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Festival features 60 indigenous artists, music, dance, Native foods

We Are The Seeds Festival is an opportunity to celebrate culture.

The two-day festival, in its second year in Santa Fe, highlights indigenous fine art.

The event includes music, dance, fashion, literary arts and traditional Native foods.

“The festival is an opportunity for education,” says Tailinh Agoyo, festival co-director. “We’re bringing in more than 60 artists to showcase their work.”

Agoyo says the festival’s artists represent a diversity of cultures and regions.

Artists include renowned painter Baje Whitethorne, Sr. (Navajo), innovative potter Brenda Hill (Tuscarora/Choctaw), master jeweler Fidel Bahe (Navajo), award-winning basket weaver Sally Black (Navajo), and high-fashion jewelry designer Kristen Dorsey (Chickasaw).

During the event, four featured artists will share their art by demonstrating techniques and artistry for visitors.

The Seeds Stage includes master of ceremonies Sherenté Harris (Narragansett).

Harris is a presidential scholar, champion Eastern War dancer, and Fancy Shawl dancer from the Narragansett Tribal Nation in Rhode Island. He intertwines the stories of his cultural path with his Two Spirit identity, to evoke an emotion that sparks dialogue regarding ideologies that are too often silenced. Through writing, speaking, performance and visual art, he opposes the prolonged issue of indigenous invisibility and brings about positive cultural change for LGBTQ+ and Two Spirit people within indigenous communities.

There will also be performances by singer-songwriter Zachariah Julian (Jicarilla Apache), DJ Celeste Worl (Tlingit), Randy Kemp (Choctaw/Euchee/Muscogee-Creek) with modern flute music, and Pojoaque Youth Hoop Dancers.

Agoyo says the event will also feature a variety of interactive experiences for visitors, including an “Art Creation Station,” a youth workshop, a social dance and dinner, and “Rise to Our Voices” a spoken-word poetry workshop for Indigenous women.

“The festival is to remind us that we are all connected,” she says. “We have open arms to the community of Santa Fe and Albuquerque. We consider the festival a celebration of indigenous arts and culture that is for everyone. You don’t have to be indigenous to celebrate. We want to share the culture with everybody.”

Agoyo says this year’s festival is shortened by a day, which gives many of the artists a chance to attend Indian Market, which is Saturday, Aug. 18, and Sunday, Aug. 19.

“We wanted to scale down the event so that it’s more intimate,” she says. “We want visitors to spend time with each artist, so that it’s not overwhelming. It should be a comfortable environment. This gives us the opportunity to focus on these two days and make them an enjoyable experience for all the visitors.”

We Are the Seeds is a nonprofit organization founded and led by indigenous women who are dedicated to educating the world about art and culture as they relate to understanding indigenous people, the history of the United States, and who we all are as American people.

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