Artist Victoria Bradford “running home” to discuss Relay of Voices: The Great River Run

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LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - A local artist who made quite a name for herself ten years ago with a group called “Poor Pony” and an event called Pony Fest is returning to Lake Charles for a special night. Victoria Bradford is visiting from Chicago to share details of her latest project. Relay of voices: The Great River Run.

They were Halloweens of a decade ago when Bradford and friends filled the streets of Lake Charles with spooky zombies, dancing to Michael Jackson’s Thriller. Bradford’s group and efforts to enhance arts and culture here was known as "Poor Pony' and Pony Fest.

The dancer now lives in Chicago. Her latest project, Relay of Voices,The Great River Run combines art and dance with visits to 104 towns and cities along the Mississippi River.

“Basically, the Relay of Voices is this journey that my team of six will be doing. We’re traveling 20 to 40 miles each day, the 2400 miles of the river, stopping in 104 communities, towns and cities. And each town we stop in we’ll spend many hours embedded in the community spending time with individuals, listening to individuals, learning about their lives, and then creating these sort of multi-faceted performances that are customized for each community,” said Bradford.

She and the rest of her team of artist-athletes will gather stories and make human connections as they go, bringing attention to the Mississippi River Valley and water giving voice to those who might not otherwise be heard.

“Art is a way to broadcast people’s concerns; to push it out there in the world in a different and unique way that sometimes, the standard ways—they just kind of go under because we’re so used to hearing them that way, but art has this way of kind of going above and people hear it in a different frequency, and it’s powerful,” said Bradford.

In all they expect to spend 120 days along the river cultivating the outdoor economy by getting people outdoors and highlighting river communities along the way.

Bradford will be in Lake Charles from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 8, to talk about Relay of Voices: the Great River Run and she’ll perform.

The event will be held at the Paramount Room at 844 Ryan Street which may be entered through the Calcasieu Marine Courtyard. Rsvp is appreciated 337-274-9460 or dinahbradford@gmail.com

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