OK, cool it with the eye-rolling.
Word of a water bar opening this month in northeast Minneapolis no doubt has prompted a snarky skepticism among those who figure, “Crazy hipsters,” and read no further.
Granted, it is a bar that will serve tap water — even flights of tap water — for no charge. Free. Gratis.
The Water Bar isn’t a business, but an art installation by the Works Progress Studio, the brainchild of Colin Kloecker and Shanai Matteson. The studio’s stated goal is to engage a network of people from designers to researchers to advocates to create “public art and design projects rooted in place and purpose.”
Little wonder, then, that several of their projects revolve around the Mississippi River — our hydrologic aorta.
The Water Bar concept began in 2014 as a pop-up public art project, traveling around the region with local tap waters served by artists, water researchers, sustainability educators, and other community residents, according to its website. This will be the first one with a permanent location.
The goal is to spark conversation about local water, and how we might better engage complicated issues of water pollution and scarcity, land use and urban development, climate change and environmental injustice.
Its tagline is clarity itself: Water is all we have.
Unconvinced? Two words: Flint, Michigan.
The Water Bar will open later this month along Central Avenue, just off Lowry Avenue. Check water-bar.org for updates.