We Are Water

A rich, inter-arts cultural celebration that brings people together

from all parts of the city around our shared waters

EVENT UPDATE  In light of COVID-19, we are currently working on alternatives for We Are Water 2021. 

Public health and safety are our top priorities.  Because this event relies heavily on gathering in close proximity, we will find safer ways to celebrate and connect around our shared waters this year. 

A community-wide lakefront celebration!

We Are Water brings together 300+ Milwaukeeans from every part of the city to celebrate our common waters on the shores of Lake Michigan.  Being the vibrant and diverse city we are, this multi-cultural event uses the arts to create meaningful connections to each other and the water.

We Are Water 2019

Every Culture Has Water Stories


The orchestral sounds of Latino Strings Mariachi Infantil and acoustic folk stylings of David HB Drake kicked off the evening, followed by 5 unique water stories. 


Kavon Cortez Junior read aloud his uniquely crafted Milwaukee-focused poetry. Drumming by Cecilio Negron Jr. closed out the evening while together, we created an illuminated image of the Great Lakes in the sand.

Past years have featured a Native American water ceremony, music and singing, interpretive dance, drumming, poetry, improvisation and original spoken word performance.  Collaborative performers bring their own work and ideas to the event and audience participation happens spontaneously​.​ 

​The evening capstone to this experience is the community creation of a large interactive art installation, an illuminated image of the Great Lakes or written word in the sand. All attendees take part in creating this, placing over 280 cups of water with submersible lights in a drawing in the sand. 


We Are Water continues to be a very moving and singular experience.   Participants have told us they were fully engaged and touched by participating in this beautiful, collaborative creation and felt a deep sense of connection to both the community and our shared waters. 

We hope to see you at our next lakefront celebration!​