The Native Arts and Cultures Foundation is proud to be a partner in #RevolutionOfValues, a day of creative action on April 4th, 2017, the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s powerful speech “Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence.”
Fifty years later, to walk in his footsteps, to give voice once again to his powerful words, and to kick off a year of efforts by many organizations around the U.S. to remind people of Dr. King’s real message and unfinished work, the U.S. Department of Arts and Culture, the Native Arts and Cultures Foundation, and partners are sponsoring #RevolutionOfValues.
We believe that the Native Arts and Cultures Foundation has a responsibility to support those artists and culture bearers whose voices and actions are championing justice. Our Community Inspiration Projects do just that by providing artists and communities opportunities to address issues of social concern through artmaking. Here are some of the great things that are happening with some of our Community Inspiration Projects:
Performance and visual artist, NACF Fellow James Luna (Luiseño), gathered a remarkable collaboration of artists and writers to present a Native view of the California mission system in concert with News from Native California publisher, Heyday Books.
We are pleased to announce that Return From Exile, an exhibit from the Southeastern Indian Artists Association, has added venues and so will reach an even greater audience for its exploration of themes of removal, return and resilience. Read about…
The Native Arts and Cultures Foundation (NACF) was honored to partner with Wisdom of the Elders’ (WOTE) and support its community collaboration project, the Native Youth Film Academy and Climate Change Film Festival. This project is NACF’s fifth Community Inspiration Program, which are artist-driven projects that address pressing social, cultural and environmental issues to bring about community conversations connecting Native and non-Native people.
In Native communities and indigenous thinking, water is much more than a resource. Water is part of the “body” of the universe and Mother Earth. It covers more than 70% of the Earth’s surface and also is the major make-up…
This rigorous training program empowers young Native filmmakers while addressing the pressing social issue of climate change; their films documenting elders’ views and responses within tribal communities.
A fusion of talent and energy came together in the sold-out world premiere of The Story of Everything (TSOE) in Honolulu, Hawai`i on September 26, 2015. Kealoha, an award winning spoken word poet and a graduate of MIT with a degree in nuclear physics, led the effort. The theatre, filled with a community of mothers and babies, students, and young adults to elders of all ethnicities and professions, represented the vast diversity of communities Kealoha desires to work among. The performance was the culmination of a lifetime’s work for Kealoha and one of the pilot projects of NACF’s Community Inspiration Program.
Yup’ik dancer and choreographer Emily Johnson galvanized four large urban centers in the country and her hometown of Homer, Alaska, with her multi-disciplinary project SHORE – one of NACF’s Community Inspiration Pilot projects. Story, volunteerism, performance and feasting engaged local communities who were willing to show up and be open to the possibilities.
I believe there is a benefit of arts and cultures that has not been written about nor studied enough in more intentional ways, although it has gained value in arts and philanthropic circles in the past few years. This is the value of arts and culture as a social change tool. The head of a social change organization and one of the national proponents of social change and the arts had this to say: “The single most powerful social change tool in the world is arts and creative expression. There is nothing that transcends barriers across language, economics, cultures, and place in a way that engages people and community like arts and cultures can. Nothing (emphasis) is that powerful.”