Over the course of the last two weeks, September 8 – 18, the Time Based Art festival (TBA) welcomed artists from around the world for a series of performances, also featuring a talented cohort of Native performing artists and NACF National Artist Fellows. Likewise, NACF was honored to host Native artists from First Nations Performing Arts (FNPA) and Knowledge of Wounds at the Center for Native Arts and Culture over the course of three days for conversations about best practices and Native artists’ position in the field. NACF applauds TBA’s host, Portland Institute for Contemporary Art (PICA), for their dedicated allyship in this arena, modeling the institutional potential to elevate the voices of Indigenous arts and culture bearers. Artists were also embraced by Portland’s black arts community, food justice activists, and other performing arts presenters. And likewise, we extend our appreciation to the Portland community (and beyond) for their enthusiastic support of the artists showcased at the festival.
It cannot be understated – the presence of these artists at the festival and performing arts spaces like these reveals a kind of blossoming in the field. Native artists, who have long strived to find their place within the broader performing arts community, are slowly being recognized for the great power of their voices, the multiplicity of their practices, and the cultural significance they each carry from their respective nations. There was a complex layering of distinctive identities, tribal and otherwise, demonstrating there is no easy pathway for Native people into this kind of racialized space and no catch-all illumination for audience members about what they were witnessing. It’s a complicated and yet absolutely necessary journey – and the positive, inquisitive, transformative responses from attendees were palpable. However modest it might be (and acknowledging the blinders in our own enthusiasm), if there is an awakening happening, we caught a glimpse of it at the festival.
- Allison Akootchook Warden (2018 NACF National Artist Fellow)
- Anthony Hudson (2018 NACF National Artist Fellow)
- Autumn Chacon
- Chloe Alexandra Thompson
- Dakota Camacho
- Ed Bourgeois
- Elisa Harkins
- Emily Johnson (2011 NACF National Artist Fellow + current SHIFT awardee)
- Kevin Holden
- Kunu Bearchum, Adrienne Fainman and Charles Anthony Gallegos
- Suzanne Kite
- S.J Norman (curator – Knowledge of Wounds)
- Joseph M. Pierce (curator – Knowledge of Wounds)