Ft. Madison is participating in the Mississippi River Cities & Towns Initiative’s (MRCTI) Mississippi River Photo Exhibit. The initial exhibition occurred on March 21, 2013 on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. Ft. Madison Area Arts Association responded to the request for artists once discovering from the City Clerk that Mayor Randolph was a member of MRCTI. Photos from FMAAA photographer’s George Gaudette, Michael Holland, and Mike Foley were part of the exhibit and fit the categories of Challenges of the River, Beauty of the River, and Life on the River respectively. After a successful political showing, discussion ensued on the possibility of sending the exhibition down the Mississippi. During conference calls FMAAA director Brian Riggs suggested the possibility of aligning the Ft. Madison showing with Ragbrai dip in Ft. Madison. FMAAA worked to partner with City of Ft. Madison employees to make the exhibition a reality once it was determined that the River Museum in Dubuque, IA would be the first exhibition station.
MRCTI, a new mayoral-led effort to create a coordinated voice for the Mississippi River, has partnered with over a dozen member-city arts councils—including Ft. Madison Area Arts Association-- to display photographs representing cities from the entire length of the waterway that will create a stunning portrait showing the impact and importance of the Mississippi to the nation. The purpose of the exhibition is to celebrate the importance, culture, and history of the Mississippi River, as well as draw attention to matters of mutual concern along its borders, including: river water quality and habitat restoration; flooding and floodplain issues; river-focused recreation; and sustainable economies.
Contributed photos fall into three categories that capture: the natural beauty of the River; life on the River; and challenges of the River. The photographs from a wide variety of artists will be on display nearest the location they depict as visitors walk along a 50-foot-long map of the River. Ft. Madison’s exhibition will take place at the Pavilion in Riverfront Park on the following dates: July 25th form 12-4pm; July 26th from 10-4pm; July 27th from 10-4pm; July 28th from 1-4pm and July 29th from 9-12 in the morning. Ft. Madison also has the Mississippi Exhibit on August 2nd from 10-4; August 3rd from 10-4pm; August 4th from 1-4pm; and August 5th from 9-12 in the morning. The exhibition along the Mississippi began in Dubuque, IA and after its stay in Ft. Madison travels to Alton, IL next. (will add the other cities)
The photography exhibition served as a unique backdrop for a press briefing to be held by MRCTI mayors during their first meeting in the nation’s capital. MRCTI is a local government-led effort, housed at the Northeast-Midwest Institute and funded by the Walton Foundation, empowering the 10 states and over 100 cities that border the Mississippi River to act for its continued prosperity, sustainability, and economic growth. Everyone is appreciative that the exhibit will travel the Mississippi before being retired!