First Peoples Fund is pleased to announce its 2004 Community
Spirit Awards recipients. Five American Indian artists from throughout
the United States have been selected based on their commitment
to sustaining the artistic and cultural traditions in their communities.
arts/weaving, beadwork, traditional songs
Francis, South Dakota
Salish Carver; bentwood boxes/masks
and Mary Sanipass
(Aroostook Band of Micmacs)
First Peoples Fund first established this prestigious national
award in 1999 to recognize five artists who selflessly teach their
art to others. The artists are nominated first by members of their
communities and then an independent panel of American Indian reviewers
selects those that most exemplify the idea of community spirit.
What sets the Community Spirit Awards apart from other national
awards is that the recipients are not selected based on a long
resume of art shows, exhibitions and awards. Rather, these artists
are recognized because of mentoring and teaching efforts.
believe that artists play an important role in sustaining Indian
communities. Through their artistic creations, they help the people
to know who they are, where they come from and where they are going.
Whether these artists are producing items for ceremonial, decorative
or utilitarian use, they are carrying on the spirituality, life
ways, histories and traditions of their tribes, says Lori
Pourier, Executive Director. The First Peoples Fund
is honored to be able to recognize these talented people who are
living examples of generosity, responsibility and strength.
2004 recipients will each receive a $5,000 award to help them practice
their art, and will be presented with their awards at a special
ceremony at the Journey Museum in Rapid City, South Dakota on December
4, 2003. Special guest performers include Ulali (a trio, Pura Fe,
1999 CSA recipient, Jennifer and Soni) and Vanessa Short Bull, dancer
and former Miss South Dakota. The ceremony is being held in conjunction
with an exhibit entitled Deep Roots at the Sioux Indian Museum (located
in the Journey Museum) of the 2001-2002 CSA recipients. Hulleah
Tsinhnahjinnie (1999 Recipient) photographer traveled to the homelands
of each artists photographing them in their environment. Her photos
will accompany their art.
are the Rapid City Mayors Office, the Journey Museum, Sioux
Indian Museum, The Dahl Arts Center, the Radisson, Enigma Restaurant,
Simpsons Printing, Native Voice, Alex Johnson Hotel, Nakota
Designs, Solider Woman Gallery and Wells Fargo Bank.