Thursday, June 22, 2017

FREE ALERT: New Indigenous Direction Partnership at the Guthrie NEXT WEEKEND

More and more Native American artists and characters seem to be lifted up into the mainstream these days...


Photo by Mark van Cleave

And it's so incredibly exciting to me! It was one of the first things that stood out to me about Wonder Woman, and I hope this trend continues. I know shamefully little about the Native American diaspora, and any chance to be more immersed in it is something I'm interested in.

So when the Guthrie released their announcement today that they are partnering with Indigenous Direction to bring FREE shows to the Dowling Studio next weekend, I was thrilled. This is a continuation of the Level 9 series program that started last summer under Artistic Director Joseph Haj to provide more diverse, accessible (read: free or discounted ticket prices) programming. I loved the pieces I've seen so far under this program (see my reviews for Acting Black and Hold These Truths here - both thought provoking, rich performances), and I can only say that this new program promises to be very interesting. Here's a description from the press release:

"Curated by award-winning Indigenous artists Ty Defoe and Larissa FastHorse, Water Is Sacred combines ceremony, music, text, dance and discussion to honor and celebrate water and to recognize the ways it has been threatened on Indigenous lands. Since this past winter, Indigenous Direction has worked with the Guthrie to create a community-centered, community-driven presentation of local Indigenous artistry that highlights the relationship between Native communities and water rights in Minnesota. FastHorse (Sicangu Lakota) and Defoe (Oneida/Ojibwe), the founders of Indigenous Direction, have both worked extensively in the Twin Cities area as artists and community builders. Water Is Sacred will be followed by community discussions with Defoe and FastHorse, and Indigenous artists will sell merchandise in the Pohlad lobby on the Guthrie’s ninth floor."

With the disappointing reports (and inspiring global solidarity from indigenous communities worldwide) coming out of the Standing Rock protests and more environmental tussles to come, as well as the controversy over the Walker's Scaffold piece, the time couldn't be better to bring Native American artists to tell their own stories on stage at a primetime arts institution. You can click here to find more information about this upcoming performance and instructions to acquire tickets (all tickets will be FREE, but you have to reserve them in advance). I'd love to see these performances sell out and encourage the Guthrie to bring more Native Americans in to create their own individual work (maybe on the main stage next time?) - please help get the word out!