Sewer District offering paid creative residency to engage and empower water stewards

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District seeks applicants for its first educator/artist in residency program

MADISON — Madison Metropolitan Sewerage District is seeking artists and/or educators of any discipline for a one-year paid residency starting in January 2022. The goal of this residency is to expand the District’s connection in our community, spark conversations about water stewardship, and build a shared understanding of the essential role of water in our lives.

“One of the challenges we face in the wastewater sector is that much of our infrastructure is unseen and therefore, taken for granted,” says Michael Mucha, chief engineer and director of the District. “This residency will help the District build community understanding of the value of and essential role water plays for us all by stimulating conversations about water and water stewardship in creative ways, with new audiences. We all care about water, and we want to connect our hearts and minds to efforts to conserve it.”

The District is currently accepting initial Requests for Qualifications through its One Water Madison website. RFQs are due Thursday, November 11. From the initial pool of applicants, three candidates will be selected to submit a final proposal. Full details, including application requirements and scoring criteria, are available on the website.

The individual selected for this residency will work out of the District’s Shop One, a historic building and community space at the Nine Springs Wastewater Treatment Plant campus. Shop One provides an opportunity for hands-on interaction, exploration and experience with water and the One Water message.

“The water we have is all the water we will ever have — we can’t create more of it,” says Martye Griffin, the District’s director of ecosystem services. “By changing how we think about and use this finite resource, we can improve quality of life for us all. That’s the One Water message and what Shop One is for.”

This residency is the result of a deliberate, thoughtful process. The District brought together ut community, cultural and artist advisors to develop a strategy and a program that equitably centers the artist and community. It was further supported by a U.S. Water Alliance Arts Accelerator grant.

The selected educator or artist will be charged with designing and executing a one-year paid residency that connects the community through conversations about water and the One Water concept and builds an understanding of the essential role water plays for us all. It will also be an opportunity for the selected individual to deepen their artistic practice while paving the way for strengthened community water connections.

For more information about the residency program, visit