(Olympia, WA) — The Washington Center is working in partnership with Indigenous Performance Productions to provide technical theater support and regional partnership on the creation of Welcome to Indian Country, which will be in residence May 24-27, 2021. Indigenous Performance Productions is led by Olympia-based Andre Bouchard (Kootenai/Ojibwe) who has 21 years of experience as a performing arts leader.
Jill Barnes, Washington Center Executive Director, says, “We’re really excited to partner together as co-commissioners on this project and to have such diverse artistry and unique voices in residence in our community and in our theatrical space.” Welcome to Indian Country is an evening-length performance celebrating Native peoples and culture through original music, historic music, and spoken word/storytelling. The work moves seamlessly offering seven songs for the people today, seven for the artists’ ancestors, and seven stories (seven is an auspicious number in many tribes).
The storytelling and music will both exemplify the vibrant life of modern Native people as well as honor the artists’ ancestors, the Native musicians who left an indelible mark on the world and the many art forms that we call American music.
The work’s all-Indigenous collaborators—Delbert Anderson, Nick Lucero, Nokossee Fields, Mali Obomsawin, Lyla June, and Storme Webber—represent the Diné (Navajo), Osage, Kootena/Ojibwe/Pend Oreille/Salish, Cheyenne, Abenaki, and Southern Ute tribes, as well as South American Indigenous descent. The work aims to encapsulate the joy they feel at being part of the Native community, and to share their stories with the world.
The Washington Center is delighted to be among the esteemed co-commissioners including All My Relations Arts at Native American Community Development Institute (Minneapolis, MN), Dartmouth College Hopkins Center for the Arts (Hanover, NH), and the Moss Center at Virginia Tech (Blacksburg, VA).
The Washington Center recently received grant support from the Nisqually Indian Tribe to assist in the technical creation of the project. “We are honored to receive this tremendous support, and to be a co-commissioner with so many distinguished cultural organizations and Native American artists,” says Barnes.