The Art of Clean Water
May 12, 2016
Local Nonprofit Travels to Kenya to implement and evaluate life-saving water projects to thousands; Austin artists to witness, record community transformation.
Well Aware gives life-saving water as Austin artists create music, photography and film to document its social impact
AUSTIN – Local nonprofit Well Aware will be traveling with a team of 21 to Kenya May 31-June 15 to oversee and implement and evaluate multiple water projects that will run through the hands of more than 27,500 people. These life-changing clean water projects will be expressed in music and captured in video and photography by some of Austin’s top artists.
“Well Aware is ready to work with local staff and communities to oversee their wells that give clean water to so many,” said Well Aware Founder and Executive Director Sarah Evans. “We are also pleased to have a unique collaboration of talented, local artists join us on this trip to show the world how lives are changed through clean water.”
Well Aware will work with a team to drill one new well and three water expansion projects. The nonprofit will also review completed projects, follow up on completed work, and conduct impact measurement surveys in select communities for future projects. The team includes Austin doctor Dr. Ann Messer who will be holding medical camps.
Evans and her team are also collaborating with local National Geographic Creative photographer Greg Davis, who documented their trip last year. He will be taking photographs of the trip for additional art and awareness of this project and plans to unveil one of his art pieces during a water system dedication at Alamach that supplies water to 4,000 people.
In addition, the Billboard chart-topping band Saints of Valory, an American alternative rock band from Austin, will witness Well Aware’s work and create content for its upcoming album release later this year. Independent film producer Brad Feeser will be producing online content and a short film of the experience. Photographer Manny Pandya will also be capturing the events for future artistic projects.
Water drills and initiatives from the trip include:
■ A new water well at Daaba Juu – The small community will no longer need to rely on an open water well where women and children must climb down the slippery rocks to retrieve water. Children and animals have fallen and died in this well, and the danger continues to be a significant concern in the community. The new well will serve more than 3,500 people.
■ A water system expansion at Daaba Center -- Well Aware rehabilitated a broken borehole and put in a solar-powered pump in 2011 that spurred a growth in population. Well Aware will return to expand its water system to accommodate the 7,000 people in the area.
■ A water system expansion at Alamach -- In July 2014, Well Aware installed a water well and applied its sustainability model to the community of 4,000 people. In nine months the community grew by 3,000 as it organized around the water system. The water expansion will help this growing community that now has acres of crops for food and income.
■ There will also be project evaluation for a new drill in Meru planned for 2016, project location scouting in additional areas, medical camps led by Messer for HIV and AIDS training and general hygiene and sanitation practices. Dr. Karambu Ringera will also conduct community training through the International Peace Initiative.
Well Aware has put in 27 high-yielding water systems since it began in 2010. The number of those served by the water systems has more than tripled in two years alone - from 35,000 to 109,500 people who now have clean water for life.
Artists traveling with Well Aware such as Davis are internationally recognized for their humanitarian and creative work. Davis is a founding member of the Austin Center for Photography and a Texas Photographic Society member. MSNBC.com, Professional Photographer magazine and multiple exhibitions throughout the U.S. have featured his work. He has won more than 20 awards and has been published worldwide.
Saints of Valory has opened for The Rolling Stones, was named one of Billboards 2012 Top Unsigned Artists and signed with Atlantic Records. This year the band teamed up with former “Swedish House Mafia” DJ Steve Angello and released the song “Stay” on his debut album Wild Youth that went #1 in more than 50 countries. The band recently toured at Coachella, ACL, Rock in Rio and FireFly.
Feeser is an independent film producer, director of photography and editor in Austin. His style is perhaps best described as authentic, gritty and emotionally driven. His recent clients include Team USA, Warner Bros. Records, Edible Magazine, DuPont and Hardies.
Pandya has worked with international brands including the United Business Media, Progressive International Motorcycle Show, KYMCO USA, Victory Motorcycles, GoDaddy.com and Tissot Watches. He has developed a comprehensive understanding of marketing, branding and brand communications for enthusiast and artisan products and services.
About Well Aware
Well Aware is an Austin-based nonprofit that funds and implements clean water systems for impoverished communities in Africa. Well Aware is known for its sustainability model in building lasting water systems with high impact. The model combines community involvement, strategic non-governmental organization partnerships, technical expertise, and impact measurement to create sustainable solutions that drive economic development and nurture self-sufficient communities. For more information about Well Aware, visit www.wellawareworld.com.
PHOTO CUTLINE: This award-winning photograph from National Geographic Creative Photographer Greg Davis was taken during Well Aware’s 2015 efforts in Kenya. Davis and additional artists will document and create new content for Well Aware’s work during the June trip.
To schedule an interview with Sarah Evans, Greg Davis, additional artists, or coordinate an interview with village members in Kenya contact Well Aware's media manager, James Leshikar, firstname.lastname@example.org, 512.589.8636