Ideas xLab- (Un)Known Project, River Cruise

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Journeys to Freedom: (Un)Known Project River Cruise is an immersive river excursion commissioned by IDEAS xLab and written and directed by artist and assistant professor at GW's Corcoran School Sidney Monroe Williams (they/them) that took place aboard the Belle of Louisville in June 2022 and will be happening again in 2023.

Sid served as artistic lead for interactive theater experience highlighting the stories and experiences of unknown slaves in Louisville, Kentucky during the 1800’s. The experience was formulated and developed in a collaboratory fashion, bringing together black performers and writers from the area to perform explorative theater workshops to design, write, and develop the interactive experience.

While floating along the Ohio River between Kentucky — a slave state — and Indiana — a free state — participants were immersed in the stories of two families seeking to escape enslavement by boat.

When boarding the Belle for the river cruise, each guest will receive a color-coded Boarding Pass and was assigned a persona for the event. The Boarding Pass gave different passengers access to various spaces throughout the boat as the performance progressed. Poker and blackjack, vendors from MELANaire Marketplace, and food and beverages were be available for purchase throughout the cruise.

The VIP Experience welcomed guests onto the Belle before General Admission boarding began to enjoy cocktails with leaders of the (Un)Known Project, which uses arts installation and experiences to honor the names and tell the stories of Black enslaved people in Louisville, Ky and beyond.

Learn more about (Un)Known Project at unknownprojecttrail.com

If you have been involved with this project, please report it (the dates and estimated amount of time) here. Click the “Add Impact” button. You do not need to register. 

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2 Positions Filled | 1 Impact | 20 Hours

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