Experience Year Two of Weaving Spirits Festival of Two-Spirit Performance here in the heart of Yelamu (SF).
Witness local and national Native American artists whose powerful performance offerings range from traditional song, to modern dance, rap, and drag. Workshop offerings dig deeper into Native community topics and the transformations two-spirits bring to our world. Each weekend brings a different lineup of brilliant voices.
All are welcome!
The Brush Arbor Gurlz (BAGz)
Chaac and Yum (short film by Roberto Fatal, Snowflake Calvert, and Javier Stell-Frésquez)
Saturday, March 19th
Wakan Wiya (Sacred Woman) Two Spirit Drum is our Native American drum founded and led by Indigenous Two Spirit women in the Bay Area. Our drum was gifted to us to support access to drum medicine for our Two Spirit communities, our friends and familia. We support Two Spirit peoples returning to our Native drum traditions where healing medicine is for all. Our circles will always center Indigenous Two Spirit TGNC LGBQIA+ peoples, and we ask everyone who attends to respectful of this focus.
M. Zamora is a Chicana, Tongva and Yaqui Two Spirit feminist community organizer and teacher. Her ancestors come from the Los Angeles Basin and northern Mexico’s Sonora and Chihuahua regions. In her prayer communities she is a ceremonial singer/drummer. She has also led Native women’s drum circles with Turtle Women Rising, Bay Area American Indian Two Spirit (BAAITS) Drum, and is currently the drum keeper for the Wakan Wiya Two Spirit Drum at Casa Tía Luna (SF) and Spirit Root Medicine People: Indigenous Two Spirit Lifeways (East Bay). Zamora has taught Ethnic Studies, Chicana/o Latina/o Studies, and Gender Studies and Feminist Theory at California State University East Bay, University of San Francisco and Stanford University. She is currently an administrator for Race, Gender & Sexuality Studies at Mills College.
Nazbah Tom is Dine. In their cultural practice of acknowledging and honoring all elders and ancestors, it is important for Nazbah to introduce their clans before explaining more about the work he does. Nazbah is Ashi’hii (Salt Clan) and born for Bitah’nii (Folded Arms People). Nazbah’s maternal clan is Lookaa’dine’e (Reed People) and their paternal clan is Too’di’chii’nii (Bitter Water People).
Nazbah’s work in relation to Drama Therapy in the Two-Spirit Project at the Native American Health Center included facilitating the implementation of substance abuse and HIV prevention activities including HIV Counseling/Testing. Supervising Case Manager, Prevention Specialist, and Mental Health Therapist in delivery of prevention and treatment services with regards to Substance Abuse and HIV Prevention.
Sunday, March 20th
A more accessible panel w/ Indigenous and LGBTQ+ Dance Makers, facilitated by Cuauhtémoc Peranda.
In-person and livestreamed panel co-presented by Fresh Meat Productions, with Closed Captioning, ASL, and English-to-Spanish interpretation.
This panel brings together LGBTQ+ artists and scholars to discuss the political impacts of our work, and the specific tensions, violence, and healing traditional dance engages. We ask each other, and ourselves: What are we currently fighting for in our arts? How are we continuing our legacies of dances of our peoples? And how are we doing our work with our queerness?
Panelists: Kawika Keikiali’ihiwahiwa Alfiche, Sherente Harris, Arturo Magaña, and facilitated by Cuauhtémoc Peranda
Please enjoy the virtual stream free, especially if it’s the only option you can do with ease.
Workshop will focus on Womyn in drum spaces as well as what it means to be queer in traditional spaces sometimes that are exclusionary.
Sam Campbell (they/them) is a board member with Bay Area American Indian Two Spirits (BAAITS) where they serve as the drum keeper. As an indigenous scholar, they dedicate their time to advocating for indigenous rights and issues surrounding missing and murdered indigenous women and girls. And as a queer studies scholar, they continually fight for trans and Two-Spirit equity along with safety advocacy.
Join as we continue to…. Weave the ways of the past into the loom of the present… Reveal and Embrace our full selves in performance… Create our own visibility.
Curated by an intergenerational team of Two-Spirit community leaders, with cultural protocols followed towards the Rahmaytush and other Ohlone peoples of the bay.
“Two-Spirit” is a pan-tribal term—it is rooted in the Anishinaabe term describing such individuals: “niizh manidoowag.” This translates literally as “two spirits”- embodying both the complex feminine and the masculine in all of us.
The Weaving Spirits Festival of Two-Spirit Performance Year Two is presented with support from
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
Landa Lakes and the Brush Arbor Gurlz (BAGz):
J Miko Thomas, Weaving Spirit’s co-curator, is a Chickasaw writer, musician, and artivist. As drag persona Landa Lakes she’s founded two houses, BAGz in 2004, and the House of Glitter in 2005, and is the Westcoast Mother of the Vogue House of Lauren, International. Honors include a KQED LGBT Local Hero Award, and the national pageant title of Jewel of the Galaxy. She was publicly elected as the 36th Grand Duchess of San Francisco. Landa serves on BAAIT-S’s Board and co-founded the first and largest Two-Spirit Powwow and is the President of the Grand Ducal Council of San Francisco. At Weaving Spirits, Year 2, she will perform with the Native American drag house called the Brush Arbor Gurlz including Ken Harper (Cherokee), Samantha Richards (Dine), Miso Hornay, and Peter Griggs (Saqamish). The group’s name is based on brush arbor gathering spaces of Southeastern tribes used for social occasions. The BAGz can be found performing around the US and Canada, often introducing audiences to Native politics for the first time.
L. Frank Manriquez (Tongva, Ajachmem, Rarámuri)
Born in what is now known as Santa Monica, L.Frank has spent her life remembering what it means to truly belong, to be Indigenous, to a place… even when the songs are whispers, the words are scarce and the land is hidden under a city. In his work as a visual artist, photographer, writer, tribal scholar, teacher, cartoonist, and Indigenous language activist, she has forged connections, pathways and torches for Indigenous communities in California and around the globe to remember the ways they each intimately and essentially belong to their homelands. Through her work establishing the California Indian Basketweavers Association, he is the start of the coil for hundreds of weavers. Through his founding of Advocates for Indigenous California Language Survival, the land is greeted by thousands of words and songs, some of which have been sleeping for generations. Through his service to the two-spirit community he has helped countless Native youth not only understand themselves, but their gifts and responsibilities within a community. Through his books and art, she has opened Indigenous California in new ways to the world. She is the mother of a canoe family, Paxiiwovem, which extends across the spine of the Pacific.
Cuauhtémoc Peranda (Mescalero Apache, Mexika-Chichimeca/Cano; & cihuaiolo butch queen) is a Critical Dance Studies Ph.D. candidate at the University of California, Riverside (UCR). Their research focuses on the history of the United States’ House Ballroom Scene, in particular the West Coast Ballscene, and its involvement in how Queer, Trans* and Two-Spirit, and Black Indigenous peoples of the Western Hemisphere have deployed the dance form of vogue (voguing/Performance) as a praxis of decolonization, voguing critique, and transformational resistance. They walk and raise children in the West Coast Ballscenes, and they’re known as “Overall Prince Don’Té Lauren” of The Legendary House of Lauren, International. They hold an M.F.A. in Dance from Mills College, and a B.A. in Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity from Stanford University. This is their first year as a lecturer for the Dance Studies Department at CSU San Marcos.
Chhoti Maa (Multiracial — Kikapu, Purepecha, Spanish, Italian, and unknown African ancestry) is a rapper and songwriter born in Guanajuato, Mexico. Chhoti Maa started in 2007 in Richmond, VA within the migrant rights movement and hip hop scene. The group expanded in 2012 with the support of Beto Guapoflaco and Keith Avelino Hernandez as co-producers. Chhoti Maa’s music is rooted in community organizing, hip hop, neufolk, r&b, cumbia, migrant soul and oral tradition. It reflects decolonial living, red medicine, queerness, migrant empowerment, indigeneity, love and radical sisterhood. To date, Chhoti Maa has performed, collaborated and taught in unceded Indigenous lands currently called Peru, Puerto Rico, China, US, Cuba, Spain, Qatar, U.A.E., Ghana, Sweden, Canada and Mexico. Chhoti Maa has released two studio albums Agua Corre (2016) and Caldo de Hueso (2018), featuring musical legends such as jazz saxophonist Howard Wiley, flutist KJ Pied Piper of the Bay, accordionist Ivan Flores, and Native emcee Dioganhdih. The crew is currently finishing a third album recorded at the legendary Zoo Labs studio in West Oakland. The project will be released in 2022. As the creative engine of Chhoti Maa, Vreni Michelini Castillo is also a cultural producer, curator, educator and organizer based in Huichin, Chochenyo Ohlone land (Oakland, CA).
Kumu Hula Kawika Keikiali’ihiwahiwa Alfiche has been teaching hula and Hawaiian cultural arts for over 28 years. Kawika is the Kumu Hula (Master teacher) for Hālau o Keikiali’i, and is the Director for the Kaululehua Hawaiian Cultural Center in South San Francisco. In 1996 Kawika learned under Kumu Hula Rae Kahikilaulani Fonseca (of Hilo, Hawai`i), who is an `uniki (formal graduate) of Uncle George Lanakilakekiahiali`i Na`ope, hula master and treasure of Hawai’i. In March 2007, Kumu Kāwika was one of six to be a part of Kumu Rae’s first and only `uniki ceremony. With a mission to preserve and perpetuate all things Hawaiian, Kawika spends his life learning, teaching and sharing his culture through hula and cultural arts and continues to teach throughout the globe. Kumu Kawika is also a composer and recording artist with 4 albums. Kumu Hula Kawika Keikiali’ihiwahiwa Alfiche has been teaching hula and Hawaiian cultural arts for 29 years. Kawika is the Kumu Hula (Master teacher) for Hālau o Keikiali’i, and Director for the Kaululehua Hawaiian Cultural Center in South San Francisco & Napa. With a mission to preserve and perpetuate all things Hawaiian, Kawika spends his life learning, teaching and sharing his culture through the hula and cultural arts and teaches throughout the Globe. Kawika has had impeccable training from his Kumu. His first Kumu Hula was Tiare Maka-Olanolan Clifford of Hanalei, Kaua`i. After her passing in 1992, Kumu Kawika became haumana of Kumu Hula Harriet Kahalepoli Keahilihau-Spalding of Keaukaha, Hawai`i who had Kawika open Hālau in 1994. Aunty Harriet’s kumu was her grandmother, Mary Ahi`eha Kekuewa, who was affectionately known as Mama Fuji’i. In 1996, Aunty Harriet had Kawika fall under Kumu Hula Rae Kahikilaulani Fonseca of Hilo, Hawai`i who is an `uniki (formal graduate) of Uncle George Lanakilakekiahiali`i Na`ope, hula master and treasure of Hawai’i. In March 2007, Kumu Kāwika was one of six to be a part of Kumu Rae’s first and only `uniki. Kumu Kawika is also a composer and recording artist with 4 cd’s, Nālei (2005), Kale`a (2011), Nā Mele Kahiko (2013), White Ships (2015) and 5 dvd’s Nānā I Ke Kumu (2010), Hula Pahu (2012) and Ho`okupu (2014), Hilo Hanakahi (2016) and Mohala (2020). Currently he is in the studio recording a 5th cd due in 2022.
Arturo Magaña (Queer Dancer & Choreographer Pronouns: They, Them) I started my dance training at the age of 10 at the Casa de la Cultura of Jerez, Zacatecas, México. My passion for dance has given me amazing opportunities and provided a well rounded arts education. After migrating to California, I joined Folklorico ProLatino, the first Gay Mexican Folkorico Project in the United States. It was in Folklorico ProLatino that I discovered my calling for social justice. In 2003 I was accepted in Los Lupeños de San Jose (LL) where I danced for 15 years. In LL, I worked directly with the co-founder Dr. Susan Cashion who appointed me as the Artistic Director of the company for one year, as well as General Director of the Lupeños Academy for five years. With LL also received the opportunity to complete an artistic residency at the University of Colima under the direct mentorship of Maestro Rafael Zamarripa. Throughout my career, I have had the honor of touring with Linda Ronstadt as well as performing at various renowned festivals and with amazing recording artists.In November of 2015, Ensamble Folclórico Colibrí (EFC) began as an artistic project of Colectivo ALA (gay support group in San José). Under my direction “Folclorico Colibri” has been established as the first LGBTQI+ Folklórico organization with two branches: Ensamble Folclórico Colibrí (Performing Company) and Academia Folclórico Colibrí (LGBTQI+ Folklorico Dance Academy)
Sherenté Mishitashin Harris intertwines stories of cultural existence with their Two Spirit identity, to evoke emotion, spark dialogue, and amplify ideologies that are too often silenced. Sherenté’s efforts oppose the prolonged issue of Indigenous invisibility. Sherenté is Niantic Narragansett and a citizen of the Narragansett Tribal Nation. Named a 2019 LGBT History Month Icon, Sherenté is also a 2018 Presidential and Rhode Island Foundation Carter Roger Williams Scholar and is currently enrolled in a five year dual degree program at Brown University and Rhode Island School of Design.
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