The Glen Canyon Rises Tour

Exploring Lake Powell’s decline and the RISE of Glen Canyon through music, journalism, photography, and film


  • March 13 at 6 p.m. – Salt Lake City, Utah (Fisher Brewing Company)
  • March 14 at 7 p.m. – Glenwood Springs, Colorado (at the Glenwood Vaudeville Revue)
  • March 15 at 6 p.m. – Moab, Utah (at Star Hall)
  • March 16 at 3 p.m. – Flagstaff, Arizona (at the Museum of Northern Arizona)


  • Presentation on the Colorado River water crisis and the future of Lake Powell by journalist Zak Podmore
  • Screening of of the short film Tad’s Emerging World: Glen Canyon Exposed by Dawn Kish, followed by a brief Q&A
  • An hour of music, including original Colorado River songs, from musicians Jackson Emmer and Peter McLaughlin 


Join an artist and advocacy tour with writers, musicians, and filmmakers for an intimate, inspirational look at the remarkable ecological recovery that’s currently underway in Glen Canyon, even as climate change and drought drain Lake Powell to record lows.

When Lake Powell began to fill in 1963, Glen Canyon became famous among river runners as “the place no one knew,” a canyon paradise that was thought to be drowned forever. Over the last two decades, however, climate change and drought have substantially drained Lake Powell. The drought has escalated a water crisis for the 40 million people who rely on the Colorado River, but in Glen Canyon there is an unexpected ecological recovery already unfolding in the once-flooded landscape. 

The Glen Canyon Rises tour brings together film, discussion, photography, and music to showcase Lake Powell’s complex and surprising transformation. Journalist and author Zak Podmore will draw from his forthcoming book Life After Dead Pool: Lake Powell’s Last Days and the Rebirth of the Colorado River to put the Colorado’s disappearing water into context, while explaining how the Glen Canyon Dam has become central to water management negotiations in the basin. Photographer and filmmaker Dawn Kish will present on her project to document Glen Canyon with a 4×5 Crown Graphic camera that belonged to legendary photographer Tad Nichols. She will also screen her acclaimed short film, Tad’s Emerging World: Glen Canyon Exposed. Finally, award-winning songwriters Jackson Emmer and Peter McLaughlin will play a set of original Colorado River songs, some of which were written on a trip to Lake Powell in 2023. 

Join the Glen Canyon Rises tour for an intimate and inspiring exploration of the future of water in the West. 

Peter McLaughlin is an acclaimed acoustic guitarist, songwriter, vocalist, performer, and recording artist from Tucson, Ariz., who has been writing songs about the Colorado River for over two decades. (See Peter play “She Knows the River,” the song he wrote for Katie Lee, “the goddess of Glen Canyon,” here.)

Jackson Emmer is an award-winning songwriter, folksinger, and genre-bending producer from Santa Cruz, California. His work blends humor with heartache, and tradition with exploration. Emmer’s writing is often compared to that of John Prine and Guy Clark. He has toured the US since 2009, placed in numerous songwriting contests, and collaborated with several Grammy-winners. Emmer’s music has been featured in Rolling Stone, Billboard, 2500+ Spotify playlists, and radio stations worldwide. (Watch Jackson perform his songs here and here.)

Dawn Kish is a Flagstaff-based photographer and filmmaker. Her short film, Tad’s Emerging World: Glen Canyon Exposed, had its world premiere at the Banff Film Fest and its US premiere at the Mountainfilm Festival in Telluride (watch trailer). Kish has many awards including being featured in the top 30 photographs in 30 years of National Geographic Traveler and the top 50 photos ever in Arizona Highways magazine. 

Zak Podmore is an environmental journalist and writer based in Bluff, Utah. A former staff reporter for The Salt Lake Tribune, he is the author of two books, including the forthcoming Life After Dead Pool: Lake Powell’s Last Days and the Rebirth of the Colorado River (Torrey House Press, Aug. 2024).

Jack Stauss is the Outreach Director for the Glen Canyon Institute, which advocates for the protection and restoration of Glen Canyon, and to reverse the decline of the Grand Canyon’s fragile ecosystem.