We Are Water

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

from all parts of the city around our shared waters

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 incredibly diverse city we are, this is a multi-cultural event using the arts to create meaningful connections to each other and the water.


In light of COVID-19, we have made the difficult decision to cancel We Are Water, scheduled for June 28th, 2020.

Public health and safety is our top priority. This event relies heavily on people gathering in close proximity which puts not only those in attendance at risk, but everyone they interact with. In consideration of the health and well-being of our artists, staff, volunteers, and event participants, the choice to cancel is clear.

We will gather and create art and share water stories on the beach again!

But until it is safe to do so, we will find other ways to connect around our common waters.

We Are Water 2020

Sunday, June 28th, 2020

6:30-9 pm

South Shore Park Beach

2900 S. Shore Drive

Bay View, WI 53207

Thank You!

We would like to thank everyone who came out on September 8th, 2019 and participated in the 6th annual We Are Water celebration!

We listened to live music from Latino Strings Mariachi Infantil, folk artists David HB Drake, and drumming by Cecilio Negron Jr.  We also heard five unique water stories and created a giant illuminated image of the Great Lakes in the sand with our Artist-in-Residence, Melanie Ariens.

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, poetry by Kavon Cortez Junior and drumming by Cecilio Negron Jr. as together, we created an illuminated image of the Great Lakes in the sand.

Water is unifying. 

The community that comes together at this annual event is something we look forward to every year and we are so grateful for your presence (in person or spirit), participation, and voice.

So with that, we thank you and look forward to seeing you on the beach next year!

Stay tuned for the 2020 We Are Water date!  But first, enjoy these 2019 photos below...

Every Culture Has Water Stories

 At We Are Water 2019, we listened to our fellow Milwaukeeans water stories as we learned about the cultural traditions that make up our city.

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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. 

Hope to see you at our next lakefront celebration!

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Milwaukee Water Commons

1836 W. Fond Du Lac Ave.

Milwaukee, WI 53205



@2020 Milwaukee Water Commons