FEMA ArtWorks Pilot Project: Community Forms

HONOR - Innovative Partnerships & Collaborations

By: Margaret Doherty 

ArtWorks thrives due to partnerships between FEMA, local technical experts, and the creative, and local communities. The partners share the goal of communicating the importance of mitigation to reduce the risk. The process looks first to data, to identify local risk, and understand local preferences for art and sentiments toward mitigation. The team then builds a call for art that reflects the risk, community character, and preferences for types of art.

Community Forms is the product of the first ArtWorks call for art process. It is a sculptural installation in Denver, Colorado. The artwork merges drainage and water quality with recreational and social spaces. It invites all ages to play, linger, and explore their place in the watershed.

“a sculpture, skatepark, and flood-mitigation landscape… It’s a fresh way to think about public art that fosters community and encourages environmental consciousness…”

New York Times Art Desk

The project is the first pilot for the ArtWorks program, which FEMA Region 8 hopes to expand to other states. This is a twist on the traditional data led discussion about natural hazard risk in our communities. In this program, art is a platform to engage with communities in a dialogue about their risk in a positive and community centric ways that tell a story and connect to hearts and minds. The process and outcomes can connect with local organizations, bring in local artistic preferences, and be tailored to specific hazard risks and audiences. If you would like to learn more:

· and scroll down to ArtWorks

·         Check out the project video

·         The next ArtWorks project:



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