The Mississippi Valley Blues Festival is the proud recipient of River Action's Eddy Award for Art for 2015. The Eddy Award acknowledges "those who act as an eddy, 'going against the current' to accomplish excellence on the Mississippi River."
In his remarks at the ceremony April 24, River Action President Joe Chambers noted that: "The Blues Fest draws a national crowd to the Quad Cities to hear world class musicians playing the blues. The Fest and its spin-off performances expand the QC's cultural offerings, and help make the Quad Cities a cool place to live."
Mississippi Valley Blues Society President Scott Klarkowski and director Karen McFarland were on hand to accept the award, a stunning abstract trophy of an eddy swirling against the Mississippi current. It joins the 2014 award to MVBS from the Blues Foundation for Keeping the Blues Alive?U.S. Festival.
"MVBS is so thrilled to receive the Eddy!" said McFarland. "This award confirms that the music we present at the Blues Festival in LeClaire Park makes a difference in the community."
The Eddy Awards recognize "tenacity and perseverance," said Chambers. "The blues were born out of hard times and pain. The blues sing the feelings of those who suffer in the low points of life, who overcome adversity, and at the same time the blues celebrate life. So, the Mississippi Valley Blues Fest must be recognized for surviving five floods!"
The floods occurred in 1993, 2001, 2008, 2013, and 2014. The cumulative effect of the last three floods in addition to rain days prompted the MVBS Board of Directors to move the 31st annual BluesFest to the traditionally dryer (cross your fingers) Labor Day Weekend this year, on September 5 and 6.
River Action is also celebrating its 31st year of stewardship of the Mississippi River. Perhaps best known for Ride the River and installing lights on the Centennial Bridge framing LeClaire Park, River Action has been awarding the Eddy since 2000 and is currently fundraising for a bike and footpath across River Drive where the first train bridge once stood.