Rulan Tangen is the director, choreographer and featured dancer at Dancing Earth Contemporary Dance Ensemble.
The project engaged 20 local Native youth ages 5 to 17 who live in Sonoma County, California in creating and delivering a theatrical performance designed to illuminate local Native cultural maintenance and social issues and build awareness and understanding of Native cultures.
Funding for the project supported the collaboration between master Lummi carver, David Wilson, and Chehalis Tribe community members, who joined the artist in the experience of carving a new canoe for the Tribe’s annual Salmon Ceremony. the canoe was launched as part of an annual Salmon Ceremony in summer of 2012.
Funding supported the 10th gathering of ukulele and slack key guitar masters at the Kahilu Theatre and provided a multi-day Institute comprised of eight public performances, four on-site training workshops with over 100 students, and eight youth shows at four schools.
Funding for the project supported a collaboration between Narragansett tribal members and Narragansett wampum artists, Allen Hazard, who has been creating wampum art for over 35 years, and Lorén Spears, a traditional bead artist. Traditionally the creation of wampum belts was a collaborative effort. As a cultural practice, the wampum belt depicts the stories of the Narragansett people.
The conference was the very first Native Hawaiian Writers and Literature conference. In addition to the 400+ conference attendees, it attracted over 30 Native Hawaiian published writers who participated in multiple ways including as panelists, performers, workshop presenters and moderators and keynote speakers.
This apprenticeship program invited traditional and contemporary Native artists to collaborate in a master and apprentice training format. NEFA awarded four grants of $5,000 and one grant of $3,000 pairing an experienced master artist with an apprentice for up to one year, establishing a one-on-one learning experience that helps to ensure the continued vitality of Native artists in New England.
In coordination with regional partners, the conference convened an “arts and the environment” focused symposium at the Emerson Center for the Arts and Culture, in Bozeman, Montana. This special convening brought together key culture bearers and artists of the region and nationally.
The Alutiiq Museum is one of the premier cultural centers in Native Alaska. From 2000 to 2013, MacArthur Foundation Fellow Sven Haakanson, while their Executive Director, led efforts at the museum like this project that incorporated traditional Native arts education into the museum’s programs.
The Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA) is regarded as the foremost Native arts educational institution in the country. It offers four-year degrees in Studio Arts, Visual Communication, Creative Writing and Museum Studies. Funding for the Mescalero Water Tank Project supported an education-based cultural preservation project in which IAIA worked in collaboration with the Mescalero Apache community. The Institute’s staff worked with Apache youth to document nearly forgotten water tanks used by Apache “cowboys” during the area’s mid-20th century heyday of cattle ranching. Known as “cowboy graffiti”, these markings have now been preserved as artifacts.