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LMRD 841 - Lower Mississippi River Dispatch
"Voice of the Lower Mississippi River"
Wednesday, May 12, 2021 -- BEAM #9

Today at 3pm! Wed, May 12, 3-4pm CST
with Jean-Canôt and Grandfather Cypress

Today! 3-4pm CST with bicycle mechanic Jean-Canôt -- Bicycle Maintainence and Dugout Canoe Carving! Human-powered solutions to modern transportation!

Join us for our ninth BEAM session, in which we return home to our Quapaw headquarters on the banks of the muddy Sunflower River in the heart of downtown Clarksdale to catch up on all of the latest with Chief John Ruskey and the QCC gang as they discern, discuss and detail the myriad of ways that The River embodies the motion of progress, and thus, so must Her worker bees! By learning some tricks of the trade from our resident cyclist, Jean Canot, to studying the mechanics of Grandfather Cypress’ transition from the workshop to a newly functional vessel, and reflecting on what comes next for we worker bees in a post-pandemic world, we come to understand that whether we are sailing on land or upon Her mighty waves, our Queen River is the timeless teacher and ultimate example of just how to keep on rollin’ through our journey of life. Through the incredible ongoing support of our partners Mississippi Arts Commission, Walter Anderson Museum of Art and the Lower Mississippi River Foundation. We cannot wait for another opportunity to beam from our backyard to yours! See y’all there!



Backyard Expeditions Arkansas/Mississippi is a yearlong project of Quapaw’s that brings to life the complete experience of creating a dug-out canoe, its journey from start to finish, for our Mississippi/Arkansas kids! In partnership with the Walter Anderson Museum of Art and other institutional partners, we have created a series of live-streamed interactive video sessions for students and communities, focusing on canoe carving, along with a myriad of other survival skills, such as: transportation (bicycle maintenance, carving dugout canoe); shelter (building a lean-to tent, setting up a tent); food (gardening, gathering wild foods and cooking over campfire); health (purifying water, ID and gathering of wild foods, wild spices & herbs); animal identification (birding, tracking). We are also sharing the tools, history and inspiration that provide nourishment, sustainability and indeed survival for the soul! Including home-grown & cultivated arts, plant arts, literature, poetry, plein air sketching, and watercolors.

For more information on BEAM, including full session plans and opportunities for tailored student engagement, contact Allie Grant at

Click here for previous BEAM sessions:

Thanks to partners Walter Anderson Museum of Art and the Lower Mississippi River Foundation. Supported in part by the Mississippi Arts Commission

Project Partners:

Lower Mississippi River Foundation is dedicated to promoting stewardship of the Lower and Middle Mississippi River through deep engagement.

Mississippi Arts Commission invests in our state’s makers through a variety of grant programs supporting nonprofit organizations, educational institutions, and individual artists. Through the arts, diverse communities of all sizes can better identify shared values, create vibrant public spaces, and enhance the effectiveness of schools. The arts also attract visitors who leave with a strong, positive image of Mississippi. Fostering excellence in the arts provides the inspiration to generate a higher quality of life for all citizens.


The Walter Anderson Museum of Art inspires discovery, imagination, and community-building on the Gulf Coast and beyond through programs, exhibitions, and outreach; and embodies Walter Anderson’s vision for societies in harmony with their environments. "Our mission is to empower lifelong curiosity and connection to the natural world through the art of Walter Anderson and kindred artists."


1Mississippi River Citizen Program: River Citizens are people who want to clean up and protect America’s greatest River. Whether in armchairs or wading boots, River Citizens protect the River by speaking up on its behalf and caring for it in simple ways that make a big difference. Together, we can protect the River for future generations. Take the first step today and sign up for free as a River Citizen at 1Mississippi, can the River count on you?"


Balance, Diversity, Democracy

Quapaw Canoe Company core values are balance, diversity, and democracy, which all derive from our experience paddling big canoes on the big waters of North America. Balance is exemplified by the passage of our canoes. Everything we do is about keeping even keel. To do otherwise is dangerous to our health and well-being. Pandemic and police brutality are symptoms of the imbalance we seek to counteract in our services and work as canoe builders, guides & outfitters. Other imbalances include species loss, global warming, and loss of wild places. Diversity for us includes all peoples and all creatures great and small. We have always created equal access for all. Our staff reflects our regional demographics, around 60% Black and 40% White. Since 1998 we have made it our mission to make sure all communities found along the Lower Mississippi River enjoy equal access to the wonders of the big river, and the life changing experience of the wilderness. Our adventures practice the best qualities of Democracy. Everyone in the big canoe sets aside their differences and paddles together for the good of the whole. We believe in life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Inherent in life is the right to breathe clean air, the right to drink clean water, the right to eat good food, and the right to live in healthy shelter, in healthy communities.



The Lower Mississippi River Dispatch "Voice of the Lower Mississippi River" is published by the Quapaw Canoe Company. Photos and writing by John Ruskey, Mark River and others. Please write for re-publishing. Feel free to share with friends or family, but also credit appropriately. Go to and click on "Quapaw Dispatch" for viewing back issues of the LMRD.


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