Indigenous Performance Symposium

Djuki Mala, The Chooky Dancers, photo by Sean Young Photography, courtesy of the artist.Djuki Mala, from Elcho Island, Australia, photo by Sean Young Photography, courtesy of the artists.

Indigenous Performance Symposium 

Sunday, August 30, 2015

8:30 am - 8:00 pm

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Price: $125.00 US (includes lunch & dinner)

"Children learn from what they see. We need to set an example of truth and action."
- Howard Rainer, Taos Pueblo-Creek

“Don’t be afraid of “perceptions”, be in control of them, challenge them, change them”
- Susan Aglukark, Inuk singer and songwriter

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. For mainstream agents and presenters, these same issues create barriers on the other side of the booking process. In the absence of experience, knowledge, and understanding, agents and presenters have difficulty with context, interpretation and authenticity. The fear of inadvertently causing offense or seeming disrespectful, can undermine even those with the best of intentions.

The Indigenous Performance Symposium is a one-day symposium exploring the range of issues confronting practitioners, facilitators, and presenters of Indigenous performance. We intend to offer a program, unlike any WAA has done before, that is circular in design and structure (sometimes called community-based learning) rather than the top-down pyramid (using a single speaker/panel) that is the norm with our professional development sessions.

The Symposium content is being developed by an International Steering Committee of Indigenous artists, producers, programmers, and arts administrators. The program will take place at the University of British Columbia’s beautiful Museum of Anthropology (MOA). The Museum is renowned for its partnership and collaboration with Indigenous communities.

While the curricula is still in the planning stage, it will include: cultural protocols, with a focus on mutual respect, performance principles, recognition and control; legal issues such as appropriation, attribution, copyright, compensation, royalties; and management fundamentals - booking, marketing, repertory and programming, touring, etc.

The program will include a ceremonial welcome, formal presentations, breakout sessions, a networking event, lunch, dinner, and performances.

As part of the Indigenous Performance Symposium, on Tuesday, September 1, the conference will feature an Indigenous Performance Showcase, in partnership with Full Circle: First Nations Performance, producers of Vancouver’s Talking Stick Festival.

For more information, visit this site often or email staff@westarts.org to be added to our email list.

Presented in partnership with the UBC Museum of Anthropology

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