Native Americans & Philanthropy

Brightening the Spotlight: The Practices and Needs of Native Americans, Native Hawaiian, and Alaska Native Creators in the Performing Arts

by Clementine Bordeaux; Lori Pourier

Dec 1, 2021

In early 2020, a research team from NORC at the University of Chicago, in partnership with First Peoples Fund and supported by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, set out to explore the scope of performing arts practices that Native creators and communities are engaging in across the United States. This study was prompted by the fact that the importance of visual and craft-based forms of creative expression in and for Native communities has been well documented in research, yet comparatively little research has focused on the practices and impacts of Native creators who engage in performance-based forms of expression. The aim of this study is to shine a brighter spotlight on those performance-based creators. The pandemic, social upheavals, and calls for systemic change that have occurred since this research began underscore the importance of centering Native creators' voices as the performing arts sector, and society more broadly, emerges from the pandemic and grapples with how to begin anew.