Art above NYC. Water above all.

Water tank art for water awareness.



What Is The Water Tank Project?

Launching summer 2014, The Water Tank Project will transform the New York City skyline.

Artwork by acclaimed artists and New York City public school students will be wrapped around rooftop water tanks throughout the city, celebrating the talents of established and emerging artists, and calling attention to the global water crisis.

The Water Tank Project is part art exhibition, part awareness campaign. For the duration of the project, art above will be complemented by action on the ground through educational programs, public tours, social media activities and a symposium dedicated to inspiring fresh views on global water issues.

Our aim is to produce art as social intervention, to inspire awe and joy, to educate, and to alter attitudes and habits among those who experience The Water Tank Project, ultimately creating meaningful and long-lasting change.

The Water Tank Project is the inaugural initiative of Word Above the Street, a non-profit dedicated to fostering environmental awareness and social advocacy through art.

  • © 2014 ICY and SOT

  • © 2014 Marilyn Minter

  • © 2014 Eteri Chkadua

The Water Tank Project Team

Team Members:
Mary Jordan (bio)
Founder and Creative Director
Neville Wakefield
Chief Curatorial Advisor
Jana La Sorte
Director of External Relations
Mitra Khorasheh
Curator/Project Manager
Lance Stephens
David Porras
Content Producer
Elana Haviv
Education Associate
Tero Turunen
Water Advisor
Henry Buhl
Founder, Henry Buhl Foundation and Founder, ACE New York
Baldev Duggal
President and CEO, Duggal Visual Solutions
Kim Estes-Fradis
Deputy Director of Education and Outreach, NYC Environmental Protection
David Walentas
Founder, Two Trees Management Company
Sustainability advisory panel:
Aimée Christensen
Founder and CEO, Christensen Global Strategies
Angela Ferrante
Director, Alternative Energy Solutions, Energi, Inc
Dr. Upmanu Lall
Director, Earth Institute Water Center, Columbia University
Adam Joseph Lewis
Environmental expert and philanthropist
David Orr
Paul Sears Distinguished Professor, Environmental Studies and Politics and Special Assistant to the President of Oberlin College and a James Marsh Professor at the University of Vermont
Alex Prud’homme
Journalist and Author of ‘The Ripple Effect: The Fate of Fresh Water in the Twenty-First Century’


    Portraits by Martin Saar

      The Water Tank Project Support




      Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC); World Resource Institute (WRI), Columbia Water Center (Earth Institute); Waves 4 Water; STUDIO IN A SCHOOL; Newmark Knight Frank; ABC Realty; ArtBase; Bettina Equities; Brown Harris Stevens; The Durst Organization; Fenwick Keats Realty; Forest City Ratner Companies; Halstead Property; Malkin Holdings; Manhattan Skyline; REBNY; Jack Resnick & Sons; Rudin Management; RXR Realty; Two Trees Management; Vornado Realty Trust; Time Equities Inc.; The Shed.


      Agnes Gund AG Foundation; Lily Auchincloss Foundation, Inc.; the Booth Ferris Foundation; The Andrea & Charles Bronfman Fund at Brandeis University;The Ford Foundation; Deutsche Bank Americas Foundation; The Rockefeller Foundation New York City Cultural Innovation Fund; the Hauptman Family Foundation; The Ronald and Jo Carole Lauder Foundation; The Lear Family Foundation; The Dorothea Leonhardt Foundation; The Toby Devan Lewis Philanthropic Fund; Solutions, A Donor Advised Fund at Aspen Community Foundation on behalf of Adam Joseph Lewis; Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors; ACE Foundation.


      Bettina & Donald L. Bryant, Jr; Elizabeth K. Belfer; Agnes Gund.


      Bauer Family; Stephen and Claudine Bronfman; Pippa Cohen; Bobby Foshay Miller; Amanda and Glenn Furhman; Will McDonough; Michelle Smith; David Teiger.

      Water Education

      Education and Youth Engagement

      The Water Tank Project believes that the seeds of meaningful change take root when nourished by education. To that end, The Water Tank Project collaborated with Children’s Movement for Creative Education (CMCE) to develop ‘Trace the Tap’, a water-focused curriculum that encourages students to explore the importance of clean water from biological, environmental, cultural and economic perspectives.

      ‘Trace the Tap’ reveals to students the bigger picture of a resource they encounter every day and has the potential to empower a new generation of water stewards. It guides them to develop an understanding of the vital importance of water in supporting life, and gives them the tools to investigate local, national and international water issues. The knowledge acquired through this program will give young people a foundation on which to build leadership roles and ultimately educate their communities about one of the most pressing concerns of our time.

      This twelve-week supplemental program, supported by both the Department of Education and the Department of Environmental Protection, will be offered through our website.

      Student Artist Initiative

      In collaboration with Studio in a School, The Water Tank Project engaged New York City public high school students in a competition for the chance to see their artwork featured on a water tank.

      With the launch of The Water Tank Project this summer, a selection of student artwork will be displayed alongside art by some of today’s leading artists, strengthening the community’s involvement and reinforcing its connection to the project.

      The Water Tank Project believes that providing an educational platform within a public art project is crucial to fostering dialogue about critical issues. The artwork produced by student artists for The Water Tank Project reveals a fundamental grasp of the countless issues surrounding water, and gives hope that a new generation of water stewards will help protect our most vital resource.

      Support for the student artist initiative generously provided by: Agnes Gund; The Lily Auchincloss Foundation; The Booth Ferris Foundation; Duggal Visual Solutions; The Ford Foundation; David Zwirner


      Mailing list

      Get up-to-date information on The Water Tank Project. Subscribe to our mailing list:


      For more information about sponsorships and strategic alliance opportunities, please email:


      Want to volunteer for The Water Tank Project? Please email:

      Press Inquiries

      Photo: Clifford Ross