource.

Support for the student artist initiative generously provided by: Agnes Gund; The Lily Auchincloss Foundation; The Booth Ferris Foundation; Duggal Visual Solutions; The Ford Foundation; David Zwirner