Move around the room, change the pace, make eye contact, don’t make eye contact. Feel the emotion — anger, sadness, joy. Where is it coming from? What part of you? Allow it to move you.
Movement exercises at a recent poetry retreat showed the poets’ dedication and their willingness to be uncomfortable — in a good way — and put themselves into every word.
Now they are ready to travel to San Francisco
Through a two-year Youth Speaks Future Corp Fellowship at First Peoples Fund, Laree Pourier (Oglala Lakota) leads the Dances with Words program and is helping broaden young people’s experiences and their understanding of themselves — identity, oppression, and resistance. When these young Natives go to the Youth Speaks sponsored poetry slam, Brave New Voices (BNV), they hear young people from all over the world talking about the same issues.
Nothing like it in the Indian art world. Wade Patton (Oglala Lakota) is establishing a style of his own, his voice that he found after leaving home. Working in Boston doing high-end framing, Wade handled modern works where he prepared gallery pieces for places like Manhattan, London, Miami, and Los Angeles. But he kept in mind how he wanted to do his own work, to someday become a full-time artist.
When the sanctity of a sacred site was threatened, Razelle Benally (Oglala Lakota/Dine’) grabbed a camera and unwittingly found her calling in life. For years, she had longed to tell stories visually. She wasn’t a talented artist like the rest of her family. But during that time of running a camera, of editing a story about the sacred site, Razelle discovered her art.
Through the Jennifer Easton Community Spirit Awards, we recognize the work of Native American, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian culture bearers who uphold the Collective Spirit®. Through their work and their lifeways, these artists embody the traditional values of First Peoples Fund — generosity and wisdom, respect and integrity, strength and humility.
These culture bearers are sustaining the arts of Indigenous people within their communities, growing arts ecologies, and teaching the next generation of artists and culture bearers of their People.
In 2017, we honor four outstanding culture bearers as they join nearly 100 past recipients of this prestigious award.
Warren "Guss" Yellow Hair (Lakota) has been teaching for years, but it was a recent interaction with fellow artists, culture bearers and community leaders from around the country that has changed how he presents art in the classroom.