In the opening session, workshop directors Lee Aylward and Dr. Rolando Herts of the Delta Center for Culture and Learning laid the logistical and intellectual foundation for the week. Lee outlined the history of the Delta, beginning with its status as the nation's inhospitable "last frontier" and touching on its role in the civil rights movement and the development of blues music. Meanwhile, Dr. Herts encouraged participants to see "place as text," specifically through an intersectional lens.
Some glimpsed the river for the first time; others saw it from a new perspective. Viewing the water from the levee break site gave participants a direct connection not only to the region's changing geography, but also to its human history. Dave Kies shares his impressions of the river in the video below:
After braving mosquito bites and sunburn, the group climbed back onto the bus and made brief stop at a Blues Trail marker, then continued on to dinner.