Water, Arts, and Culture Accelerator

Arts and culture hold tremendous power for advancing equitable and sustainable water solutions. 

Tapping into this kind of innovation is especially important today, as the One Water movement faces increasing challenges across the nation—from aging infrastructure and emerging contaminants to water equity and climate change. The water sector has an opportunity to step into the realm of possibility and stretch its boundaries. As creators, artists have processes and practices for doing just that. 
The US Water Alliance’s Water, Arts, and Culture Accelerator establishes effective municipal water and arts partnerships to spark creativity and innovation in the water sector. Over a year, participants engage with artistic thinking and cultural strategies through peer learning exchanges, coaching calls, interactive exercises, and more. The Accelerator builds capacity for cross-sector collaboration, enhances problem-solving skills, and strengthens approaches for building authentic relationships between utilities and communities. 
The inaugural Water, Arts, and Culture Accelerator took place in 2020 – 2021, supporting utilities and artists to work together to address a climate-related water challenge by using cultural strategies and creative practices that engage a directly impacted and historically underserved community. Four US Water Alliance member utilities—Central Arkansas Water, Madison Metropolitan Sewerage District, the Philadelphia Water Department, and Tucson Water—established partnerships with local artists to accelerate collaborative action and pilot projects in their cities. The inaugural Accelerator culminated with the 2022 compendium, The Power of Arts and Culture: One Water Partnerships for Change, detailing how partnerships were built and sharing insights into co-developing effective solutions.