musicians and scholars are headed to Long Island University’s
Brooklyn campus for a one-day-only, free celebration of "Native
Americans: Living the Diaspora." On Wednesday, the university
is focusing its semi-annual diaspora conference exclusively on
Native American culture and art, hosting a myriad of performers
and events that will take place throughout the day and are open
to the public.
Conference coordinator Lisa Biggs told GO Brooklyn that above
all, the lineup will make for "a really rich event.
"It’s a chance to look at different artforms in the Native
American diaspora and also to talk to artists about the history
and politics involved in their work," explained Biggs.
According to Cliff Matias, director of the Redhawk Native American
Arts Council, the state of New York has the sixth-largest population
of Native Americans in the U.S., and the largest percent of this
population live here in Brooklyn. The Redhawk Native American
Arts Council is one of only two indigenous arts organizations
in the tri-state area, known best for their annual "Native
American Heritage Celebration" powwows held at Floyd Bennett
Redhawk’s interactive dance and music workshops are a highlight
of LIU’s conference as the group will use live musicians and
dancers to perform and interpret indigenous dances like the "fancy
dance," "grass dance," "chicken dance"
or "hoop dance." Workshops will be held in Metcalf
323 from 10 am to 11:50 am (for those who sign up in advance).
At noon, there will be a grand performance by the Redhawk Dance
Troupe in the Kumble Theatre.
Another feature of the conference is the opening of the exhibition
of Native American visual art in the Salena gallery, with a reception
at 6 pm. Artists Duane Slick (Winnebago/Mesquakie) and Jason
Lujan (Apache) will use photography and painting, respectively,
to present two diverse views on Native American identity and
myth as well as its role in contemporary society.
According to his artist’s statement, Lujan’s "The Sacred
Nothing" (pictured) is his take on Native artifacts and
their interaction with the tools of collection, restoration and
Biggs encourages New Yorkers to come to what she promises will
be "a unique opportunity to learn about Native American
cultures and meet Native artists of different backgrounds."
"Native Americans: Living the Diaspora" will be held
on Long Island University’s Brooklyn Campus at Flatbush Avenue
Extension and DeKalb Avenue in Downtown Brooklyn on Oct. 18,
from 9:30 am to 7:30 pm. The event is free and open to the public.
For information or to register for workshops, call Lisa Biggs
at (718) 488-3355 or go to www.brooklyn.liu.edu.
©2006 Community News Group