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Arts Alive SDSU Artist in Residence Dr. Vincent Whipple. Arts Alive SDSU Artist in Residence Dr. Vincent Whipple.

Arts Alive SDSU hosts Native American Music and Dance Conference

The first-of-its-kind event will be both live, and live-streamed, on Friday, April 8, 2022
By Aleesia Benkey

Arts Alive SDSU, in collaboration with the Native Resource Center, and the Department of American Indian Studies, hosts the Native American Music and Dance Conference, a one-day event celebrating Native and Indigenous Peoples.

Native American Music and Dance Conference features presentations, performances, and workshops to celebrate the power of storytelling among the Native and Indigenous Peoples. Local and regional Indigenous artists and scholars will share their work and legacy in this special event. 

The conference is being held Friday, April 8 in the SDSU Student Union, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Live performances will happen from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. 

The event will be held in person, as well as live-streamed via zoom. Virtual attendees can register online

Arts Alive SDSU Artist in Residence Dr. Vincent Whipple is the conference organizer.

“This is a first-of-its-kind event at SDSU and my hope is that the campus community will continue to hold this unique conference in the future,” said Whipple. “It is important for the community to understand that Native Americans represented at the conference are only one part of the many diverse tribal cultures that exist nationwide. Attendees will get an exposure to Native artistic traditions and especially to the traditions of the local Kumeyaay Nation and other California tribal people.”

Chris Medellin, director of the SDSU Native Resource Center has collaborated on the project. 

“I hope that attendees will have a greater understanding of various Native and Indigneous cultures through the presentations, panels, and demonstrations throughout the day,” said Medellin. “As a university, we have a lot to share with our communities and this event is a great way for everyone to learn something new.”

The conference will be held in three sessions. Session topics, moderators, and panelists are listed below.

Session One: Native American Music, Dance, and Theater Performance 
Moderator: Randy Reinholz
Panelists: Tracy Nelson, Vincent Whipple, Valerie Whipple
Session Two: Indigenous Women and Social Justice
Moderator: Jennifer Clay
Panelists: Gabriela Kovats Sanchez, Isabella Madrigal, Sophia Madrigal, Renda Madrigal
Session Three: Decolonizing California Indian History
Moderator: Olivia Chilcote

Panelists: Jacob Alvarado Waipuk, David Kamper, Jacque Nunez, Abel Silvas

The Native Resource Center at San Diego State University, residing on Kumeyaay Land, facilitates the academic and personal success of Native American and Indigenous identified students through: relevant and accessible programming and resources, services to identify and address barriers to academic achievement, community building, on and off-campus partnerships, and advocacy for the inclusion of Native American/Indigenous peoples’ unique histories, cultures, and perspectives in campus programs and curriculum.

The American Indian Studies program at San Diego State University is dedicated to teaching a broad range of topics related to the study of Native American peoples while focusing on individual elements that comprise American Indian life, heritage, and culture. By using literature, art, history, and politics as touchstones, students come to understand both the individual as well as the tribal character of the Indian peoples, with emphasis given to the tribes of Southern California. Coursework also draws comparisons between American Indian life and the life of other members of American society.