MOUNTAIN TIME ARTS

Mountain Time Arts, a public art organization based in Gallatin County, is one of 29 projects that will receive funding through the ArtPlace America Creative Placemaking Fund. Nearly 1,400 organizations across the U.S. applied for financial support from ArtPlace.

The organization’s planned series of provocative, outdoor art installations and performances will celebrate fresh water as it flows from the mountains through farms and communities of the Gallatin watershed to the headwaters of the Missouri River and call attention to the challenges posed by population growth and increasing water use.

Mountain Time Arts debuted the grand scale and creative power of its projects earlier this year, bringing town and rural residents together for two evening performances of FLOW, by Mary Ellen Strom, in which a 90-foot-tall video production was projected onto grain elevators of Story Mill, showcasing the valley’s long and rich relationship with water.

Strom called the $350,000 ArtPlace America grant a tremendous honor and opportunity. “Art, imagination and inspiration can snowball and lead [to] what appear[ed] unsolvable to be recognized instead as achievable,” Strom said. “Our goal is to engage residents and communities of the Gallatin watershed in a thoughtful celebration of the watershed’s remarkable freshwater sources and spark a constructive conversation about using and caring for this water wisely as the region grows.”

The organization has plans for four art events in 2017 that will honor the work of ranchers and irrigators; explore the history and Native American knowledge of the Gallatin Valley’s wetlands; consider the past, present and future of streams flowing through our towns, and ceremonially “send off” the water born and utilized in the Gallatin watershed to those downstream.

Titled “WaterWorks,” the project is assembling knowledge about the Gallatin watershed’s complex hydrologic systems through ongoing conversations with farmers, irrigators, historians, Native Americans, naturalists, local elected leaders and many other stakeholders who rely on the region’s water.

For more information visit mountaintimearts.org.