IPCC to launch inaugural Indigenous Cultural Arts Festival with film, dancing - Albuquerque Journal

IPCC to launch inaugural Indigenous Cultural Arts Festival with film, dancing

Ria Thundercloud (Sandia/Ho-Chunk) will perform at noon on Saturday, June 4 and Sunday, June 5. (Courtesy of the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center)

A silver lining to the pandemic allowed the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center to reimagine its annual Pueblo Film Festival.

After two years of work, the staff at IPCC will unveil the inaugural Indigenous Cultural Arts Festival on Saturday, June 4, and Sunday, June 5.

“We wanted to give the public more culture in one festival,” says Alicia Ortiz, IPCC director of cultural arts and programs. “This is also a chance for people to see the Native American dances. We still don’t have that at our pueblos. It’s a project like this that benefits everyone.”

Ortiz says the event will celebrate culture, community and heritage as the terms and concepts have been used to differentiate the many different civilizations of the Western Hemisphere to recognize, and distinguish, one from another.

She says Indigenous civilizations, for generations upon generations, have developed and perpetuated their distinctive designs and motifs which they can rightfully claim as their heritage.

“Our Indigenous Cultural Arts Festival incorporates the storytelling premise through digital, film, dance and music for performers and producers to be stewards of the Indigenous narrative, to celebrate and proclaim their unique interpretation of culture, community, and heritage,” Ortiz says. “The two-day event will have panel discussions on film.”

There will also be music in the IPCC courtyard.

Ortiz says the film festival will kick off its first block of films with documentary storytelling.

The next block of films is under the back-to-the-basics umbrella and discusses the art behind the camera.

Yellow Bird Indian Dancers (Apache) will close out each day at the Indigenous Cultural Arts Festival.

The final block of films will be on the sustainability of culture, preserving the past into the future.

“What we’ve themed was to hit on topics like perseverance and stewardship,” Ortiz says. “The films pertain to the topics and there will be panel discussions after each block of films.”

On Sunday, the two blocks of films will focus on the next generation of storytellers and the power of perseverance.

“Students from IAIA (Institute of American Indian Arts) will showcase some films, including short films,” she says.

For both days, there will be music and dance performances from artists from Navajo, Zuni, Sandia/Ho-Chunk, Northern Cheyenne and Apache tribes and pueblos.

“We have the Yellow Bird Indian Dancers from Apache,” Ortiz says. “They are closing out both days performing. They are hoop dancers and bring a different type of dance to the schedule.”

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