City calling for artists to help with ‘Be River SmART’ project


FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – With more than 20,000 storm drains throughout the community, drains are the neighborhood gateways to area rivers. However, the City of Fort Wayne said millions of pounds of trash, debris and other pollutants flow into the streams, creeks and rivers every year.

“The clean rivers we all want begin with ‘Clean Drains Fort Wayne,’ the new three-year collaboration between Friends of the Rivers and Fort Wayne City Utilities. Initiative founders are calling on every resident to Be River SmART,” the city said.

“Clean Drains Fort Wayne” will encourage the community to become protective stewards of the rivers by ensuring nothing but clean rainwater enters the storm drains. 

The initial activation project for “Clean Drains Fort Wayne” will be a 2021 storm-drain street-art mural project, the city said. Artists will create imaginative and eye-catching drain-art murals that cleverly incorporate a storm drain into the finished design. These artworks will also serve to convey the message: “Be River SmART—only YOU can protect Fort Wayne’s rivers!”

Call for Artists:

Anyone interested in participating as a selected artist for this initiative, is asked to follow instructions at Clean Drains Fort Wayne: Be River SmART. Artists must be 18 or older and install their work the week of Sept. 10-19. The city said Friends of the Rivers will provide materials for eco-friendly installation as well as a stipend for artists work. Application deadline: July 10.  

The first-year initiative of Clean Drains Fort Wayne will culminate with a free “Be River SmART: Clean Drains Fort Wayne Fest” with the city said will be held on World Rivers Day, Sept. 26 at Promenade Park.

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