National program to place Indigenous artists center stage

National program to place Indigenous artists center stage
(www.westarts.org) The Western Arts Alliance is launching a national program to create new touring and presentation opportunities for Indigenous performing artists. Kale Hannahs (Native Hawaiian participates in the Ceremonial Welcome at WAA’s 2015 Indigenous Performance Symposium.

Jason Salsman/Multimedia Producer

12 artists to participate in three-year program

PORTLAND, Oregon — Western Arts Alliance (WAA), the Portland-based performing arts service organization, is launching Advancing Indigenous Performance (AIP), a national program to create new touring and presentation opportunities for Indigenous performing artists.

With a lead grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and additional support from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts and Native Arts and Cultures Foundation, WAA is more than half-way to its goal of raising $1 million to support the program through 2021.

Advancing Indigenous Performance will invest in building the professional capacities of Indigenous performing artists as it works to break down barriers in the performing arts.

“Artistic development, managing a career, building new work, touring and performing are tough enough for any artist, but for Indigenous artists, the challenges are greatly complicated by ongoing issues of colonization, racism, stereotyping, and access to resources,” WAA Executive Director Tim Wilson said.

AIP is looking to build capacity and networking opportunities for Indigenous performing artists (Alaskan Natives, Native Hawaiians and Native American artists in the contiguous United States) through competitive grants that include mentoring aimed at career-advancement, professional development, showcasing opportunities and travel subsidies.

Twelve artists will participate in the program for three years, with a total investment in each artist of $40,000.

The program will also work to educate arts presenting and touring professionals about the cultural origins and work of Indigenous artists, and build strategies for integrating them into mainstream presenting and touring models. In addition, an Indigenous Artist Touring Fund will provide fee support to cultural organizations engaging Indigenous performing artists.

For more information or to sign up for the Advancing Indigenous Performance email list visit: https://westarts.org/advancing-indigenous-performance.

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