First Nations Performing Arts Partnership Artist | 2021
Ꮟ ᎠᏂᏬᏂ They Are Still Talking
As the first of three artists to be supported through MANCC’s pilot residency in collaboration with First Nations Performing Arts, Maura García will come to MANCC for the first time to develop Ꮟ ᎠᏂᏬᏂ They Are Still Talking, a four-part homage to native peoples’ connections to their ancestors through air, gesture, inter-generational trauma, and laughter. The work explores ancestral messages through the lens of Cherokee language and traditional teachings about two-spirit people and women. The full work will include live Cherokee language narration, dancers, and live musicians, and García is exploring the possibility of developing an outdoor iteration designed to be performed in the mouth of a cave.
Recognizing in her travels that she is often a stranger, visitor, and guest (invited or not), García notes that while she cannot know the protocol of every place she visits, she always stands on Cherokee protocol as the way to interact with people because it is the home she understands. While at MANCC, she hopes to begin by connecting with the local indigenous community through introductions that allow her to offer an inroad to her work as an artist. She plans to work with local community members as part of her creative process and to share open rehearsals, showings, community workshops, and artist talks, basing these events around community dialogue and needs.
This FNPA partnership is intended to ensure regular support of indigenous dance and performance artists and indigenous writers by MANCC, including an introductory site-visit followed by a full residency. This model is similar to that which we have developed with Urban Bush Women, a partnership now in its third year. Maura García is the pilot First Nations Performing Arts partnership artist - Cherokee (non-enrolled)/Mattamuskeet - and was recommended by the First Nations Performing Arts’s Advisory Council.
On the partnership, Garcia writes, "I'm excited about uninterrupted space and time that is completely dedicated to the creation of work; the opportunity to unravel slowly so that things that are hidden can come up...and to do so with the community. What will come out of people moving and creating together is exciting to me. I think this partnership with First Nations Performing Arts has the potential to uplift the field of Indigenous people who are creating work in what is called the U.S. and also to create a community of people who have had this time and space and can recognize the importance of their work in the world and the effects it has."
This partnership is supported by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.