The Thank-you Bar in Oklahoma!

In March we were part of the New Genre Festival at Living Arts of Tulsa, along with great friends Art Spot Productions/Mondo Bizarro and Kristina Wong. The audiences in Tulsa were incredible – I can't wait to go back!

It was quite interesting to perform a piece that is so linked to land/identity in Oklahoma - a land ingrained with the lives and deaths of displaced and relocated peoples - the promises of land “as long as the rivers flow and the grass is green” and the reality of sooners, land grabbers, and lies.The Thank-you Bar is not exactly a “political” piece, but here, it felt political. I was conscious of this and questioning of our role and relatively short relationship to this place. Prior to our performances I reached out to friends from or very familial with Oklahoma. I was graced with personal histories, accounts, and a feeling that doing this piece in Oklahoma was the exact right risk to take. I had some of my most ultimately heartfelt connections to audiences in Oklahoma. One audience member told me the show changed her life and I am humbled by her response.

BLACKFISH performed an amazing concert and I believe a new CD is on it's way. Keep an eye out for BLACKFISH 3: Tulsa, it was recorded in a very live room with the sounds of history creaking up off the floors!

THIS IS DISPLACEMENT: Native Artists Consider the Relationship Between Land & Identity existed in Tulsa because of our collaboration with oklaDADA. oklaDADA is a collective of Indian Artists networking and promoting Indigenous perspectives to create opportunities that give voice to Indian cultural identities. Thank you to all of the artists who contributed to this exhibit, especially Richard Ray Whitman who organized much of this collective work. As I rehearsed down the street, artists were pouring into the exhibit space, bringing paintings, photographs, lithographs – work that spoke so clearly and viscerally to the ills of displacement. Many of these works will now tour withThis is Displacement. Please see the news page of my friend and co-curator, Carolyn Lee Andersonfor a much more in-depth re-telling of this exhibit. Carolyn and I are both honored to be part of a growing, changing, and alive collection of art.

Quyanarpiitli

-Emily