Home » Native Artists for ‘Contemporary Voices’ Panel Discussion Comes to Lesher Center

Native Artists for ‘Contemporary Voices’ Panel Discussion Comes to Lesher Center

by CC News
Native Artistic

The Lesher Center for the Arts, the premier arts destination of Contra Costa County located in the heart of downtown Walnut Creek, is proud to present “Contemporary Voices: A Native Artist Panel Discussion” Saturday, June 1 at 2:00 p.m.

Featuring three leading Indigenous artists who reflect the diversity of the contemporary Native community, the discussion will focus on the panelists’ artistic processes and what drives their art-making.

The ticketed event will see Pulitzer Prize finalist and American Book Award winner Tommy Orange (“There There”), mixed-media artist Danielle SeeWalker (co-founder of The Red Road Project) and Tazbah Chavez, executive producer and writer of FX’s “Reservations Dogs,” join moderator and celebrated comedian Jackie Keliiaa for an afternoon of spirited discussion.

The event is part of the Lesher Center’s Uplifting Native Voices series, which launched with Bedford Gallery’s “Re-Discovering Native America: The Red Road Project” exhibition, on view now through June 23, and will continue with “Good Medicine,” a one-night-stand of all-Native comedy hosted by Keliiaa the evening of June 22.

“You can find the work of our talented panelists in print, on TV and in galleries throughout the country, but to see them together, all in one place, is something truly special,” Keliiaa said. “Our panelists are not only leading artists in their respective crafts, they’re also extraordinarily insightful about the behind-the-scenes processes that go into their work. If you’re at all interested in what makes an artist’s mind tick and how the act of art-making interacts with forces such as identity and culture, you won’t want to miss this discussion.”

Tickets to the event are available now at LesherArtsCenter.org.

Event Details:

About the panelists —

  •  A performance poet turned director and television writer, Tazbah Chavez is noted for her work on FX’s “Reservation Dogs” and Peacock’s “Rutherford Falls,” as well as writing and directing the 2018 TV movie “Your Name Isn’t English.” She is a citizen of the Bishop Paiute tribe, from the Nüümü, Diné and San Carlos Apache tribes.
  • Tommy Orange is an author and filmmaker born and raised in Oakland, California. His debut novel, “There There,” was a New York Times bestseller and a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. His newest release, “Wandering Stars,” is a prequel and sequel to “There There,” and follows the lives of the beloved characters introduced in his debut novel. He earned a Master of Fine Arts degree at the Institute of American Indian Arts, where he now serves as faculty. Orange is an enrolled member of the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes of Oklahoma.
  • Danielle SeeWalker is an artist, writer, curator and activist based in Denver, Colorado. Storytelling is an integral part of her artwork, which incorporates mixed media and experimentation along with traditional Native American materials and scenes. In 2020, SeeWalker published her first book, “Still Here: A Past to Present Insight of Native American People and Culture.” Her exhibition “Re-Discovering Native America: Stories in Motion with The Red Road Project” runs through June 23 at Bedford Gallery at the Lesher Center for the Arts. SeeWalker is a Húŋkpapȟa Lakȟóta citizen of the Standing Rock Sioux Nation in North Dakota.
  • Jackie Keliiaa (Moderator) is an Oakland-based comedian, writer and actor. She has been featured on Comedy Central and Team Coco, as well as in Amazon Prime’s “First Nations Comedy Experience.” She voices the character Bubble in Netflix’s “Spirit Rangers.” A regular at Bay Area venues such as Punch Line San Francisco and Cobb’s Comedy Club, Keliiaa produces and hosts “Good Medicine,” a night of all-Native comedy that debuts at the Lesher Center this June. Keliiaa is Yerington Paiute and Washoe

For other upcoming events around Contra Costa County, visit our events calendar

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