The excitement is building as we plan to celebrate the vital waters of the Connecticut River flowing through Massachusetts and other New England States. The River’s Song Project is conceived as an innovative year-long study combining the arts and the environment to give voice to a diverse constituency along the Connecticut River basin and highlighting its ecology.
The UMASS Asian Arts and Culture Program worked with Turners Falls RiverCulture, regional partners, local artists, businesses and scientific communities to raise awareness about key issues of the Connecticut River watershed. Participation across diverse communities was encouraged by holding workshops on water related issues, creating new forms of sustainable art, and underwriting new music and dances by local composers and choreographers to be performed by both children and adults.
ALL DAY: Storefront Video Installations along Avenue A, Turners Falls by the Millers Falls Arts Bridge Artists
9am-5pm: Turners Falls Fish Ladder, First St and Unity Park
10-4 pm: Great Falls Discovery Center Environmental Exhibits, 2 Avenue A, Turners Falls MA
11:00am – 3:00 pm: Kid’s Art Making Activities: The Art Garden under the tent at Great Falls Discovery Center
11:00am -3:00 pm: Connecticut River Watershed Council presents children’s story time of “The Fish in the Polka Dot Dress”
(every hour on the hour) and learn about rivers with a hands-on water table. Great Falls Discovery Center
1:00-1:30pm: Reconciliation Commemoration Ceremony with the Nolumbeka Project at The River Tent, Unity Park
1:30-2:30pm: Visioning Bear Drumming, The River Tent, Unity Park
2:30-3:00 pm: Spoken Word with David Brulee, The Nolumbeka Project, The River Tent, Unity Park
3:00pm: The River Parade-Gather at the Art Garden Tent at Great Falls Discovery Center
4:00pm: The River’s Song Soundscape performance with Tony Vacca at the Shea Theater, 71 Avenue A
5:30-7:00 pm: Historic Native American Sites Walking Tour with David Brule of the Nolumbeka Project, gather at Great Falls Discovery Center
6:30-8:00pm: Meet the Artist: Trash to Treasure reception in the Great Hall, Great Falls Discovery Center,
8:15pm: Gathering begins for Water Dance:Sound and Light Performance with drumming by Ricardo Frota at the Iron Bridge behind Great Falls Discovery Center
8:45pm: WaterDance Sound and Light show with Phyllis Labanowski Iron Bridge/Unity Park
Inspiration for the project
The River’s Song Project was inspired by The Nile Project (TNP), an international touring project featuring a highly creative model of musical collaborations and a residency model format to study and understand the key issues concerning and affecting the Nile River. Well before their visit to Amherst on April 7, 2015, The Nile Project artists and directors helped us think differently about our own Connecticut River basin and its key issues. Using the Nile model as an inspiration for our own study, we focused on the importance of the waters of the Connecticut River as it affects our lives, our cultural landscape and our environment. At the same time we examined common analogs and dilemmas as a basis of how to create institutions, policies and legal frameworks for economic, ethical and responsible uses of water between these two distinct river basins. We explored how these concerns can be expressed through innovative arts projects created by the local artists and the community.
The River Song Project is presented in collaboration with Turners Falls RiverCulture, the UMASS Asian Arts and Culture Program, the UMASS Department of Landscape Architecture and Regional Planning, The Nolumbeka Project, the Connecticut River Watershed Council, Dean’s Beans, the Great Falls Discovery Center, The Massachusetts Cultural Council, River Smart Communities, U.S. Fish and Wildlife,and the National Wildlife Refuge System.