The Corps of Rediscovery (Daunting Courage), an adventure project by Steve Snell

In the summer of 1804, the famous Corps of Discovery, led by Captain Meriwether Lewis and Second Lieutenant William Clark, made their way up the Missouri River on a large, wooden keelboat. They were on a mission to explore the newly acquired territory of the Louisiana Purchase, find a route across the continent, and establish an American presence in the area. They were on an adventure that would last nearly 3 years.

In the summer of 2016, another keelboat will make a presence on the Missouri River near Omaha. It will be modeled on the keelboat used by the Corps of Discovery in 1804. However, this keelboat will be made from cardboard.  It boat will be commandeered by adventure-artist Steve Snell.

The purpose of this boat and action is to have a true adventure in Nebraska that directly engages with its history, place, and people. The Corps of Rediscovery will promote itself in all local media outlets, inspiring the public and engaging them with an adventurous image and relevant story. A secondary mission of the Corps of Rediscovery is to record and rediscover the overlooked (and unknown to many) image of the Missouri River in the Omaha area. While on board the boat, the artist will continually capture this image in a video equal to epic nature of the task at hand. This material will then later be exhibited to the public in an art installation and gallery exhibition in Omaha.

While this adventure references and relates to the experience of Lewis and Clark, it is by no means a historically accurate re-enactment of their journey or in any way a history lesson. Rather, The Corps of Rediscovery is an adventure for the present that uses a reference to the past as a catalyst for engagement. The Corps of Rediscovery will show people how to have a true adventure in their local environment and what that can look like. It will serve to entertain, educate, and inspire the local community to appreciate their landscape and the way that art can be used to have interesting and unusual experiences. 

Project made possible through the support of the Nebraska Arts Council and the Nebraska Cultural Endowment