Lied Center awarded $35K from NEA for Indigenous Cultures Festival

The Lied Center of Kansas has been selected by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) to receive a $35,000 grant in support of the 2022 KU Powwow & Indigenous Cultures Festival. The Grants for Arts Projects is the principal grant category of the NEA, supporting public engagement with, and access to, various forms of art across the nation, the creation of excellent art, learning in the arts at all stages of life, and the integration of the arts into the fabric of community life.

The 2021 NEA Grants for Arts Project will help fund the sixth annual Powwow & Indigenous Cultures Festival at the University of Kansas, which unites many campus and community organizations and individuals. Since establishing the festival, the scope has evolved to include multiple activities and events during the spring, facilitating an ongoing cultural exchange between community members and Indigenous artists from across the city, region and nation. The 2022 festival will center the rich and diverse cultures and history of North American Indigenous Peoples with programming related to visual arts, film, media and dance, and the events will take place in a variety of locations across the KU campus and throughout the Lawrence community.

“This grant will enable us to expand the KU Indigenous Cultures Festival to feature some spectacular contemporary Indigenous/First Nations artists. This will provide our community the opportunity to engage with these artists through performances, exhibitions, film screenings, workshops, conversations and more,” said Anthea Scouffas, Lied Center engagement/education director. Potential visiting artists include Red Sky Performance, a leading contemporary Indigenous performance company in Canada and worldwide (theatre, music and media); Danis Goulet (Cree/Metis), a curator and director of film and digital media; and photographer Will Wilson (Member of the Navajo Nation), whose projects center around the continuation and transformation of customary Indigenous cultural practice.

“As the country and the arts sector begin to imagine returning to a post-pandemic world, the National Endowment for the Arts is proud to announce funding that will help arts organizations reengage fully with partners and audiences,” said NEA Acting Chairman Ann Eilers. “While the arts, whether through books, movies, or online performances and programs, have been a sustaining force for many throughout the pandemic, the chance to gather with one another and share arts experiences is its own necessity and pleasure.”

Details regarding the 2022 KU Powwow & Indigenous Cultures Festival artists and activities will be announced next year.