The Water About Us (2018)

Members of Core Dance performs Aqurld Waves at the Water About Us © 2018 Kristen Spickard. All rights reserved.


The University of Central Arkansas, in conjunction with Conway Alliance for the Arts and Conway EcoFest, has produced multiple events that use the arts to create opportunities for members of the Conway community and beyond to discuss water as a civil right and a social justice issue.  Through the mediums of creative non-fiction, dance, digital film, music, poetry/spoken word, sculpture, storytelling, and visual art, we seek to showcase the arts as tools for social change through meditative experiences that ask people to actively engage in the creation and performance of art through hands-on activities, story circles, workshops, and—the pièce de resistance—an underwater dance performance and concert that invites attendees into the water for a once-in-a-lifetime event.

Explore this site using the links below to learn more about the activities. Click here for a printable schedule or here for a large print schedule that can be adjusted for different needs.


About This Project

On September 23, 2017, Jennifer Deering, Ryan Harris, and Gayle Seymour informally discussed the concept of an underwater concert, a concept carried out by Ryan’s friends in the HEARding Cats Collective in St. Louis in 2013, as they concluded an evening that commemorated the 60th anniversary of the desegregation crisis at Little Rock Central High. An idea was born, one that would highlight our connection to water, a seemingly abundant resource we see all about us that is increasingly becoming endangered.

Taking that idea, Deering and Seymour consulted with Sue Schroeder of Core Dance and Rich O’Donnell, Anna Lum, and Mike Murphy of the HEARding Cats Collective to conceive the centerpiece of this project: “Aqurld Waves at the Water about Us.” Aqurld Waves at the Water about Us is an entirely new site-specific artwork created for the people of Conway, Arkansas.

This project is generously funded by Mid-America Arts Alliance (Regional Touring Program), the National Endowment for the Arts, and the state arts agencies of Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, and Texas. Additional grant funding is provided by the Arkansas Arts Council (Collaborative Support Program), an agency of the Department of Arkansas Heritage and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Other funding sources include UCA College of Fine Arts and Communication through the UCA Arts Fee, UCA Foundation, UCA Office of Institutional Diversity, UCA Public Appearances at Reynolds Performance Hall, and UCA Office of Sponsored Programs.

Sponsoring partners include an anonymous patron of Core Performance Company, College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, Ben Damgaard, and Jennifer Deering.

Collaborating partners include the City of Luxora, Arkansas; Conway Alliance for the Arts (CAFTA); Pyramid Art, Books, & Custom Framing and Hearne Fine Art; UCA Department of Art; UCA Department of Film, Theatre, and Creative Writing; UCA Department of Music; UCA Department of Occupational Therapy; UCA Honors College; UCA Office of Institutional Diversity; UCA Outreach and Community Engagement; UCA Physical Plant; UCA Public Appearances at Reynolds Performance Hall; and UCA Office of Sponsored Programs.

These events are free and open to the public. For more information, contact…

Jennifer Deering
(501) 450-3452


Dr. Gayle Seymour
(501) 450-3295