Invigorate the Common Well · Episode 3

July 26, 2008 - HOBT celebrated its newly restored lobby drinking fountain with a free family festival, including an outdoor street carnival, puppet shows, art-making activities, and the ceremonial dedication of the re-newed Public Drinking Fountain.

Lake Street, from Bloomington to 15th Avenue, was closed for the day to make room for activities inspired by old-fashioned carnival games, a fortune teller, taste testing-- all with the lens of water education and experience.

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.


Instigated and directed by Sandy Spieler, with a fabulous team of creators, organizers, performers and participants.

Thanks to the many who helped with the event (partial list): Kathee Foran, Masanari Kawahara, Paul Robinson, Duane Tougas, Tara Chadwick, Will Hommeyer, Margery Otto, Jim Koplin, Julie Boada, Gustavo Boada, Bart Buch, Malia Burkhart, Jose Maquin Gutierrez, Laura Harada, Esther Ouray, Rachel Breen, Mary Jo Nikolai, Emily, Reed Ellis Aubin, Greg Herriges, Robert Hughes, Anne Sawyer, Jessica Tweet, Sam Esguerra, Laurie Witzkowski, Roy McBride, Melissa Koch, Erin Search-Wells, Joko Sutrisno and company, Danza Mexica Cuauhtemoc,, Anishinabe Academy, Diana Kennedy, Jana Larson, Julie Ristau,

Dedication Celebration of the new Fountain and Festival Honoring our Water Commons · July 26, 2008


The Quality of Our Mississippi Watershed

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 or 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!!
  • Paint Water Flags to Decorate the Well in Gratitude
  • Ponder the 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 1 sponsored by Minneapolis Public Works, Division of Surface Water & Sewers)


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 when hand carried or 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 the USA uses compared to the rest of the world.

For a Strawberry Pie
Puppet show revealing the visible and 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: the journey water makes around the Earth; the journey water makes through time; the cycles of health and poison back to health again, and what we can do to take care of the Water.

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 and issues of the privatization of water & the commons of water.


Questions of Public and Private Water, Tap and Bottled Water

Is Water Trivial??
  • Guessing game about facts of Minneapolis Water Works, bottled H2O 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 again. 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 a few words from Clyde Bellecourt
  • A few more words From Sandy Spieler,
  • Performance of What If?!,
  • 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 the Danza Mexica Cuauhtemoc and the Gamelan orchestre.
Music by the Brass Messengers follows in the Fountain Room