Karen McCoy served as Lead Artist for the National Bicentennial Commemoration of the Lewis and Clark Corps of Discovery during 2003-04. This project was sponsored by the Lewis & Clark Bicentennial ArtsPlan, funded by the National Endowment for the Arts in collaboration with the Kentucky Arts Council, the Indiana Arts Commission, and the Missouri Arts Council. The program was administered by the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies and the New England Foundation for the Arts. As Lead Artist McCoy was responsible for directing the creative process, and for mentoring a local or regional artist in a collaborative, community based art-making process. The collaborating artists joined with signature event representatives and other community participants at signature events for The Falls of the Ohio at Louisville, Kentucky and Clarksville, Indiana, and for three Signature Events in greater metropolitan St. Louis, Missouri. To design the Arts Corps projects, choreographer, Melli Hoppe from Indianapolis, Indiana joined McCoy at the Falls of the Ohio where the two artists created Turning the Tide in the fall of 2003. Sculptor Matthew Dehaemers, from Kansas City, MO collaborated with McCoy on three projects in the St Louis region in 2004. These were, Tree in Tree in St. Louis (along with members of the Osage Nation), Epicenter at the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center in Wood River, IL and Who Discovered Whom? in Portage des Sioux, Missouri.

In all the projects the artists worked together with diverse groups to create works that engaged the community in the artistic process. The resulting projects were intended to motivate and encourage people to examine the legacy of Lewis and Clark, and how that legacy intersects with current issues of importance in their own communities, thereby increasing the appreciation of the role of the arts in community life.


Turning the Tide, with Melli Hoppe, 2003, Falls of the Ohio at Louisville, KY and Clarksville, IN.

Tree in Tree, with Matthew Dehaemers and members of the Osage Nation, Kennedy Forest, Forest Park, St. Louis, Missouri, 2004.

Epicenter, with Matthew Dehaemers, Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center, Wood River, Illinois, 2004.

Who Discovered Whom?, with Matthew Dehaemers, Portage des Sioux, Missouri, 2004.