Dance Projects

The Mahomet Aquifer Project

East Central Illinois

October 10-18, 2009

The Mahomet Aquifer Project informs and engages the communities in East Central Illinois dependent on the aquifer through dance performances, panel discussions, new media and workshops. Through conversations between performers and scientists Monson develops the choreography with an interdisciplinary approach creating a multi-layered performance experience that draws the audience into their own understanding of their relationship to water. The movements evoke the forces and flows on the aquifer – ranging from geography and hydrology, to economics and history. Performances will be presented at outdoor sites in Urbana/Champaign and Havana. A mobile gallery will exhibit new media images of the geology of the aquifer as well as the molecular behavior of water to enhance multiple ways of understanding our dependence on water and its local sources. All events are free and open to the general public.

Monson became interested in the Mahomet Aquifer as a site to “draw connections between our scientific and political relationships to natural resources and the cultural frameworks that shape our perception and relationship to these resources.” The Mahomet Aquifer Project is informed by conversations with researchers at the Illinois Water Survey, Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology, and the Advanced Visualization Laboratory at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications.

Monson is collaborating with Austin-based composer Chris Cogburn and Chicago-based designerKatrin Schnabl. Performers include Kyli KlevenStephen MayJennifer MonsonAmy Swanson and Stephen West.

For updated event information and documentation visit

In addition to six FREE public performances, the project also includes a series of movement and science workshops for students at Wiley Elementary School in Urbana with George Roadcap of the Illinois Water Survey and Jennifer Monson.

A Panel Discussion “Moving Perspectives – approaches to understanding water through geology, environment, art and society” will take place at 7:00 p.m. on October 13 at the Urbana Free Library. Panelists for the discussion include George Roadcap, Illinois Water Survey; Cecily Smith, Prairie Rivers Network; Brett Bloom, artist and activist; Brigit Kelly, poet; and Jennifer Monson. Environmental philosopher Michael Scoville will moderate the panel.

The Mahomet Aquifer Project is supported in part from funds from the National Endowment for the Arts and The Urbana Arts Grants Program. Additional support is provided by Market in the Square, The Mahomet Farmer’s Market, Emiquon Reserve, Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, Urbana Free Library, Illinois Water Survey, AVL team at National Center for Supercomputing Applications, Art + Design, and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Mahomet Aquifer Project Events Schedule

October 10th, 9am – 12pm: Market in the Square, corner of Vine St. and Illinois St., Urbana, IL
October 13th, 7pm – 9pm: Panel Discussion Moving Perspectives – Approaches to understanding water through geology, environment, art and society, Urbana Free Library; 210 W. Green St, Urbana, IL
October 14th, 2pm – 5pm: Mahomet Farmers’ Market, Main Street near Town Hall and the Fire Station, Mahomet
October 16th, 5pm: North East Terrace of the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, University of Ilinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL
October 17th, 9am – 12pm: Market in the Square, corner of Vine St. and Illinois St., Urbana, IL
October 18th, 2pm – 4pm: at Parking Lot on 900 block of Neil Street, between Williams and Charles St — East side, close to the railroad trackes, where the snow cone truck is; Urbana, IL


For further information updates and details visit or contact Jennifer Monson at / 917-860-8239