Western Arts Alliance Announces 2019 Native Launchpad Artists and AIP Fellows

Jul 18 2019

(Portland, OR) – Western Arts Alliance (WAA) has announced the following recipients of the 2019 Native Launchpad Artist Award: Delbert Anderson, Maura Garcia, Thea Hopkins and Timothy White Eagle.

Native Launchpad is the cornerstone program of Advancing Indigenous Performance (AIP), Western Arts Alliance’s national initiative to build audiences for Indigenous performing arts through educational and career development resources for artists and presenters.

Native Launchpad introduces US-based Indigenous artists and ensembles to the world of arts presenting and management, and provides them the tools needed to further their careers. Each of these artists will receive direct support of $40,000 over three years, in the form of cash grants, travel support, mentoring/coaching, showcasing, promotional benefits and networking opportunities.

Delbert Anderson is enjoying a music career as one of today's most forward-thinking artists. Recording, touring, music educational workshops, composing/arranging and guest appearances keep Anderson busy not only in his hometown of Farmington, NM but worldwide. After studying jazz trumpet at Eastern New Mexico University, Anderson created a fusion funk group known as DDAT. Original DDAT compositions are inspired by Anderson’s Navajo cultural melodies. DDAT has been touring nationally and providing educational outreach for all communities.

Maura García (non-enrolled Cherokee/Mattamuskeet) is a dancer, a choreographer and the artistic director of Maura Garcia Dance (MGD). Her work is powered by a desire to perpetuate ancestral knowledge, actively respect the living earth and further social justice. Maura’s artistic creations reflect the power of stories to form and change our realities. Through narrative driven choreography she seeks to form connections, empower Indigenous cultural values and explore the rhythms of the natural world.

Boston-based performing songwriter, Thea Hopkins, is a member of the Aquinnah Wampanoag Tribe of Martha's Vineyard. The striking nature imagery in some of her songs is a reflection of her childhood summers spent in Aquinnah. Thea first came to public notice when Peter, Paul & Mary recorded her song "Jesus Is On The Wire" in 2004 and again in 2010. She is also a recipient of the Native Arts and Cultures Foundation’s National Artist Fellowship (2016). Thea’s 4th album, "Love Come Down," was released in 2018. She has performed on stages across America and Great Britain.

Timothy White Eagle is a Native American artist based in Seattle. He earned a BFA from the University of Utah. He crafts objects, photographs, performances and spaces. His art and performances have been presented on three continents. In 2014 his book, “The Return”, with collaborator Adrain Chesser, was published by Daylight Books. Timothy works as an artistic director with MacArthur Genius, Taylor Mac, on his Pulitzer Prize finalist “A 24 Decade History…”. In 2019 he received two major commissions to create public work. In 2020 Timothy will premiere his performance “The Violet Symphony” at OtB in Seattle, and at LaMama in NYC.

The artists were selected by a panel of six Indigenous performing arts professionals from across the country. 
In addition to Native Launchpad, ten artists were named AIP Fellows, each receiving scholarships to attend the 2019 AIP Artist Symposium and WAA Conference in Los Angeles. The 2019 Fellows are:  Theatre artist Ernest Briggs (White Earth Band of Chippewa), music artist Halemanu (Kanaka Maoli – Native Hawaiian), theatre artist Frank Kaash Katasse (Tlingit), theatre artist Jacque Nunez (Juaneno Band of Mission Indians/Acjachemen Nation), music artist Lee “Mixashawn” Rozie (Maheekanew/Mohawk/Cherokee), dance artist Lumhe Sampson (Seneca/Mvskoke), dance artist Rosy Simas (Seneca), dance artist brooke smiley (Osage), dance artist Rulan Tangen (hunka Lakota), and music artist Natasha Terry (Navajo).
The Advancing Indigenous Performance program is made possible by a lead grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and additional support from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts. 
For more information or to sign up for the Advancing Indigenous Performance email list visit: https://westarts.org/advancing-indigenous-performance.