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National River Center

National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium

Dubuque, IA

When the National Mississippi River Museum did their first major expansion in 2003, we designed and produced 25 media exhibits, including the award-winning, immersive theater film, Mississippi Journey. When they asked us back again to help them tell the story of America through its great rivers for their National River Center, we were ready – with new ideas, tools, and techniques.

“River Museum Ups Ante on 'WOW' Factor"
Telegraph Herald, June 25, 2010

Christopher Chadbourne & Associates
60,000 sq. ft.

  • Media Master Planning
  • Media Design
  • Production
  • A/V System Design
  • Tech Systems Oversight
  • Installation

Featured Components

Mississippi Journey

This film is a stirring portrayal of the profound link between people’s lives and the river. Footage is projected on a large curved screen, flanked by two smaller screens. An intense soundtrack, theatrical lighting, seat shakers, and fog create an immersive theater experience in which visitors literally feel the Mississippi’s power.

American Identities I-Wall

Visitors slide a touch screen monitor in front of artifacts— ranging from a pilot’s wheel to a painting of “Washington Crossing the Delaware”— and are treated to a fun and engaging exploration of their representation in popular culture.

The Big Map

This imposing 24′ map takes over the main gallery of the museum at regular intervals, displaying programs that showcase the beauty, power, and historic legacy of our nation’s rivers.


River Wise Water Wall

This sinuous, 50′ glass water wall is an ever-changing mix of graphics, animation, and colored lighting. Powerful quotes about the importance of water in our lives float through a peaceful underwater scene.

Our Blue Planet

A domed projection surface invites visitors to watch three programs that highlight the importance of our planet’s most precious resource: water.