Photo credit: Gijs de Kruijf photography

South Street Seaport Museum announces free New York Water Week events, held from March 18–24, 2023, to build momentum for The United Nations Water Conference from March 22–24, 2023. These programs are part of a city-wide initiative organized by the Government of the Netherlands and the City of New York to showcase game-changing water actions and solutions from across the world. This series of activities explores the role individuals, cities, and companies can play in helping the world achieve important water goals. In celebration, the Seaport Museum is hosting The Water Arch installation and a panel discussion on Water, Art, and Activism. For more information, visit

The Water Arch

March 22–April 2, 2023 from 11am–5pm | Pier 16

Come to the Seaport Museum to take part in this free hands-on art installation that highlights the ever-increasing use of clean drinking water in an intriguing and immersive way. Created by the Netherlands-based pioneer in media design, Dropstuff Media, The Water Arch is an abstraction of a classic barrel organ. Standing at the center of the piece, you turn a wheel to pump over 35 gallons of water throughout the clear pipes and receptacles to have it rain down around you, without getting you wet. The amount of water symbolizes the average volume used by a Dutch person every day––but Americans use more than double this amount of water on a daily basis!

Water, Art, and Activism

March 24, 2023 at 6:30pm | 12 Fulton Street

Join special guests René van Engelenburg, the Artistic and General Director of Dropstuff Media; Sarah Cameron Sunde, a Guggenheim Fellowship recipient, and environmental interdisciplinary artist; and Tim Gilman-Ševčík, the Executive Director of the RETI Center, in the Seaport Museum’s introduction galleries for a panel discussion that explores the importance of water and how art can serve as a conduit for activism and awareness. Together, these artists will discuss how water is essential for life, but access to clean drinking water is becoming increasingly scarcer for many people throughout the world. They will also talk through what is being done to spread awareness and protect this valuable commodity. After the program, head to Pier 16 to experience The Water Arch installation in full glow for its only night time hours.

The Water Arch is realized in collaboration with Peter de Man and Sjaak Klein Heerenbrink en Uwe Dobberstein. It is supported by Ministerie van Infrastructuur en Waterstaat, Consulate General of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in New York, and Stimuleringsfonds Creatieve Industrie and presented in partnership with Nederlands Instituut voor Beeld & Geluid and the South Street Seaport Museum.

About the Panelists

René van Engelenburg is the owner and general director of Dropstuff Media and creator of The Water Arch on display on Pier 16. He is an Experience Designer, creative initiator, and cultural manager working in media arts and creative industries. Skilled in Concept Development, Experience and Interaction Design with a MA in Media Design from Sandberg Institute, Amsterdam, he works to translate stories of cultural heritage, arts, and technology in an immersive and interactive experience in which the physical and virtual fuse together.

Sarah Cameron Sunde is an environmental interdisciplinary artist and director working at the intersection of performance, video, and public art. She was recently awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship to complete her ongoing series of works, 36.5/A Durational Performance with the Sea (2013 – present, nine works on six continents). 36.5 was last seen at the Seaport Museum projected on the side of tall ship Wavertree in 2020 as part of Art at the Blue Line. In 2017, Sunde instigated and co-founded Works on Water (a triennial and artist-driven experimental organization dedicated to art that is made on/in/with bodies of water). As a visual artist, Sunde’s solo shows include Te Uru Waitakere Contemporary Gallery (Aotearoa-New Zealand), Gallatin Galleries (New York City), Georgia Museum of Art (Athens, GA). Her work has been seen and experienced at the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, 3LD Art & Technology Center, the Knockdown Center, EFA Project Space, Little Island, Rattlestick, Kennedy Center, Guthrie Theater and presented internationally in Norway, the Netherlands, Bangladesh, Brazil, Mexico, China, Uganda, and Iraqi Kurdistan. Residencies include LMCC Workspace, Watermill Center, Hermitage Foundation, Baryshnikov Art Center. Honors include a Princess Grace Award, Creative Climate Award First Prize; Funding from MAP Fund, Invoking the Pause, LMCC / Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone, Norwegian Consulate, and Amsterdam Fonds voor de Kunst. She holds a B.A. in Theater from UCLA and an M.F.A. in Digital and Interdisciplinary Art Practice from The City College of New York, CUNY.

Tim Gilman-Ševčík is an artist, writer, and neighborhood activist who has been actively involved in Red Hook’s recovery effort since Superstorm Sandy. A professor at NYU’s Stern School of Business, he focuses on social impact and communications, while researching and writing about institutional reform. He is the Executive Director of RETI Center, which provides services to support and transform existing efforts and creates new programming to help grow and sustain an economic future for New York City and open pathways for youth and underserved communities.

Be sure to review the Museum’s latest COVID-19 protocols before attending.

About the South Street Seaport Museum

The South Street Seaport Museum, located in the heart of the historic seaport district in New York City, preserves and interprets the history of New York as a great port city. Founded in 1967, the Museum houses an extensive collection of works of art and artifacts, a maritime reference library, exhibition galleries and education spaces, working 19th century print shops, and an active fleet of historic vessels that all work to tell the story of “Where New York Begins.”

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Photo credit: Gijs de Kruijf photography