Week Six | LeClaire, IA to Burlington, IA: the next 100 miles

1pm, Thursday, August 20, 2020

LeClaire, Quad Cities, Muscatine, Oakville, Burlington


Fertile soils nourish a variety of crops from north to south, and the fields flow downriver from corn and soybeans to cotton and sugarcane. This industry has changed mechanically and culturally over the years, altering both the physical and cultural landscapes of the river.


The river and its surroundsings are just as alive as we are, and people up and down the river are working hard to care for that life.


Burlington, Iowa farmer and hot-rod collector. Voice originally heard on the afternoon of August 21, 2019 on his farm just southwest of Burlington, IA.


Le Claire, IA fixture and owner of long-established Pelo Coffee (which only serves drip coffee). Voice encountered on the afternoon of August 16, 2019 at Pelo Coffee in LeClaire, IA.


Director of Louisa County Conservation and a much better kayaker than me, Katie’s voice was encountered the afternoon of August 19, 2019 on “lake” Odessa at the Mississippi River in Oakville, IA.

Click here for original blogs from Week Six.

As we continue moving down the river, reuniting with communities along the way, Tom and I are also starting to see the big picture of this re-ignition of the Relay, this “alluvium” falling out and forming something new. We are so appreciative of everyone’s engagement each week, as the voices, landscapes and communities we are sharing are informed by your presence. Not only informed, but truly enlivened. This work would not be valid or valuable if not for our continued relationships with you.

One of our audience (I won’t call her out) apparently expected that I’d be announcing “the book” release so many people have expected to result from the Relay journey. And while I hated to disappoint her, as well as anyone else, you can put your reading glasses down for now, and dim the lights. The Alluvium Theatre of voices, landscapes, and communities is the current stage and outcome for Relay. But as I mentioned yesterday, when we are able to come out of isolation again, look for a larger and live version, and I promise we’ll subtitle it “the book”!

Thanks again to those who attended this week, including Kathy Vance and Angela Shipley from Oakville, IA, Lynn Hunt of the Quad Cities, IA/IL, Mayor Diana Broderson, Greg Jenkins, and Jon Koch of Muscatine, IA, Cindy Bruhn and Ryan Burchett of LeClaire, IA, and Barb and Aaron Huffman who we encountered in Burlington, IA yet hail from Mahomet, IL.

For now, tune in to this week’s recorded Zoom Session and Performances below, and thank you again!