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Program Coordinator, Public Art

From September 22-24, 2020, NEFA’s Public Art Team co-hosted a virtual symposium Centering Justice: Indigenous Perspectives on Art in Public Space featuring a series of panel discussions among Indigenous  artists, activist, and tribal leaders. The symposium highlighted diverse Indigenous perspectives related to reframing our public memory of and relationship to the land, the complexities of cultural appropriation, authenticity and importance of relationship building, and imagining possibilities for more just public art practices to support Indigenous cultural expression to flourish in public.  

The Public Art team at NEFA is honored to share this virtual space with each of our speakers and to be able to share these conversations more broadly through these recordings. May these conversations move us all to honor, value, and invite Indigenous creative leadership in this field. We welcome you to continue learning with us by (re)watching the symposium below.  

Pre-Symposium Event: On This Land: Reframing Public Memory

Guest Speakers for the Pre-Symposium Event in partnership with MAPC

  • Erin Genia, Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate, Artist in Residence for the City of Boston 
  • Nia Holley, Nipmuc
  • Jonathan Perry, Aquinnah Wampanoag, Culture bearer, leader, historian, artist and professional speaker 
  • Kim Szeto, Program Director of Public Art at the New England Foundation for the Arts (moderator) 

Session 1: The Legacy of Public Space on Occupied Lands

Guest Speakers for Session 1

  • Bruce Curliss, Nipmuc
  • Jenny Oliver, Massachusett Tribe at Ponkapoag
  • Robert Peters, Mashpee Wampanoag
  • Courtney M. Leonard, Shinnecock
  • Facilitator: Erin Genia, Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate

Session 2: The Impacts of Cultural Appropriation on Native Arts in Public Space

Guest Speakers for Session 2

  • Elizabeth James-Perry, Aquinnah Wampanoag
  • Tahnee Ahtoneharjo Growingthunder, Kiowa
  • Erin Genia, Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate
  • Facilitator: Kim Szeto

Session 3: Thinking Big: Visions for the Future of Native Artists in Public Art

Guest Speakers for Session 3

  • Elizabeth James-Perry, Aquinnah Wampanoag
  • Bruce Curliss, Nipmuc
  • Jenny Oliver, Massachusett Tribe at Ponkapoag
  • Robert Peters, Mashpee Wampanoag
  • Courtney M. Leonard, Shinnecock
  • Tahnee Ahtoneharjo Growingthunder, Kiowa
  • Jonathan James-Perry, Aquinnah Wampanoag
  • Nia Holley, Nipmuc
  • Facilitator: Erin Genia, Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate

 

Centering Justice: Indigenous Artists’ Perspectives on Public Art is a collaboration in partnership with artists and educators, Erin Genia (Sisseton-Wahpeton Dakota) and Elizabeth James Perry (Aquinnah Wampanoag). This collaboration centers indigenous artists’ voices from regional tribal communities in this moment of reflection to examine the ongoing legacies of colonization and how it intersects with public art and our understandings of place, including the intertwined economic, ecological, cultural, and social impacts. 

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