Panel Discussion – We All Live Downstream

July 24, 2016 @ 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm
BYRDCLIFFE Kleinert/James Center for the Arts
36 Tinker Street

As part of the exhibition MOVING THE WATER(S): ASHOKAN FUGUES 2016, a multi-media installation by artist Margaret Cogswell, the Kleinert/James Center for the Arts presents two important panel discussions examining water as a resource and site of community activism and political tension. This second panel event is also free to the public (first panel discussion to take place on Sunday, July 10, 4:00 – 6:00 pm).

The second panel discussion is titled “We All Live Downstream,” and takes place on Sunday, July 24, from 4:00 to  6:00 pm. Vin Coluccio, an Environmental Health Specialist and former Chief of New York City Drinking Water Quality, will focus his discussion on the management and treatment of water quality within the boundaries of New York City’s water supply network. M. Elias Dueker, Assistant Professor of Environmental and Urban Studies and Biology at Bard College, will discuss sustainable watershed management, with questions of water quality and how science can support communities in making informed decisions about their water. Of particular interest to Professor Dueker is shifting public attitudes toward water when considering drinking water vs. surface waters vs. wastewater. “The more we know about the many pathways a water molecule can take,” he notes, “the better able we are to make good decisions about this precious resource.” Diane Galusha, Communications Director and Education Coordinator at Catskill Watershed Corporation and author of several books, will give an overview of New York City’s quest for water from colonial days to the 1960s, posing the question: why should every New Yorker be aware of this history? Galusha points out how this “informs contemporary programs to protect this irreplaceable resource, and explains monumental and expensive infrastructure projects that are going on today which impact ratepayers and consumers.”

The panel discussions will take place in the powerful environment created by Margaret Cogswell in the Kleinert/James, including video, audio, sculpture, and works on paper. The exhibition is on view through August 14, 2016.