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Arts and Culture

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In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic shut down festivals and gatherings across the country, including the famed Santa Fe Indian Market.

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WASHINGTON — Native arts nonprofit First Peoples Fund takes the stage this weekend at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts for “We The Peoples Before,” a three-day celebration of the culture bearers that help share and preserve Native art and language.

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Graham Roland has built a prolific career as a TV writer and producer. After getting his start in the writer’s room on 2008’s Prison Break, the Chickasaw tribal citizen has branched out with multiple producer credits on shows like sci-fi story Fringe, sci-fi crime drama Almost Human and thriller Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan.

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SALT LAKE CITY, Utah — As demonstrated by a series of streaming and box office successes, modern audiences have developed a new love for Native American stories, highlighting the importance of having Indigenous involved in telling those stories. 

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CATOOSA, Okla. — The Cherokee Nation Film Office hopes to advance its goal of building Native representation in modern media through a partnership with Oklahoma-based Green Pasture Studios and nonprofit SeriesFest. 

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PHOENIX, Ariz. — After serving in a temporary capacity as the top executive of the Phoenix Indian Center Inc. for the last five months, Jolyana Begay-Kroupa can now drop the interim designation from her title of CEO.

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Growing up, Amy Higdon always had a passion for film, but was uncertain how she would ever be able to participate in the creative industry. 

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LINCOLN, Neb. — Over the years, Tasha Abourezk made many star quilts, which are popular among Native American people, particularly the Northern Plains tribes, as a form of gifting, honoring and expressing gratitude. 

As she started exploring her creativity, Abourezk (Mandan and Hidatsa) knew she wanted to incorporate her culture into different mediums. Through a process of experimenting, the quilter ultimately decided to try her hand at making handbags, which would become a passion all its own.

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A major difference exists between the expectations for Native and Western theater, says playwright and director Tara Moses. In her experience, Western plays often follow a rigid structure, whereas Native theater tends to be more fluid and representational versus literal and straightforward. 

 

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Native creators working in the performing arts need more and broader access to funding and more freedom in their partnerships with funding organizations. 

That’s according to a new report by First Peoples Fund, a Rapid City, S.D.-based arts nonprofit.