Water (2011-2012)


Water is essential to life on earth; we swim in it, swallow it and seek solace from it. Water serves as both a byway and a barrier to human interactions; water nourishes, sustains and destroys; it is a source of inspiration and despair. Without it, we cannot live.

Interdisciplinary Projects

WATERDuring the academic year 2011-2012 and extending into fall semester 2012, Emory College Center for Creativity & Arts (CCA) presented a yearlong exploration of the myriad ways that water and human behavior intersect and interact. The CCA committed to examining water artistically, academically and practically, from sustainability and public health events, to musical compositions based on the sounds and movements of water.

Fostering creative interdisciplinary collaboration is integral to the mission of Emory. The CCA water projects afforded the opportunity for work across the University and within the community and suggest the formation of institutional partnerships to investigate a wide-reaching theme that affects us all. The CCA partnered with on-campus and off-campus entities to encourage a variety of engagements with the topic.


By exploring water and its role in our life through these many lenses, we built community awareness of the critical importance of water in our lives, the importance of honoring the limited resources of water, and a respect for its power to destroy, build and inspire.

By reaching out to the Atlanta community, through our partnerships with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Coan Middle School, Out of Hand Theater, the Upper Chattahoochee Riverkeeper and others, we built a year-long community event that reaches well beyond Emory's walls and into the greater Atlanta community.

Water in the Classroom

In spring semester 2012, students in Music Professor John Lennon's composition class wrote a series of works inspired by the theme of water that were performed by the Vega String Quartet. Theater Emory Artistic Director John Ammerman's spring theater course built toward three public performances of "SUMIDAGAWA: The Mad Woman at the Sumida River" a Japanese play about water. The Department of Film and Media Studies sponsored a series of films based on water, and Student Health Services sponsored a contest for students to make thier own water-themed films.

Event Highlights

Creativity Conversation with Dr. Craig Hill

September 27, 2011
Vice-President and Secretary of the University Rosemary Magee hosted a Creativity Conversation with Dr. Graig hill, Department of Chemistry. His lab has developed the fasted, carbon-free molecular water oxidation catalyst to date, considered a crucial component for generating clean hydrogen fuel using only water and sunlight.

Watching Hands: Artists Respond to Keeping Well

September 2011 - January 2012
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Foundaion and Georgia Pacific sponsored a showcase of six artists who interpreted the act of hand washing in innovative and unexpected ways. The exhibition streached the boundaries of current public health compaigns through art and new media. Read more at CDC.gov >>

Water Study: A Site-Specific Event

October 15 - 19, 2011
Emory Dance alumnus and artistic director of Beacon Dance D. Patton White lead audiences through Baker Woodlands ravine in a new dance piece featuring Emory students and Beacon Dance. 'Water Study" explored the relationship between scientists and subjec. Read more at Creative Loafing online >>

Vessel–A Water Happening

October 18, 2011
Lori Teague, associate professor in the Dance and Movement Studies Program, led a structured improvisation beginning at the Michael C. Carlos Museum and moving around Emory's campus. Participants poured water from one vessel to another, creating an accumulating line across campus until the water was finally depleated.

Residency with Visual Artist John Grade

November 7 - 20, 2011
Environmental artist John Grade visited Emory University as artist-in-residence to design and build a large-scale sculptural installation usuaing water bottles along with other recycled and biodegradable materials. More about the "Piedmont Divide" project >>

Without Which Nothing

November 19, 2011
Emory students participated in a public workshop production of Out Of Hand Theater's work-in-progress, "Without Which Nothing," sponsored by the Playwriting Center of Theater Emory. The play follows three narratives: a scientific struggle to discover water sources in space; a retold story of the frog prince in which he mutates due to water pollution; and the daily journey for water in a very dry place.

Women and Water Celebration

March 2012
In partnership the the Center for Women at Emory, CCA celebrated Women's History Month with the "Women and Water" performance and lecture series. Lectures included “Women, Water, and Microfinance: Agents of Global Empowerment,” a talk by April Rinne, director of WaterCredit, a microfinance initiative of water.org, and “Women and Water: Empowering Women to Create a Sustainable Future,” a talk with eco-living expert Laura Turner Seydel. Performances included "Women and Water • Vessel," a collaboration between the Emory Dance Program and Department of Theater Studies; "Body of Water," an Emory Dance flash mob on the Emory Quadrangle; and "Questions to ask a river, or a creek," a live dance performance by dance faculty member Lori Teague. Read more about Women and Water >>

Constructive interference: a dialogue on sanitation and health through inquiry and art

March 19 - May 16, 2012
The Rollins School of Public Health presented an interdisciplinary exploration of the impact of safe sanitation on human health. The visual arts exhibition, co-sponsored by the Center for Global Safe Water at Emory featured original artwork created through the collaboration of artists and scientists and examining themes of water and safe sanitation. Watch a video about the exhibition >>

Emory University Symphony Orchestra and Emory University Chorus Concert

April 20 - 21, 2012
The water-themed program included Mozart’s “Coronation Mass,” Brahms’ "Nänie," and Britten’s “Four Sea Interludes from Peter Grimes;” directed by Richard Prior and Eric Nelson of the Emory Symphony Orchestra and University Chorus, respectively.


September 27, 2012
Choreographer Lori Teague and videographer Mark Teague collabrorated with Atlanta movement artists to present "Bend" a dance-for-camera video installation about the human relationship to water. Read and interview with Lori Teague about the project >>