Western Arts Alliance is pleased to announce that Ed Bourgeois has joined the WAA staff as the Advancing Indigenous Performance (AIP) Program Manager. Of Mohawk descent, Ed has decades of experience in arts administration with Native and Non-Native arts and cultural organizations. Since 2013, Ed has served as the Managing Director/Development Officer for the PA’I Foundation in Hawaii and before that Ed spent six years at the Alaska Native Heritage Foundation as Director of Public Programs and Community Engagement. Ed is also a performer and humorist, who attended the 2018 Conference as an AIP Fellow
In Alaska, he served as General Director of Anchorage Opera, and Director of Programs at the Alaska Native Heritage Center. He established the Alaska Native Playwrights Project, which trained emerging Native playwrights in Alaska and on Pine Ridge Reservation (SD), and produced ʻAu I Ke Kai (Crossing the Distant Seas), bringing together Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian performers for the Talking Stick Festival (Vancouver, BC) and Moʻolelo Storytelling Festival (Honolulu). His plays have received staged readings at Native Voices at the Autry (Los Angeles), LaJolla Playhouse and Oklahoma City Theatre Company’s Native American New Play Festival.
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 and the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation with additional support for the National Endowment for the Arts and the Native Arts and Culture Fund. 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.