HISTORY

The POOP Project has been inspiring critical conversations about sustainable sanitation since 2010. In that time, The POOP Project has performed throughout NYC, internationally, made headlines on the internet, and taken founder Shawn Shafner ("The Puru") from the top of NYC’s largest wastewater treatment plant to the floor of the United Nations for the first official World Toilet Day, 2013.

Major works include:

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AWARDS AND HONORS

2016

  • The Reva and David Logan Foundation, Operations Grant

2015

  • An Inconvenient Poop named Time Out NY "Critic's Pick" and Theater is Easy "Best Bet." Shafner wins FringeNYC Award, Overall Excellence in Solo Performance
  • Founder Shawn Shafner invited to join the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Foundation's ROI Community

2014

  • Beneficiary, PACT Youth Charity Inaugural Fundraiser
  • Artist in Residence, Teva Seminar

2013

  • Judge, “Oh the Places We Go…Public Health’s Humble Hero: 2014 Toilet Calendar” photo contest for DefeatDD, alongside Sara Cerrell (The Global Change Network), Stephanie Droxer (The Gates Foundation) and Tony Frye (Tony Frye Design)

2012

  • DefeatDD – Honorarium to support production of An Inconvenient Poop at Edinburgh Festival
  • Eurohypo AG Engagement for the Community Award – Presented to small non-profit organizations that have a large impact on their community, recognizing excellence and exemplifying Eurohypo’s Passion for Solutions.

PANEL DISCUSSIONS AND TALKS

2015

  • Panelist/Speaker, "Enacting Awareness: Water, Waste, and Public Space," alongside Heidi Quante (The Story of Stuff, Highline Water Project), Abigail Brown (Water for the Ages, PHLUSH), Carol Steinfeld (author and eco-toilet expert) at the University of California Santa Cruz

2014

  • Panelist, “Cross-Sector Approaches: Science, Art, Education & Activism,” alongside Wendy Brawer (Green Maps), Toby Cumberbatch (Cooper Union Professor) and facilitator David Bregman (Parsons). Part of “Neighborhood Sustainability: One Block at a Time” presented by Fourth Arts Block and Cooper Union Institute for Sustainable Design

2012

Moderator and co-curator with the Vistor Center at Newtown Creek (site of NYC’s largest wastewater treatment plant): 

  • "Dissecting the Greenpoint Art Community” with Juliana Cope (The International Studio & Curatorial Program), Layman Lee (GrowNYC) and Katie Denny (North Brooklyn Public Art Coalition)
  • “Digesting the Design Behind Newtown Creek” with Vito Acconci (Brooklyn College), Greg Clawson (Ennead Architects) and George Trakas (artist and Nature Walk designer)

2011

  • Talkbacks following “Uranus: A Play About Waste” by Superhero Clubhouse, The Bushwick Starr (Brooklyn, NY) and SITI Company Studios (NYC)

Moderator and co-curator with the Vistor Center at Newtown Creek (site of NYC’s largest wastewater treatment plant): 

  • “Composting” with Daniel Tainow (Lower East Side Ecology Center), Jennifer Blackwell (The NYC Compost Project) and David Hurd (Office of Recycling Outreach & Education)
  • “Technology for Green Communities” with Michael Heimbinder (HabitatMap), Shai Lauros (GreenHomeNYC) and Gennaro Brooks-Church (Eco Brooklyn)
  • “Urban Farming” with Inger Staggs Yancey (Brooklyn Greenroof), Annie Novak (Eagle Street Rooftop Farms) and Dr. Dickson Despommier (The Vertical Farms)
  • “A Sustainable Future: Green Innovation” with Andrew Faust (Center for Bioregional Living), Paul S. Mankiewicz, Ph.D. (The Gaia Institute) and Kaled Alamarie (NYC Department of Environmental Protection)
  • “Newtown Creek: Past, Present and Future” with Mitch Waxman (The Newtown Pentacle) and Kate Zidar (The SWIM Coalition)
  • “Art and Sustainability” with multidisciplinary artist Mary Mattingly (The Waterpod) and landscape sculptor George Trakas
  • “Water for Cities: The Urban Challenge” with Frederik Pischke (UN-Water), Vyjayanthi Rao (The New School for Social Research) and Jennifer Farmwald (NYC Department of Environmental Protection)

ONLINE PUBLICATIONS

2013

  • “Why We Fear Poop” for The Power of Poop

2012

  • “Pretzels and the People: A Story from Our Afterschool Program,” 14th & 1st: Thoughts and Happenings from the 14th Street Y
  • “Snacking Our Way to Sustainability,” Sh’ma: A Journal of Jewish Ideas (2012-2013 blogger)
  • “A Prophet In Passing,” Sh’ma: A Journal of Jewish Ideas (2012-2013 blogger)
  • “Passionate About Poop” for The Power of Poo

2011

  • “Huggies for Hanukkah” in Alef: The NEXT Conversation
  • “Promoting Cultural Healing with Toilet Talk” for DefeatDD
  • “Everyone Poops, And No One’s Talking About It” for Toilet Twinning

Original writings have been published on The People’s Own Organic Power Project blog since June 2010, www.thePOOPproject.org.

 

PERFORMANCES OF ORIGINAL WORK

2016

  • An Inconvenient Poop – The Playroom Theater (APAP Showcase), NYC / The Secret Theatre (Flying Solo Festival), NYC

2015 

  • An Inconvenient Poop – New York International Fringe Festival, The White Box at 440 Studios
  • An Inconvenient Poop (work-in-progress) – Dixon Place, NYC
  • A Clown's Toilet – International Student Center (Decatur, GA)
  • How the Potty Trained Us – Alfred Uhry Theater at Druid Hills High School (Decatur, GA)

2014

  • How the Potty Trained Us – 2014 Urine Brigade Kick Off, Rich Earth Institute (Brattleboro, VT)
  • EcoJudaism from the Bottom Up – Olin Sang Ruby Union Institute
  • The Puru Review – Teva Seminar

2013

  • "I'm a Pooper!" – The United Nations, Inaugural World Toilet Day

2012

  • An Inconvenient Poop (work-in-progress) – The Culture Project, NYC. Presented as part of “Call of Doodie,” a World Toilet Day fundraiser with Toilet Hackers and Giving Water
  • Bringing Up the Rear: How the Toilet Trained Us – Galapagos Art Space, NYC. Presented as part of Nerd Nite.
  • Eat $h*t: How Our Waste Can Save the World (work-in-progress) – 59E59 in NYC and C Nova at Edinburgh International Fringe Festival, UK
  • Reinventing the Toilet Culture – News Smash at C Nova, Edinburgh International Fringe Festival, UK
  • Ya Got Trouble – Parkside Lounge, NYC

2011

  • Eat $h*t: How Our Waste Can Save the World (work-in-progress) – Dixon Place, NYC
  • The Agony and the Excrement: A Performance Lecture – The VENT Performance Festival at Gowanus Studio Space, Brooklyn NY
  • Eat $h*t (excerpt) – Club Make and Do at The SOHO Gallery for Digital Art, NYC
  • You’ve Got a Mommy – “Mother, May I?” at The Delancey, NYC
  • The Agony and the Excrement: A Performance Lecture – Adult Education presents “Social Anxiety” at Union Hall, Brooklyn NY
  • I’m a Plumber – JFREJ and Great Small Works Purimshpiel, St. Cecilia’s, Brooklyn NY

2010

  • Eat $h*t (excerpt) – The Mercury Café, Denver CO
  • World Toilet Day New York (producer, curator and performer) – Home Sweet Home
  • The Scoop on Poop – Big Gay Cabaret at the LGBT Center of New York, NYC;  Manhattan Artist’s Salon, NYC; Vox Pop, Brooklyn NY

GALLERY EXHIBITIONS AND STRUCTURED ENGAGEMENTS

2016

  • Combined Sewer Origami Brigade – Gowanus Canal Conservancy (NYC) / Figment Art Festival (NYC) / City of Water Day (NYC). Also Sherman Creek Park through New York Restoration Project

2014

  • Latch / Attach – clothing donation and communal upcycled rug making in collaboration with Wearable Collections and GrowNYC’s Stop N Swap. Presented at FAB! Fest, Load OUT!, The 14th Street Y Afterschool and National Day of Unplugging Celebration, PS 15 Fabric Arts Club, Two Bridges Young Women’s Group and Afterschool. Produced by FABnyc as part of their SUSTAIN project, with generous support from the Rockefeller Foundation Cultural Innovation Fund: www.fabnyc.org/sustainability.php
  • Latch / Attach – communal upcycled rug displayed and co-created as part of “The Model Block: An Exhibit” at The Great Hall Gallery in Cooper Union (NYC). A SUSTAIN project exhibit which is co-curated and produced by FABnyc & Cooper Union Institute for Sustainable Design

2013

  • Latch / Attach – site-specific clothing donation and communal upcycled rug making in collaboration with Wearable Collection. Presented by The World Policy Institute as part of “The 12×12 Project,” co-curated by FABnyc and hosted by First Green

2012

  • Comfort Station – interactive toilet display and comfort station presented with “Viewers Like You,” a BF Bifocals show at Judson Church (NYC)

2010

  • A Process of Elimination – Interactive installation through Chashama, NYC

CLASSES, WORKSHOPS AND STUDY SESSIONS

2015

  • Eco-Art From the Bottom Up  – Guest Lecturer in Beth Stephens studio class, University of California at Santa Cruz
  • School Justice in the Toilet – Martin Luther King, Jr. High School (Decatur, GA) 

2014

  • Digest Your Digestion – The Hewitt School
  • Body-Positive Potty Training – Atlantic Avenue Early Learning Center
  • Below the Bible Belt: Torah and the Toilet – Shavuot Across Brooklyn
  • Creating Mindful Waste Solutions – The Heschel School (High School Staff, NYC)
  • The Asher Yatzar and Mindful Waste Practices – Olin Sang Ruby Union Institute
  • Sustainability from the Bottom Up – Teva Seminar

2013

  • Poop – Lab/Shul study session alongside Amichai Lau-Lavie