2019 KU Powwow and Indigenous Cultures Festival features Indigenous artists’ work

This year, the annual KU Powwow and Indigenous Cultures Festival will encompass several events in the month of March, culminating with a full day of activities at the Powwow, which is being held at the Lied Center of Kansas on April 6. The 2019 KU Powwow and Indigenous Cultures Festival is presented by the KU First Nations Student Association (FNSA), Lied Center, KU Office of Multicultural Affairs, Native Faculty and Staff Council, KU Indigenous Studies Program, Spencer Museum of Art, KU Film and Media Studies, and Jancita Warrington (cultural consultant). All of the festival events, as well as the Powwow, are intertwined with the launch of a grant-funded project, the Indigenous Arts Initiative, at the University of Kansas.

As a partnership between KU (Spencer Museum of Art, Film and Media Studies, and the Lied Center) and the Kansas Creative Arts Industries Commission, the Indigenous Arts Initiative supports a rotating series of Indigenous art labs that provide emerging Indigenous artists opportunities to expand their professional networks, hone creative skills and gain leadership experience through collaborative, mentorship-based programming at KU. Through an application process, two emerging artists were selected, Sydney Pursel and Robert Hicks, to work alongside NEA-funded 2019 visiting artists Sterlin Harjo (filmmaker) and Steven Grounds (visual artist) in a two-week residency at the end of March through the beginning of April.

During the KU Indigenous Cultures Festival, the public is invited to view works of the visiting and emerging artists as well as attend discussions and lectures in March at several events that are open to the public. Some of these events include a public showing of Harjo’s film MEKKO with a Q&A at the Lawrence Arts Center on March 27 and an exhibit featuring works and a live painting by Grounds and other Indigenous artists at the Cider Gallery on March 29. Read full news release >


List of events
All events are free and open to the public, with the exception of one ticketed event on April 5, as noted below.

  • March 26 – Indigenous Aesthetics in Visual + Performing Art with Sterlin Harjo & Steven Grounds
    • 5:00 p.m.–6:30 p.m., Lied Center of Kansas Seymour Gallery
  • March 27MEKKO showing & Q&A with filmmaker, Sterlin Harjo
    • 7:00 p.m.–9:00 p.m., Lawrence Arts Center
  • March 28 – Indigenous Community Building through the Arts with Steven Grounds, Sterlin Harjo, Sydney Pursel, & Peter Jasso of the Kansas Creative Arts Commission
    • 5:30 p.m.–7:00 p.m., Spencer Museum of Art
  • March 29 – Cider Gallery Opening and Live-painting with Steven Grounds & other artists
    • 5:00 p.m.–9:00 p.m., Cider Gallery
  • March 31 – Steven Grounds Artist Talk
    • 4:30 p.m.–5:00 p.m., Cider Gallery
  • March 31 – Reception for Indigenous Artists: Steven Grounds, Sterlin Harjo, Sydney Pursel, & Robert Hicks
    • 5:00 p.m.–6:30 p.m., Cider Gallery
  • April 5 – Nataanii Means, indigenous hip-hop artist (ticketed concert)
    • 7:30 p.m., Lied Center of Kansas
  • April 6 – KU FNSA Powwow & Indigenous Cultures Festival
    • Lied Center of Kansas
      • 11:00 a.m. – FNSA Tipi unveiling
      • 11:30 a.m. – Mural unveiling
      • Noon & 5:00 p.m. – Powwow 101 sessions
      • Noon–5:00 p.m. – Children’s activities
      • 1:00 p.m. & 6:00 p.m. – Grand Entry
      • 1:30 p.m.–4:00 p.m. – Educational seminars
      • 4:00 p.m. – “Identity by Design” inspired by Smithsonian NMAI
      • 7:00 p.m. – Indigenous film festival
    • Food and arts & craft vendors will be available