With support from arts patrons, supporters of Native cultures and Native Nations, the Native Arts and Cultures Foundation is building a new initiative to bring culture makers and organizations together to address social issues and transform communities through the power of Native art. The community inspiration program is underway in Hawaii, the Southwest and the Northeast, with more projects to begin this spring.
Hawaii Poet Laureate Kealoha (Native Hawaiian) was selected by the Native Arts and Cultures Foundation to lead a Community Inspiration Program pilot demo project in Hawaii.
Earlier in February, Hawaii Poet Laureate Kealoha (Native Hawaiian) offered a community preview of “The Story of Everything” at Kumu Kahua Theatre in Honolulu. The spoken word poet will be working with schools on Oahu this spring to pilot “The Story of Everything” workshops that build critical thinking skills as well as cultural pride among youth.
In January, choreographer and dancer Emily Johnson (Yup’ik) connected with communities in New York City to discuss the upcoming “SHORE,” an interactive experience and performance to inspire community volunteerism. Last year, Johnson presented “SHORE” in Minneapolis; the community-developed work concludes her trilogy of performances that began with “The Thank You Bar” and “Nicuugni: Listen.”
Performance of SHORE in Minneapolis, 2014, led by choreographer and dancer Emily Johnson (Yup’ik).
This winter, the multi-disciplinary art collective Postcommodity began initial planning with communities in New Mexico, Arizona and Northern Mexico to prepare for “Repellent Fence.” Collective artists Kade L. Twist (Cherokee), Cristóbal Martínez (Xicano/Mestizo) and Raven Chacon (Navajo) will be working with communities divided and united by international borders of the U.S., Mexico and Native Nations to create public art and multi-media installations.
To participate and be inspired by these and future innovative Native artist-led projects, connect with the foundation on Facebook and Twitter. To show your support for the power of Native arts and cultures, thank you for donating today. With your help, communities nationwide can share experiences like these.