Introduced on September thirteenth on the One Water Summit in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, the US Water Alliance awarded Seattle Civic Poet Jourdan Imani Keith the US Water Prize for Excellent Artist, 2022. Awarded on an annual foundation, the US Water Prize celebrates excellent achievements within the development of sustainable, built-in, and inclusive options to our nation’s water challenges. It’s the preeminent nationwide recognition program for exemplary efforts to safe a One Water future for all.
The US Water Prize for Excellent Artist honors an artist or tradition bearer who has used creative interventions or artistic practices to middle water points, administration, infrastructure, or talk the worth of water of their work. The winner of the Water Prize for Excellent Artist can even be awarded $5,000 to assist her persevering with their work.
“We’re honored to have our Civic Poet acknowledged by the US Water Alliance. Ella’s Jourdan Imani Keith’s work is inspirational, uplifting and deeply centered on our communities and our shared duty to take care of our earth and for each other. As we take into consideration the challenges dealing with our surroundings, too typically we reply with pessimism and a defeatist angle, however Jourdan’s poetry is highly effective in its potential to as a substitute empower by meaningfully connecting us to water, waste and the broader social and environmental points which are a part of our every day lives.”
“It’s an honor to obtain the US Water Prize Excellent Artist Award. As Black Indigenous Girls of Coloration in Seattle, we share the city wilderness of the Salish Sea with the endangered Killer Whales. Our our bodies face the identical cumulative dangers of environmental toxins and the harms of objectification, but we each survive and are reviewed by the cumulative advantages of matrilineal knowledge, custom and group. Our brilliance and wellness is entwined with the necessity for wholesome and guarded social and pure ecosystems.”
Jourdan Imani Keith
Keith created a multi-media/occasion venture Girls & Whales First, Poetry in Local weather Change because the Metropolis of Seattle’s 2019-21 Civic Poet, inspecting how poetry can be utilized as a software to light up environmental and social points. The venture centered on the expertise of Black Indigenous Girls* of Coloration and discover, by artwork, the affect of our decisions on the setting all of us share. A part of that physique of labor included the poem Important which was composed in the course of the COVID pandemic. Important was commissioned to have a good time Seattle Public Utilities’ (SPU) Group Centered, One Water, Zero Waste, imaginative and prescient and Strategic Enterprise Plan.*Keith’s use of the phrase ladies embraces all ladies and individuals who self-identify with the experiences of ladies. This contains however will not be restricted to Trans Girls, cis-women, Femmes, Two-Spirit, Gender Numerous and non-conforming individuals.
Weaving collectively Seattle’s 2020 pandemic experiences by the lens of Metropolis water and waste providers, Jourdan’s poem Important makes use of pictures of water as a unifier and connector to Black Lives Issues demonstrations of the current and to the facility we now have to form our future. Every stanza brings forth and divulges a deeper a part of SPU’s typically invisible inside workings and the utility’s objective in our lives permitting the listener and reader to see SPU’s work in a vital mild. It evokes social and environmental motion and reflection. Important additionally turns into a reminder and ode to our pandemic experiences establishing the facility of uninterrupted, important service supply and the heroism of important service staff throughout that blur of time when little else was regular.
Jourdan Imani Keith, Metropolis of Seattle’s 2019-2022 Civic Poet, is a black, LGBTQ+, educating artist, naturalist, and poet, specializing in artistic and environmental work with a racial fairness and social justice lens. Keith based and directed a 10-year non-profit youth program, City Wilderness Undertaking (UWP) to make sure youth of colour have entry to and are engaged within the setting and associated points. Racial fairness and sustainability of the pure world are through-lines of all his work.
Keith’s work on the Metropolis of Seattle is supported by the Workplace of Arts & Tradition (ARTS) and Seattle Public Utilities (SPU). ARTS manages the Civic Poet Program, a two-year fee that celebrates Seattle’s wealthy literary group whereas investing in the way forward for literary arts by group engagement.