One Flaming Arrow is a 12-day festival that will bring together a unique set of Indigenous voices from the americas. Inspired by the powerful warrior spirit of Indigenous resistance, OFA partnered with the Indigenous founded and operated artist/activist/warrior collective, RISE: Radical Indigenous Survivance & Empowerment. Together OFA and RISE strive to honor the work, activism, and multifaceted talents of artists who are working to break apart misconceptions, stereotyped, and racist perceptions of Indigenous identity in contemporary culture.
One Flaming Arrow will evolve the dialogue of Indigenous Survivance by introducing an annual Inter-tribal art, music and film festival to the Portland area. OFA advocates Native expression of autonomy through the warrior spirit. It stands to disrupt the hegemonic white noise of contemporary culture. By focusing on non-conventional exhibition spaces and (non/neo)-traditional Indigenous artists, the festival creates space for the radically political, experimental, & emerging. OFA will inspire the rural, reservation, and urban Indigenous communities (Chinook, Warm Springs, Yakima, Grand Ronde, Klamath, Coos) through interactive and intellectually stimulating acts of Survivance via-Indigenous expression.
One critical concern that OFA and R.I.S.E. are addressing is the lack of cultural/artistic representation and relevance of contemporary Indigenous art/culture in the city of Portland, Oregon. This directly impacts the lack of dialogue regarding Colonialism, recognition of Indigenous traditional art forms, and knowledge of Indigenous cultures in the Pacific Northwest. This erasure is made visible by the invisibility of Indigenous artist’s omission in the contemporary Portland art scene. This lack of knowledge, exposure, or recognition is an institutional and systemic format of continued cultural erasure linked to the violent Settler/Colonial relations with the Indigenous Nations of this land. Furthermore, it’s continued negligence is visible among the aspiring native artists, instructors, and students embedded in western-based institutional programs who are working to evolve dialogues regarding contemporary issues of Decolonization, Indigenization, and Indigenous Survivance.
OFA’s goal is to promote, empower, educate, persevere, and heal through the creative and political act of contemporary Indigenous Survivance. OFA accomplishes its goals by bringing emerging, experimental, and established contemporary artists showing in museums and galleries across Indian Country. RISE has carefully curated this inaugural festival to bring exposure and create a platform of what contemporary Indigenous art forms can look, move, and sound like. Inspiring, motivating, and building strong representation for Native Youth and emerging Indigenous artists to gain exposure and experience.
DRUNKTOWN’S FINEST follows three young Native Americans – an adopted Christian girl, a rebellious father-to-be, and a promiscuous transsexual – as they strive to escape the hardships of life on an Indian reservation.
ALMAS FRONTERIZAS - That city Mexican-Indigenous sound; manifested by Gilberto Rodriguez on guitar/vocals accompanied by Karin Rodriguez on percussion and Anthony Sul on bass.
The Indigenous Queer/Feminist Poet Amanda Ranth performing "Love Poem To Queer Kids Who Contemplate Suicide" at OUTSpoken Queer Poetry Slam and Open Mic. She will be reading/performing at this year's festival alongside poets and musicians.
Risks and challenges
Like many projects in their infancy stage, we fully recognize that OFA will crawl before it will walk or run. It may even fall down. Though, there is information and wisdom to be gained from failures both great and small. We are ready to meet the organizational challenges of planning a festival for the first time ever. We are doing what we love; supporting the work of Indigenous Warrior Artists, Creators, Thinkers, Activists, Elders and Youth.
Right now, outside of raising money, our major challenge is booking the right venues and being able to provide the appropriate space for the type of event we want to produce. This all requires money and careful co-ordination and scheduling. We are fortunate to have a vibrant and diverse community to support us in this way. We have secured the Hollywood Theater for our Film Festival. The Surplus Space Gallery will be our base of operations for several events and installations. We will also be working with PCC Cascade to hold events on campus. However, it is still a challenge to bring an idea of this scope into fruition with so many moving parts and such a small budget.
Another risk that we face is going over budget and not being able to fully fund our complete vision for this festival. Being able to provide Native artists an honorarium and travel funds to participate in the festival is a core belief that we as artists and producers stand by. Too often artists do not get paid for the incalculable and profound work they do in the world through the creation of their art. Their work can have the power to challenge, heal, and inspire us. Many of the festival participants are traveling from other regions of Indian Land. Some from communities that also lack resources to support the growth and development of their art. Paying for the travel and lodging expenses for these artists to come to Portland gives them direct access to be able to create and inspire communities outside their own.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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