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Art, Stories, and the Mississippi: The Mississippi Megalops

March 9, 2011Patrick NunnallyUncategorizedComments Off on Art, Stories, and the Mississippi: The Mississippi Megalops

Our friends at Works Progress have just issued a call for projects to be hosted on the Mississippi Megalops, a floating river chautauqua, interdisciplinary art and performance space. We’ll be on the river in the Twin Cities the night of June 4-5.

More fun than most people are allowed to have!

I’m pasting the invitation in below and encourage lots of submittals, ideas, exchange and forwarding to likely suspects–this could be one of the truly great river events in years!

Hello Friends & Collaborators!

Planning is currently underway for a new Works Progress art project, Mississippi Megalops, part of the Northern Spark festival taking place June 4th – 5th across Minneapolis and Saint Paul. Northern Spark is a dusk-to-dawn festival that will feature artist projects and other participatory cultural experiences throughout the night. Mark your calendars – June is closer than you think!

Our project, Mississippi Megalops, is an interdisciplinary performance and art experience – including live music, film, scientific and historic presentations, visual artworks and installations – all taking place aboard an authentic riverboat as it makes its way up and down the Mississippi River. Audiences will be invited to take one of 4 excursions departing from Harriet Island throughout the night.

Works Progress is partnering with artist and Salon Saloon host Andy Sturdevant to transform the Jonathan Padelford riverboat into a floating chautauqua for this one night event. Generous support for the Mississippi Megalops is being provided by Northern Spark, Mississippi River Fund and Minnesota Historical Society.


We are currently accepting proposals from artists, scientists, musicians, performers, storytellers, and anyone else who might want to contribute this project!

Selected proposals will address the broad theme of “river stories”- taking inspiration from any aspect of river life, including (but not limited to) history, science, art, philosophy, and contemporary environmental issues.We see this as an opportunity for a group of creative people to work together on a public art project that is fun, and that brings people closer to the river and its historic, environmental, and cultural significance!

Please see the call for participants below or visit the Northern Spark website to submit:

If you have any questions, you can reach Colin at (612) 839-0810 or Shanai at (952) 686 -1340 or email

Yours From the Banks of the Mighty Mississippi,

Shanai & Colin

Works Progress


Works Progress in collaboration with Northern Lights is accepting proposals for short performances, live music, stories, films, presentations, and other creative contributions to Mississippi Megalops: A Floating Chautauqua at Northern Spark, June 4-5, 2011.


Mississippi Megalops is a floating participatory performance inspired by the Chautauqua movement of the early 20th century, which brought the latest philosophical and creative ideas of the time to people across the country. Proposed projects will take place aboard the Jonathan Padelford, an authentic paddleboat afloat on the Mississippi River in Saint Paul. Selected performances, presentations, and installations will address the broad theme of “river stories” – taking inspiration from any aspect of river life, including, but not limited to, history, science, art, philosophy, and contemporary environmental issues. An audience of 100 people will be aboard the boat at any given time. Proposed projects should consider the participation of those on board, and/or those who might view the boat from shore. Each project proposal may only be submitted to one Northern Spark open call.


Northern Spark and Works Progress will provide the following to the selected project(s):

  • – A $100 honorarium
  • – Production advice
  • – Use of a laptop, projector and screen
  • – Use of a boat-wide PA system

Selection criteria

  • – Strength of conceptual framework for proposed project
  • – Feasibility
  • – Compatibility of project with Northern Spark’s proposed sites and modalities
  • – Potential for public engagement and participation
  • – Applicant’s past experience and likelihood for success

Application materials

The application process is online. Applicants are required to submit:

  • – Primary contact information
  • – Proposal concept – (max 1 page, pdf)
  • – A brief bio and CV (max 2 pages for each primary participant, pdf)

Please note: Works Progress may contact finalists for work samples and detailed project information, including budget and technical specifications.


This call will be juried by Works Progress.

Application submission

Application deadline, 11:59 pm March 23, 2011

Post your submission here:

Selected project(s) will be announced by April 1, 2011.

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Contact Us!
Send us a note at to make suggestions for other places we should look, media to track, and stories to tell!
River Life in Video
Come Along for a Water Walk with Kare11 and River Life, and see Gifts at Work: The Mississippi River by the University of Minnesota Foundation
Open Rivers: Rethinking the Mississippi
A joint project of River Life, the Institute for Advanced Study, and the University of Minnesota Libraries, Open Rivers is an interdisciplinary online journal that recognizes the Mississippi River as a space for timely and critical conversations about people, community, water, and place.