Sunday, July 25, 2021


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Local photographer Dawn E. LeBeau, Wanápín Sapá Wíŋ, wins Native Arts & Cultures Foundation LIFT award


Cheyenne River artist, Dawn E. LeBeau (Oóhenunpa Itázipčo), won a Multi-Disciplinary Arts award. LeBeau will use the award to honor every fluent Lakota language speaker on the Cheyenne River Nation in a series of photographic portraits and video interviews.

“Indigenous storytellers should be at the forefront of telling our own histories and archiving our stories. Indigenous Lakota relatives are born storytellers, and we have Indigenous photojournalists, journalists and elders who are actively documenting our stories,” says LeBeau of her participation in the project.

The Native Arts and Cultures Foundation (NACF) is pleased to announce the first cohort of the LIFT – Early Career Support for Native Artists program awardees. Following a national open call for American Indian, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian artist applicants, over 100 artists’ applications were reviewed by a panel of arts professionals specializing in dance, literature, film, multi-disciplinary arts, music, performance art, theater, traditional arts and visual arts. Twenty artists were selected to receive a $10,000 one-year award designed to support artists in furthering their work and/or to serve as a launching point in their career. NACF is grateful to the Leon Polk Foundation for their support of the LIFT – Early Career Support for Native Artists program.

“Whether these artists are emerging or not, their work is indicative of the boundless promise of Native creativity,” says Reuben Roqueñi, Director of Transformative Change Programs. “We are inspired by their innovations, their discipline, and their connection to their communities.”

The LIFT – Early Career Support for Native Artists program provides early career Native artists with professional development, marketing support, culturally appropriate evaluation, and a monetary award to develop and realize new projects. Support for burgeoning artists is critical in developing fresh voices and envisioning the future of our respective Native practices. In addition, LIFT encourages artists to uplift communities, advance positive social change, point courageously toward environmental sustainability, and foster communal meaning-making. 

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