Advancing Indigenous Performance Symposium for Artists

The Git Hayetsk led by Mike and Miquel Dangeli at the Opening Ceremony of WAA's 2015 Indigenous Performance Symposium.

The Git Hayetsk Dancers led by Mike and Miquel Dangeli at the Opening Ceremony of WAA's 2015 Indigenous Performance Symposium. Photo by Coast Mountain Photography.


The Advancing Indigenous Performance Program (AIP) is a new program established by the Western Arts Alliance with generous support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, and Native Arts and Cultures Foundation.  AIP deepens support for Indigenous performing artists and touring networks in ways that are rooted in the shared values of openness, inclusion, equity, and generosity. The initiative aims to provide educational and professional development resources for US-based Indigenous artists that will build audiences for Indigenous performing arts.  

The AIP Artists Symposium is a pre-conference event that brings together mid-career Indigenous performing artists and professionals to build knowledge, strategies, and opportunities for performance and touring. In addition to the sessions below, there are additional sessions and networking opportunities throughout the WAA Conference. The symposium is by invitation only but offered free to qualified Indigenous artists. For more information, please contact the WAA office

Session leaders and speakers

ANDRE BOUCHARD (Kootenai/Ojibwe) | Walrus Arts Management

LARISSA FASTHORSE (Sicangu Lakota) | Indigenous Direction

KAREN FISCHER | Pasifika Artists Network

JENNY MARLOWE | Indigenous Direction

SCOTT STONER | Arts for Now

ROB TOCALINO | Mondavi Center, UC Davis

TIM WILSON | Western Arts Alliance



Sunday, August 26

8:30 am - 9:00 am
Check-in, Refreshments
9:00 am – 10:00 am
Welcoming Ceremony
Fawn Douglas, Las Vegas Paiute, Artist & Culture Bearer
10:00 am - 10:30 am
Who We Are: Now
  • WAA and the Conference
  • The AIP Program
  • Lead Consultant and Artists intros
10:45 am – 12:30
Who We Are: Looking to the Future
  • Discussion: social capital, cultural competence, empowerment, etc
  • Small group discussion topics for lunch
  • Shareouts from each group
12:30-2:00 pm
Who We Are: Our Creative Selves
  • Artists briefly share their work
2:00pm – 4:30pm
The Performing Arts Presenting Field
  • Programming: Presenters and Curation
    • Types of Presenters
    • How location and presenter type affect programming
    • Programmers vs. Curators (how seasons are planned)
    • Beyond Performance: Residencies and Community Engagement
    • Programming for Diverse Audiences
  • Markets: How They Work – The Presenting Model; Key Players
    • What are they?
    • Who Attends and Why?
    • Key Markets
  • The Business of Touring
    • Tour Readiness
      • Promotional assets
      • Tech rider
    • Working with Agents
    • Logistics, Routing & Travel
      • Budgets
4:30-5:00 pm
5:30 - 7:00 pm
Monday, August 27

8:30 - 9:00 am
Check-in (coffee, tea)

9:00am – 10:00am
Extending your Network
  • Conferences, Festivals, and Other Opportunities
    • Showcasing
    • How to Pitch
    • Networking & Relationship Building
    • Prospecting
  • Building Audiences Community by Community
    • Strategies and tactics
    • Resources
    • Discussion: Decolonizing Community Engagement
10:00 – 10:50 am
Promotion, PR and Social Media
Led by Rob Tocalino, Director of Marketing, Mondavi Center
11:00 – 12:30 pm
Managing a Career or Artist, Know Thyself
  • Balancing the art, culture & business
  • Strategic use of time
  • Prioritizing time & money
  • How to ask for help
  • Who to ask for help
  • Managing relationships
  • Sustaining your true self
12:30pm – 1:00pm
Questions and Discussion
1:00 pm
Symposium Concludes
Logos of Major Program Contributors: The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and Native Arts & Cultures Foundation.