Water Challenge Civic Design Competition Finalists Announced

3 projects selected to compete for $25,000 at the 5th Annual Water Challenge during New Orleans Entrepreneur Week.

2 March 2015

Media Contact:

Catherine Gans
(504) 302-3747   

Lindsay Glatz
(504) 304-2925

NEW ORLEANS, LA (Mar. 2, 2015) – Today, Propeller: A Force for Social Innovation and Arts Council New Orleans announce that Jennifer Blanchard (Contraflow), Michel Varisco (Turning), and Amy Stelly & Darryl Reeves (Drop in the Bowl) have been selected as finalists for the 2015 Water Challenge civic design pitch competition.

“Along with the Arts Council Propeller is excited to present three creative teams that are working to strengthen our community’s relationship to water through civic design and engagement,” said Ginny Hanusik, Programs Coordinator at Propeller: A Force for Social Innovation.

The Water Challenge civic design competition is a new and critical component of the 5th Annual Water Challenge, a daylong event focused on highlighting market-based, entrepreneurial solutions to our region’s water crisis. The event will take place during the morning session from 10:15 - 12:00PM at The Chicory on Fulton Street on Monday, March 23, 2015 during the 7th Annual New Orleans Entrepreneur Week.

“The Living with Water Arts Pitch is a tremendous opportunity for the public to engage in the Arts Council’s public art process and bring a socially responsive artwork revolving around New Orleans water issues into the community,” said Bryan C. Lee, Jr. Arts Council Director of Place + Civic Design. 

The finalists offer variations on the competition theme “Living With Water,” with project proposals incorporating native Louisiana totem poles, rain gardens, kinetic sculpture, and illustration. They will pitch ideas for $25,000 to fund their community-based, interactive piece, commissioned by the City of New Orleans’ Percent for Art Program administered by the Arts Council New Orleans.

The winner will be determined by an audience vote following a critical feedback panel including Sophie Harris, Executive Director of Friends of Lafitte Corridor, and David Waggonner, Principal of Waggonner & Ball Architects. The winning design will be installed on the new Lafitte Greenway as a creative catalyst for concerted public dialogue around water and the challenges it poses for the city of New Orleans.

Living with Water: Civic Design Competition is a partnership between The Arts Council New Orleans: Place + Civic Design Lab and Propeller: A Force for Social Innovation.
The Water Challenge is a collaborative initiative between Propeller and Idea Village, sponsored by the Greater New Orleans Foundation.

Through the Dutch Dialogues® workshops and the development of the Greater New Orleans Urban Water Plan, Waggonner & Ball Architects has played a leading role in bringing living with water® to the forefront of contemporary planning practices, urban design and public policy.