A statewide storytelling project & Water Bar for Minnesota

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, in partnership with the Minnesota Humanities Center, has invited Water Bar & Public Studio to help design and facilitate a Water Bar for the 2017 Minnesota State Fair. This State Fair Water Bar will be a centerpiece of the Eco-Experience Building, which has an average of 250,000 visitors over the course of the 12 days of the fair.

To create this project, we are working with these and other cultural and community partners in several places across Minnesota to tap into local knowledge and stories of water. If we are able to gather enough financial support, we will also work with artists and other community residents in each of these places to produce media about water and water ways.

This project will culminate in a statewide network of Water Bar water tenders and multiple platforms for sharing stories across Minnesota. This network of water tenders, and these storytelling platforms, will be the focus of a 12-day-long State Fair Water Bar serving tap water from urban, suburban, rural, and tribal communities. Together, we'll highlighting ways that water impacts life in the three major watersheds that begin in Minnesota.

Through partnerships with colleges and universities, this Water Bar will also feature science professionals and students sharing water research and data. Through partnerships with the Minnesota chapter of the American Water Works Association, employees from large and small water utilities will talk about our public infrastructure. Water and place-based advocacy groups will also share information about the connections between water, place, policy, and environmental justice.

Visitors to this Water Bar will learn how to get involved with efforts to protect water, and will also have a chance to contribute their own story to a statewide story map.