Water Bar + Public Studio



Join us for this Artist Talk + Discussion with Victoria Bradford – an Artist, Researcher and Athlete from coastal Louisiana who is in the process of planning Relay of Voices. Relay of Voices: The Great River Run (Relay) is a massive, integrated arts and research expedition traveling 2,300 miles of the Mississippi River on foot, to build greater connection across the regions on the great river.

At this discussion at Water Bar, Victoria will share the details of her team’s planned expedition from the Headwaters to the Mouth of the Mississippi River in 2019. Victoria and her collaborators will create a national spotlight on the Mississippi River region, emphasizing its diversity and importance, by running a 2,300 mile relay race through over 100 communities in 100 days.

They will also use new methods of research to understand the human dimension of life on the water by listening to human movement and everyday behavior, partnering with the Water Institute of the Gulf to integrate their research into ecological findings. Working together with river communities they intend to make the relay a platform for others to organize and raise funds for their own causes via organized runs or races in conjunction with the relay, hosting relay team members in collaborative performances with local artists, and other creative partnerships.

It is a relay of voices, a great river run, an expedition in search of individual, specific stories that connect us to a larger truth.


Victoria Bradford is the Artistic and Executive Director of A House Unbuilt. Her work with A House Unbuilt primarily takes the form of social choreography, using language from performance, video, and installation, among other non-art disciplines. She studied visual arts, anthropology, and theology at the University of Notre Dame (BFA) and visual arts and performance and at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (MFA). Influence on her work as an artist also comes from her upbringing in community theaters, classical dance, and voice lessons. She lives in Chicago, IL and continues to cultivate projects in her home state of Louisiana.

Victoria has a history in the arts as an organizer, scholar, maker, and administrator, previously founding Poor Pony, a small non-profit that began her public creative practice, then she worked for the State of Louisiana’s Department of Culture as well as served as a Board of Regent’s Fellow in Comparative Literature at Louisiana State University. Eventually she moved to Chicago to earn her MFA and work as Program Director of Chicago Dancemakers Forum for three years.

Victoria Bradford | A House Unbuilt has presented work at the MCA Chicago, Gallery 400, the DeCordova Sculpture & Art Museum, the McColl Center in Charlotte, NC, the Chicago Cultural Center, and Defibrillator Gallery. Victoria has also received honors such as the Chicago Dancemakers Forum Lab Artist Award, DCASE Theatre & Dance Residency, High Concept Labs Sponsored Artist, Chicago Artist Month Featured Artist, and Chicago Artist Month HATCH Resident Artist. 

While working in Louisiana, she was awarded over $100K in funding from individual and corporate donors for her work on Poor Pony, as well as funding from Private Foundations, the Division of the Arts, the World Cultural Economic Forum, Convention and Visitors Bureau, City and Parish Partnerships, the Downtown Development Authority.

With Relay of Voices, Victoria is running home along the lifeline of our country, the cultural ecological thread that carries the water weight of nearly 40% of the US, that carries a complex historical narrative that redefined America by opening the nation to the West, that carries an ecological story today, rich with a human dimension of loss and resilience. 

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