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Monday, September 25, 2023

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Vincent Whipple Vincent Whipple

Vincent Whipple Joins SDSU as Arts Alive Artist in Residence

His residency begins with Native American Arts and Advocacy: An Artist Talk, on Sept. 28 via Zoom.
By Elizabeth Allison

Arts Alive SDSU has announced Vincent Whipple, an American Indian performing artist and educator who has worked in Southern California tribal communities for more than 30 years, as Artist in Residence for the 2021-22 academic year.  
Whipple has served as the director of tribal relations for California State University, San Bernardino, and he has been the artistic director for the Wichozani Native American Dance & Theater Company, a Southern California based theater group focusing on cultural revitalization through Native music, dance, theater, and storytelling. He is an enrolled member of the Navajo Tribe of Arizona and is also descended from the Oglala Sioux Tribe of South Dakota.

“In Native communities, expressive culture and education go hand in hand,” Whipple said. “I have found that teaching and learning in tribal contexts comprise a collaborative process that provides mutual rewards to both students and teachers.” 

Whipple’s residency will provide opportunities for students in classes, organizations, and centers to engage in critical dialogue about arts activism, identity, and diversity, especially as they relate to Native and Indigenous cultures. In spring 2022, the residency will culminate in a performance event on campus, featuring student participation and addressing themes emerging from these conversations.

“I am excited for Vince to be here on campus to bring us together and share his heart with all of us,” said Jacob Alvarado Waipuk, SDSU chair of tribal relations and tribal liaison. “This is the first time we have ever had a Native American Artist in Residence, and I encourage everyone in our community to welcome Vince to our family here at SDSU." 

Artist in Residence Program

Sponsored by the Division of Student Affairs and Campus Diversity, the residency contributes to the goals of the university’s strategic plan, reinforcing SDSU’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. 

Now in its second year, the program aims to provide impactful experiences that transform the campus and strengthen the community by inviting everyone to participate in the creative process.

“What is art and dance but another form of telling our stories?” said Chris Medellin, director of the SDSU Native Resource Center. “Art and storytelling are deeply ingrained in how Native people explain the world around us. It is another way to speak and to pass along knowledge. I hope that folks who will be working with Vincent will see that.” 

Artist Talk

Whipple will present Native American Arts and Advocacy: An Artist Talk to share his art and discuss the influences that shaped his work, including the intergenerational passage of Native American artistic traditions. 

“I hope to bring awareness to Indigenous artistic traditions as a vibrant part of contemporary Native life,” said Whipple. “I want students to acquire a tangible respect for tribal arts and make a connection with their own cultural traditions.” 

The free Zoom webinar event is scheduled for 4-5 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 28. Advance registration for the event is available here

“It is amazing to have someone like Vincent as the new Artist in Residence here at San Diego State University,” said Medellin. “Having more Native American representation on campus is essential, as it shows our whole community that we are committed to creating spaces of inclusion. Our voices are important and, with Vincent here, we are showing that. Native youth will look at him as a role model and see that they too can find their place on a college campus.”