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Works Progress,
Mississippi Megalops – A Floating Chautauqua
  • Jonathan Padleford at night.
  • Jonathan Padleford in the fog.
  • Jonathan Padleford in the sun.

All aboard the Mississippi Megalops!

Works Progress (Colin Kloecker & Shanai Matteson), together with frequent collaborator Andy Sturdevant, present Mississippi Megalops – A Floating Chautauqua.

Sparkling performances, illustrated presentations and other works of artistic and scientific expression will be presented aboard the Jonathan Padelford sternwheeler as it makes its way down the Mississippi River, illuminating the shores of Saint Paul. Featuring creative contributions from over a dozen artists, scientists and storytellers, who together will transform a common riverboat into a floating Chautauqua, a rollicking experience that will enrich the mind and delight the senses!

Participants are invited to join on one of four unique excursions departing from Harriet Island at 8PM, 11PM, 2AM and 5AM. Tickets to board the Mississippi Megalops are free, but guests are encouraged to book in advance to avoid disappointment. Tickets can be booked by visiting

Food and beverages are available for purchase aboard the boat, along with limited-edition Mississippi Megalops art prints, books, and souvenir flags.

Scheduled Departure Times

There will be four unique excursions of the Mississippi Megalops throughout the night of June 4th–5th.

Departure times are 8PM, 11PM, 2AM and 5AM. For a list of contributors to each excursion visit

Each excursion will depart from the dock at Harriet Island, will be approximately 1 ½ hours in duration, taking guests to the confluence of the Mississippi-Minnesota Rivers and back, and will return to Harriet Island when complete.

Guests will be invited to board the boat 30 minutes prior to departure.

Guests are encouraged to pre-book at as tickets are limited. Unclaimed tickets will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis 10 minutes prior to departure.


The Mississippi Megalops is a project created by Works Progress and collaborator Andy Sturdevant.

Works Progress is a creative collective founded in 2009 in the Twin Cities of Minneapolis-St.Paul, Minnesota. They create multi-disciplinary public programs, art projects, exhibits and events that inspire, inform and connect, fostering new relationships that cross creative and cultural boundaries. Much of their work involves collaboration with other artists, as well as community and institutional partners, in an effort to engage public audiences with ideas and with one another.

Andy Sturdevant is a writer, artist and arts administrator living in South Minneapolis. He has written about art, history and culture for a variety of Twin Cities-based publications and websites, including, Rain Taxi, Art Review and Preview!, Mpls/St Paul, and His essays have also appeared in publications of the Walker Art Center and the Jerome Foundation. His collaborative and individual art-making practice is generally site-based, interactive, and dealing with relationships between place, history and mass culture.

Mississippi Megalops artists & creative contributers:

Robert Bauer & Christy Newell, Katie Hargrave, Pete Driessen, Bonnie J. Ploger, Jan Estep, Peter L. Johnson, Sarah Wolbert, Kate Saturday & Erik Ostrom, Kalen Rainbow Keir, Ilana Percher, Brad Zellar, David Wiggins, Dan Dressler, Pat Nunnelly, John Driscoll, Landland, Wang Ping, Carrie Jennings, Mona Smith, Mike Davis, Malena Handeen, Solange Guillaume, Prairie Fire Lady Choir and The Como Avenue Jug Band.

Mississippi Megalops is sponsored by Northern, Mississippi River Fund and the Minnesota Historical Society.

Created by Works Progress and collaborator Andy Sturdevant with support from the Minnesota Historical Society, Mississippi River Fund,
and Northern