Creating a Team

Teamwork, pushing the chalk marker, HighWaterLine | Miami
photo credit: Jayme Gershen

While it is possible to do a HighWaterLine as an individual, collaborating with other people, starting with the creation of a core team, will result in a stronger and more robust project. Creating a team early on will help you conquer the diverse tasks needed to realize the project.

There are many roles that are needed in order to realize a HighWaterLine. If people don’t want to participate in the actual marking of the line, discuss the diverse roles they might play if they’re interested in the project overall. Below is a list of some of the key roles we’ve identified to date. Please feel free to add additional roles based on your specific community needs. Know that these roles aren’t required for every iteration of HighWaterLine, and you may have people who can fulfill multiple roles.

Researchers

This role can be filled by local academics or scientists, or by someone who is good at reaching out to individuals or institutions, to collect the data that reveals the current and future climate change impacts for your region.

Preparing Educational Materials

After the key scientific data has been identified, it’s helpful to translate it into language everyone can easily understand by using graphs, diagrams and most importantly, maps. If there are people on your team who are good writers or graphic designers this might be a perfect way to engage them.

Translators

If there are diverse languages spoken in the neighborhoods where the HighWaterLine will be realized, it’s important that the educational and outreach materials you create are also written in these languages by someone fluent in the languages.

Community Outreach Coordinators

If you create a long HighWaterLine, you’ll find yourself traversing many neighborhoods. Each neighborhood will most likely have their own community leaders. Engaging these community leaders early on to learn who might be interested in participating will help expand both the scope and breadth of your artwork. This is also a wonderful way to not overwhelm yourself and invite a wide array of people to participate and take on various aspects of the project.

Workshop Coordinators & Instructors

Holding informational workshops in which people in the community share knowledge with one another is incredibly helpful in educating and empowering everyone before they mark the line.  You can invite scientists to come and explain the data, first responders (e.g. firefighters) to share the proposed flood emergency response plans, organizations actively working on solutions for the solutions, media experts to facilitate creating a media plan, lead media trainings and more.

Permits Coordinator

As the HighWaterLine takes place in public spaces, it’s essential to secure the necessary permits from your city or county.  Depending on your location, this can be a task onto itself. Please refer to the section titled securing permits.

Media & Social Media

We’ve found that HighWaterLine has the most impact when those marking and interfacing with the public have concise messages about: why they’re marking the line, the scientific data behind the line, and what are viable solutions for building local climate resiliency.

As those creating the actual line are busy talking with public, having someone who is dedicated to sharing the message via social media and directly with media outlets can greatly help amplify your message.

Volunteer Coordinators

Having someone devoted to coordinating all the people who will be marking the line will help immensely. Ideally this person has experience coordinating volunteers or is comfortable talking to people, supporting volunteers by keeping them up to date on how the project is unfolding, fielding their questions and more.

Logistics Coordinator

If you chose to create a long HighWaterLine it will require a lot of supplies (chalk, other marking materials and transportation for the materials) to create the line. Having a logistics coordinator / art lead will help immensely. For example, the art lead might choose to place all the materials required for the day(s) of marking at specific intervals along the route resulting in a smooth line creation. The coordinator and/or art lead can also support people when they experience technical difficulties, need more art materials and more.

Photographers and Videographers

Having people dedicated to documenting  the making of the actual line creation is wonderful. Make sure that the photographer and videographer are comfortable with obtaining verbal permissions as they take photographs and or videos, or assign someone to support the photographer/videographer with this task.