Mixed Media Celebrate Water Day at the Railyard
Clean hands can save your fe; ecosyste s e at e heart of the global water cycle. These are two of the essages disseminated by the 22-year-old World Water Day campaign est lishe in 93 by the Un Nations General Assembly. March 22 is the designa day for the nual observance; this year, it falls on a Sund Tha ay, t e Sa ta Fe-based or anization Water Engineers for the Americ (WEF is staging a pecial event for this year’s theme, which is ti ed “t d Susta able Development.”
From 7 to 10 p.m., the nonprofit’s volunteers and executive director, Elise Arena, will be at the Santa Fe Railyard water tower at the corner of Alcaldesa and Market streets. “We are putting together a video installation,” Arena said. “We’ll bathe the area in blue light, and the video is 40 minutes and will loop. It contains information about global water issues, factual information about water and our organization, and there will be a photo montage from our work in Central America and Mexico.”
The installation was designed and donated by Marisela La Grave, director of the Magnetic Laboratorium, an intermedia artist collaborative based in New York City (La Grave spends part of each year in Santa Fe, however).
Arena wants to raise awareness about WEFTA, which has worked on more than 60 drinking-water and wastewater-system projects in Latin America. WEFTA responds to requests for engineering and/or financial aid from communities, then sends in engineers to make the improvements happen. “We are now working on projects in the Altiplano [the high plateau in Bolivia, Peru, Chile, and Argentina], where there is accessible water, but it needs to be piped closer to people’s homes. We also have clean-water or latrine projects in Honduras and in Chiapas, Mexico.”
Her original vision for this event was to project the video directly onto the water tower, but that would have been too expensive — WEFTA is a thrifty enterprise. “We can do projects that make a difference for $3,000, where most fancy, big organizations need more like $3 million. Our engineers, many of whom are with Souder, Miller & Associates, use their vacation time for this work. It’s all about enthusiasm and passion. What we do is definitely from the heart.” For information about this free-of-charge event, visit www.wefta.net or call 505-473-9211.