Invisible River

Performance art delivers clean water message to new audiences

Invisible River

“Invisible River is a show that enables community to happen in a very beautiful place that doesn’t seem accessible to everybody. It creates awareness, it gives exposure to art, and it’s really fun.” – Amy Barr, aerial dance collaborator

Seeding CHANGE

Last July, hundreds of people lined the Schuylkill River’s banks and more piled into small boats. They watched aerial dancers gracefully swing from the Strawberry Mansion Bridge as other dancers and musicians performed in boats and on the riverbank. Now in its third year, Invisible River, a two-day public art event, uses the Schuylkill as a stage, making a personal connection between water quality and its audiences.


Annually, nearly 1 million people use the Schuylkill River Trail. Part of the Circuit—the region’s 750-mile trail network—the trail parallels the river, becoming a critical access point as well as an exciting conduit for communicating clean water messages to its users. Invisible River capitalizes on the Schuylkill’s proximity to the trail, providing an opportunity to broaden the constituency for the river’s protection. The performances underscore the importance of a clean water source while inviting audiences to experience the Schuylkill as an important place for recreation and enjoyment that benefits the larger community.

Photo Credit JJ Tiziou