2013 Grants Challenge

Beautiful Rain Barrels in Public Places

We’re trying to improve water quality and conserve water through the spread of rain barrels. Our rain barrels (30 of them) are going to be special because our local artists are going to make them beautiful. Then, we’re going to auction them off at a media event and install them throughout the City in an effort to raise awareness of their use.


What are some of your organization’s most important achievements to date?

The Venice Art Crawl has been around for more than two years now and has focused a lot of the artistic energy which Venice has historically been known for. For one night, we’re able to turn so many shops and restaurants all across one of the biggest tourist attractions in Los Angles into an arts mecca. That has raised business in local shops by as much as 50% nightly, resulted in thousands of dollars in sales for local artists and reinvigorated the arts community.

Alternatively, SGA has worked a lot with rain barrels, designing and implementing the first and only rain barrel program of its kind through Mar Vista. There, they promoted and installed 600 rain barrels in the neighborhood, resulting in 33,000 gallons of water conserved every rainfall.

Please identify any partners or collaborators who will work with you on this project.

Our biggest partner is SGA who are rain barrel experts and work with PR and environmental matters in LA

Please explain how you will evaluate your project. How will you measure success?

Our biggest metric of success would be developing this into an ongoing program, like if we turned this funding into seed money basically. If we did that, then that would mean that we would be able to keep on creating and distributing eye catching rain barrels which would continue the conversation.

In terms of the rain barrels themselves, we would like to design, promote, auction off and install 30 rain barrels. If we received 12 inches of rain (20% below the LA average of 15 inches annually) then that would fill up 36000 gallons annually. While the weather is out of our control, we think that 36000 gallons conserved is a good goal.

How will your project benefit Los Angeles?

It benefits LA in lots of ways! First, it’s a creative way to promote the concept and use of rain barrels, which would be very beneficial if used by every in the dry, urban area of LA. Second, 30 rain barrels get out there which adds up to more than 1500 gallons of water conservation (and protection) every time it rains. Third, because of the way we designed the auctions, if we can raise sufficient funds then this project becomes sustainable and can go on until the end of time (or at least a good couple years:)

What would success look like in the year 2050 regarding your indicator?

Success in 2050 is easy to picture: it’s at least one functioning rain barrel for every home in the City…and a few extra for big buildings.

One of the things that is so cool about rain barrels is that they are a simple, practical solution to two major issues (particularly major in a dry, urban sprawl like LA) Combining that with the artistic and community angle we're approaching it with, we think that success in 2050 is easily envisioned.