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Indigenous Artists Reinforce History and Presence at Tongva Park

From the City of Santa Monica: On Wednesday, May 30, Santa Monica Cultural Affairs presents the 2018 Art @ Tongva season finale, Indigenous Now, an evening of performance, music and art by Los Angeles-based indigenous artists. The program is a collaboration with the Art @ Tongva Indigenous Advisory Committee, comprised of Lazaro Arvizu (Tongva), Los Angeles Unified School District Indigenous Advisor; Clementine Bordeaux (Sicangu Lakota Oyate), PhD in World Arts and Cultures/Dance UCLA; and Michelle Enfield (Diné – Navajo), Red Circle Program Coordinator, Special Initiatives and APLA Program Coordinator.

Award-winning singer-songwriter and activist Raye Zaragoza.

“This program shares work of current artists, who are fellow indigenous friends. Celebrating the work they are making now reinforces the histories and presence of indigenous people’s existence, a fight for visibility that is never complete,” says Lazaro Arvizu.

A special opening ritual at 7:30 p.m. opens this varied, inspirational, and galvanizing evening, which includes musical performances by award-winning singer-songwriter and activist Raye Zaragoza, whose music is deeply informed by her multinational heritage (O’odham, Mexican, Taiwanese and Japanese). Zaragoza’s viral protest song, In the River, won the 2017 Global Music Award for Protest Music and the Honesty Oscar for Activist Anthem.

Felicia ‘Fe’ Montes, also known as Fe Evaone, is a Xicana artist, activist, educator, and poet from East Los Angeles. Her work with Joel ‘Rageone’ Garcia, The Politricked Public Art Cart, embodies the “P’s of Public Art” – Posters, Projections, Performance, Poetry, and Politics. Montes’ mobile art cart, made in the style of the elote, or corn vendor cart, empowers participants through education, information, and art.

Artist and filmmaker Pamela J. Peters (Navajo) curates a program of poetry and spoken word with writers and performers from diverse tribal backgrounds, celebrating, mourning and recognizing the indigenous narratives in our communities.

Singer-songwriter Stephanie Mushrush (Washoe Tribe of NV & CA), a brilliant voice in contemporary music, finds inspiration in family, tribe, ancestors, prayers, and in the indigenous nations of the world.

Artist Jaque Fragua, from Jemez Pueblo, New Mexico.

Artist Jaque Fragua, from Jemez Pueblo, New Mexico, using imagery drawn from traditional Native American ceramics, blankets, tattoo designs, etc., repurposes his culture’s iconography, subverting the misappropriation of Native American identity. Over the course of the evening, Fragua will create a new graphic work specifically designed for this event.

Audiences are invited to find their way freely through the space, encountering each performance in their own order at their own pace. The program highlights Tongva Park’s unusual geography of gardens, winding paths, and urban vistas, reimagining the small, exquisite spaces of the park.

Free and open to the public. For more information, visit smgov.net/tongvapark/events.

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