Art Events
See the listings below and check back regularly.
Native Spring Festival
The 2005 event calendar is about to be released!  Check back soon.

Spoken Word Series
Spoken Word artistry has been a part of indigenous culture since time began, and continues in the present.  The Bay Area is rich both in talent for word performance art.  NACC began its Word series in the late 1990s under Artistic Director Andrew Brother Elk, and has evolved into a regular event hosted by writers Kim Shuck and Jennifer Fox Bennett.
Each month NACC hosts a spoken word event. All events start with featured writers, followed by open mike.  Each writer is encouraged to abide by the ‘five minute or one poem’ courtesy rule.  Five minutes includes intro remarks, so get right to your composition(s)!   Interested writers and new talent are encouraged to share their work.  To be featured at the next monthly event, just send five poems to Kim and Jennifer at:
In 2004, Sherwin Bitsui was the first recipient of the NACC Spoken Word Residency.
NACC Events
2004-05 Events
Spoken Word with acclaimed Sherwin Bitsui
Wednesday, March 9 @ 6:30pm at Pena Pachamama
Thursday, March 10, @ 4:30 at SFSU Poetry Center

Two back to back performances in San Francisco by this acclaimed poet and the first recipient of the NACC Poet Residency (2004), following whirlwind readings at the New School in New York on Monday and with poet Joy Harjo at UCLA on Tuesday.
Sherwin Bitsui is from White Cone, Arizona, off the Navajo Reservation, and currently living Tucson, Arizona. He holds an AFA from the Institute of American Indian Arts Creative Writing Program and is the recipient of the 2000-01 Individual Poet Grant from the Witter Bynner Foundation for Poetry, the 1999 Truman Capote Creative Writing Fellowship, and more recently, the 2002 University of Arizona Academy of American Poets Student Poetry Award. Sherwin has published his poems in American Poets, The Iowa Review, Frank (Paris), Red Ink, and elsewhere. Shapeshift is his first book.
Sherwin will be joined by Allison Adelle Hedge Coke and Kim Shuck for both poetry events.  Community members can read as well at the Pena Pachamama event.  Join NACC with great poets in warm and friendly personal atmospheres.
Pena Pachamama, 1630 Powell Street, between Union & Green
SFSU Poetry Center, Humanities 512, SFSU

Poeta Pan: 100 Years of Neruda
I have a pact of love with beauty.
I have a pact of blood with my people.
Tengo un pacto de amor con la belleza.
Tengo un pacto de sangre con mi pueblo.
-Pablo Neruda (Quoted in Poeta Pan)
Standing ovations from sold-out crowds at San Francisco’s Dance Mission were the resounding welcome given to the summer 2004 workshop production of Poeta Pan, a multidisciplinary theatre piece celebrating the robust sensuality and impassioned politics of Chilean poet Pablo Neruda. Following a Chilean tour, Poeta Pan returns to San Francisco for a string of performances. Ambitious in its theatrical aims, Poeta Pan conflates dynamic elements of theatre, live music, dance, and the all too rarely seen art of shadow theatre to depict the life of the poet. Featuring a varied rainbow of styles, languages, rhythms and themes as intense as the words of the poet.
Evening: Thu & Fri, March 10 & 11, 8 pm; Sat, March 12, 7 pm
Matinee: Sat, March 12, 2 pm
Admission: $5 General
BOX OFFICE: 415/338-2467
Little Theatre, Creative Arts Building
SFSU campus, 19th Ave & Holloway, SF
The Miracle of Restoration
Friday, March 11
Join Arthur Feinstein for a fascinating exploration of the challenges and rare successes of native wetland restoration. A recently completed five-year study proves the remarkable effectiveness of the restoration project at Martin Luther King, Jr. Regional Shoreline Park, which created 37 acres of tidal marsh, 14 acres of seasonal wetlands, and 20 acres of associated uplands. High numbers of birds are using the newly restored habitats. Multiple slides of birds will illustrate the project’s success. Arthur will also lead a tour of one of the country’s most ambitious wetland restoration projects: 15,000 acres of salt ponds in the South Bay.  A successful conclusion will create a San Francisco Bay incredibly rich in water birds, much as it was when the Ohlone and Miwok tended the land.
Location: County Fair building, Strybing Arboretum,
Golden Gate Park, 9th Avenue at Lincoln Way
Oscar De Leon Performance
The one, the only, the incomparable Oscar De Leon! Direct from Venezuela. Friday, March 11, 2005. Ticket Price: $33.00, Location: Roccapulco Supper Club, 3140 Mission Street, San Francisco, CA 94110.  Don’ miss this extraordinary event as we get ready to kick off our celebration of South and Central American indigenous cultures for our Native Spring Festival 2005. Tickets at

Exhibition: AfroCuba: Works on Paper, 1968-2003
Saturday, March 5, 11:30 am-5 pm
With Cuban ‘Son’ Group Palenque, the film When the Spirits Dance Mambo, and ¡Que Rico El Mambo!, an Installation and Performance by
Julio Cesar Morales Exploring Pérez Prado’s Legacy”at the Fine Arts Gallery, Fine Arts Bldg, SFSU Campus.  Free Admission
Celebrating Cachao!
Israel “CACHAO” Lopez, featuring the Cineson All Stars and special guest Andy Garcia, plus screening of Cuban Hip Hop Documentary Paraiso Saturday, March 5 at 7:30 pm (film); 9:30 pm (concert)
at Bimbo’s 365 Club.  Tickets: &  The 86-year-old inventor of Mambo, Cachao brings his signature style to Bimbo’s for a concert including works from his 2004 Grammy-nominated album “¡Ahora Si!” Backed by his band, with musicians from Miami, New York and Los Angeles, the evening’s program will play like a Cachao soundtrack, including a selection of songs spanning his extraordinary career.  The audience will also have a rare opportunity to hear Cachao’s musical influence on works by the Cuban hip hop group Madera Limpia, the subject of the feature film Paraiso (2004). Called an “authentic and poetic portrait of a country,” the film explores the young musicians’ everyday lives in the streets of Guantanamo.

Friday, March 4
West Coast AfroCuban All-Stars Venerate CACHAO at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts.  MARCUS PRIZE: CACHAO Awarded Prize for Lifetime Achievement.  Special Guest Andy Garcia. Tickets:  PLEASE NOTE: THIS EVENT IS NOW SOLD OUT

Beach Drawing by Jim Denevan
Sun, Mar 6, 11 am
Artist Jim Denevan will create one of his large scale beach drawings live and in person on Ocean Beach. The public is invited to attend the beach drawing (FREE) below the Cliff House at Ocean Beach in San Francisco during the following time.
11 am – 4 pm   creation
4 pm – 4:19 pm   existence
4:20 pm – until destruction
Native Land & Water in Jeopardy March 2, 2005 @ 7pm
Cowell Theater at Fort Mason Center with Julia Butterfly Hill Films & Panel $15.
5:30pm Reception, Film & Panel $50
For advance tickets, call Fort Mason Box
at 415-345-7575
For more information, please call 415-459-9211, ext. 40
Proceeds will benefit the Winnemem Wintu Tribe’s new campaign to prevent the raising of Shasta Dam and the flooding of their ancestral territory.

Sacred Land & Water Symposium March 1, 2005
SFSU Humanities Bldg. 133 (1600 holloway ave) 1pm – 5pm
Professor Melissa Nelson (Anishinaabe/Metis) hosts a discussion with Caleen Sisk-Franco (Winnemem Wintu),
Vernon Masayesva (Hopi) and Ann Marie Sayers (Mutsun Ohlone). Plus 3:30 PM screening of In the Light of Reverence.
Free event
For more information, please call 415-459-9211, ext. 40
Sponsored by The Christensen Fund, Sacred Land Film Project and Kathleen Russell Consulting. Presented by arrangement with Fort Mason Foundation.

Two Spirit Tongues Untied  February 25th, 7 pm
NACC sponsors a night of Spoken Word performances, song, and light refreshments, hosted by Miko and BAAITS.  If you missed this event, you missed a GREAT literary evening with so much talent it is hard to single any one performer out.  Be sure to watch for an upcoming Two Spirit event sponsored by NACC during the Native Spring Festival.
Nā Lei Hulu I Ka Wēkiu presents an evening with Nā Palapalai   February 25, 2005 8 pm
As one of the most dynamic and talented Hawaiian musical groups to emerge in recent years, Nā Palapalai’s rich blend of falsetto vocal stylings and old style “nahenahe” music is simply outstanding.  Classic, timeless, contemporary. Their 2003 debut album, Makani ‘Olu’Olu, captured five Nā Hōkū Hanohano Awards, including Album of the Year and Group of the Year.  Palace of Fine Arts Theatre, San Francisco.  Feb 15 Note: This event is SOLD OUT
NACC Spoken Word Series: February 14
SFSU, Richard Oakes Room, 7pm.
The last one at SFSU was a hoot, so dust off your love poems or write something new to share!  All students and City poets welcome.
NACC Spoken Word Series:
January 27, Pene PachaMama
1630 Powell Street @Greeen in San Francisco’s North Beach.
Jennifer has some good poets and poems lined up, and the vibe is good at this favorite Peruvian place in North Beach.
Saturday, January 22
Punch Gallery
8pm-Midnite…. (extended hours for the dancers till 2am)
with fresh works by Matthew Reamer, Romanowski …LIVE Hip Hop with members of Felonious, Beatboxing, Breakdance… SPOKEN WORD by Jason Mateo, DJs Denizen spinnin.  Longtime NACC partner PunchG is throwing a benefit so check it out.
Punch Gallery
155-10th @ Mission, SF
Event entry is free, sliding scale goes to Tsunami relief.
New Native:  Friday, January 14th
111 Minna St. Gallery
5 pm – 9 pm
No Cover
New Native returns in 2005, taking over the 111 Minna St. Gallery space every 2nd Friday of the month. Featuring original vocalist Seti Mayet and a host of special guest DJs, this will be a great way to kick off your weekend.
Hamburger Eyes: The Black Hole
January 6 Opening
111 Minna St. Gallery
5 pm – 9 pm
No Cover
The Hamburger Eyes gallery opening was phenomenal!  And NACC artists were there. Check out what the Native Hawaiian guys have been photographing on the streets of San Francisco at the gallery, or you can read the Chronicle article here.

Land-O-Lakes Crowned Queen!
Congratulations to indigenous drag sensation Land-O-Lakes, who won the 2004 Trannyshack Star Search contest the last week of December.  The competition was fierce, but Ms. Lakes was by far the most outrageous, and many NACC artists were there to cheer her on.  Check out the Indian stereotype on the butter if you’re confused by her name…

Winter Solstice
Ceremony at Sunset beach in the usual place in the usual manner for this sacred day. Bring your musical instruments, food to share, and definitely bring warm clothes with back up rain gear.

Punch Gallery December
December 11, indigenous dance and spoken word performances, great arts show, fun people, NACC supported.  Street dancer Ten invites everyone to attend and participate.  Punch Gallery, 155 10th Street, San Francisco. cross street: between Mission & Howard. phone: 415-522-5555
NACC Spoken Word Series:
Thursday Dec 9 the Native American Cultural Center brings its word performance art series to San Francisco State University. 7 pm.  The event will be held in the Richard Oakes Multicultural Room in the Cesar Chavez Student Center.  Richard was an important indigenous civil rights leader at SFSU, and he was integral to the naming of Alcatraz as the Native American Cultural Center in 1969. Contact Kim Shuck or Jennifer Fox Bennett for more info, or email
YBCA presents Elia Arce: 5th Commandment (work in progress)
Saturday Nov 13; 8 pm, Yerba Buena Forum
$15 regular, $13 seniors, $11 Members.
Of Central American origin, Elia Arce uses film/video, theater, dance, and installation to explore complex social and political themes. This performance installation in progress, crafted from interviews with active military personnel returning from Iraq, veterans of other wars and military family members, will explore the personal ethics and beliefs surrounding the crime of crimes. Oakland’s satirical guerilla performance crew headRush will open.

NACC Spoken Word Series:
Monday Nov. 1 the Native American Cultural Center hosts its Monthly Spoken Word Series at The Canvas Gallery Cafe in the Inner Sunset (9th @ Lincoln).  We told em 7pm, but we’ll be on Indian Time, enit?  It’s also FREE.  We’re going to have four fantastic Native and Xicana/o poets featuring and will be hosted by Jennifer Fox Bennett and Kim Shuck.
NACC Poet 
Thursday Oct. 28 at 7:30pm. Jennifer will also be the featured poet at the uber-artistically-cloisterous Poetry Mission at DALVA in the Mission (SF).  It’s next door to the Roxie (16th @ Valencia). It’s also FREE.  It’s in the very back room in case you find all the attendees in the front room pretending like there isn’t really awesome poetry going on in the back.
Julia Parker Lecture:
Wednesday, October 27
Julia talks on  “Working with Materials from the Environment: Foodways and Basketry.” 6:00 – 8:00 p.m., Creekside Room, Dominican University of California, 50 Acacia Avenue, San Rafael. The Marin Museum of the American Indian sponsors, in association with Dominican University, as part of its fall lecture series Native Faces/Native Places: Balance and Nature Through the Native American Lens. The series explores the cultural significance of current environmental issues and their impact on the Native American community. Julia is many things:  artist, elder, basketmaker, poet, dancer, environmental activist, and darned good example for living a good life.

NACC Spoken Word Series  
September 28, Tuesday, 6:30p – 8p
Dolores Park Café, 501 Dolores St @ 18th, San Francisco
It’s that time of the month again!  The Native American Cultural Center presents its monthly poetry night. Featuring an open mike hosted by Jennifer Fox Bennett and Kim Shuck.  Please come and share with us!  {nxt one: Nov 1 @ The Canvas Gallery Cafe}. Questions? email  FREE
Tengo un pacto de amor con la belleza: tengo un pacto de sangre con mi pueblo.
– Pablo Neruda
Updated Glyphs: The Contemporary Maya on Film
Friday, September 10, 6:30 – 8:30pm
Florence Gould Theatre, Legion of Honor, Lincoln Park, SF
Films co-presented by NACC, the Mexican Museum, and the Fine Arts Museums.  Popul Vuh: The Creation Myth of the Maya, an animated film. It uses original images drawn by Quiche Maya in the 7th century on funerary pottery and murals to illustrate the Popul Vuh, which is the sacred book of the Maya and includes their creation story and the birth of the hero twins. Raices (Into The Roots): a Maya Reunion depicts the journey of two Itza Maya elders to meet, for the first time, their Lacandon Maya relatives deep in the rain forest of Chiapas, Mexico. Followed by a panel discussion , a reception with music by members of Grupo Maya Qusamej Junan, and no-host bar in Gallery 10.  Additional film programs on October 8, 22, and November 12, all at the Legion of Honor.  For full info click here.

Honoring Julia Parker
August 27, Friday, 6:30.
NACC is hosting a dinner to celebrate the work of Julia Parker at Pena PachaMama, 1630 Powell Street @Greeen in San Francisco’s North Beach. Spoken Word artists will read some works in Julia’s honor, and both Lucy Parker (Julia’s daughter) and Julia will also speak about their art and work. Andrew Brother Elk hosts the evening, and curator Deborah Valoma will speak about the upcoming exhibit.  Besides all of her other artistic achievements, Julia is also a published writer.
NACC Spoken Word Series  
July 11th, Sunday
Native American Cultural Center (NACC) & Pena Pacha Mama presents: !!WORDS OF MOTHER EARTH!! An event honoring the powerful words of the indigenous Woman of Turtle Island.  Sunday July 11th @Pena Pacha Mama,  located at Powell st b/w Green st. and Union 7pm-10pm FREE !!!!Please Come and Support your local Bay Area Scene!!!!!!  Click here for more info.
Forrealism Exhibition Opening
Location:  Fuse Gallery, 744 Alabama
June 17th, Thursday:  7 pm to midnight
Join indigenous visual artists for a look at their recent work.  Also join Jennifer Bennett in a spoken word performance and Earth Dance Street in a new dance piece.  “The Forrealism Movement is composed of a group of mixed Indian and Latino artists who create works collectively, drawing from our own traditions and those of our elders who have shared gifts of their wisdom and experience.  We strive to deconstruct racial barriers in order to construct cultural bridges toward a greater indigenous consciousness.” Forrealism has recently displayed in Scottsdale Arizona, is touring with Michael Franti and Ziggy Marley, and is helping raise funds for NACC.  (see NACC galleries as well).  For more info, visit
Spoken Word:  Sherwin Bitsui
May 26, Wednesday: 8- 10 pm
Location:  Samovar Tea House, 18th Street at Sanchez
NACC is very pleased to present poet Sherwin Bitsui in a public reading at the delightful Samovar Tea House.   Sherwin is originally from White Cone, Arizona, on the Navajo Reservation. Currently, he lives in Tucson, Arizona. He is Dine of the Todich’ii’nii (Bitter Water Clan), born for the Tl’izilani (Many Goats Clan). He holds an AFA from the Institute of American Indian Arts Creative Writing Program and is the recipient of the 2000-01 Individual Poet Grant from the Witter Bynner Foundation for Poetry, the 1999 Truman Capote Creative Writing Fellowship, and more recently, the 2002 University of Arizona Academy of American Poets Student Poetry Award. Sherwin has published his poems in American Poets, The Iowa Review, Frank (Paris), Red Ink, and elsewhere.  He has published a book of poetry, Shapeshift which received excellent reviews.   Sherwin will be preceeded byspoken word artist Istuyee M.B. Child and invited guests.
Spoken Word:  Sherman Alexie
May 27, Thursday: 7 pm
Location:  A FREE event at JCCSF, 3200 California St, SF
Back to back native readings!!  In his only Bay Area appearance, Sherman Alexie will read from his acclaimed new collection, Ten Little Indians, now in paperback. These stories feature Native Americans from all walks of urban life. Even as they make us laugh, they are driven by a haunting lyricism and naked candor that cut to the heart of the human experience. Sherman made a very popular appearance in San Francisco in 2002, cosponsored by NACC, and the audience at the Castro theater loved it.   We’re very happy he is back.  Don’t miss it!
Indigenous Poetry Night
April 2, Friday: 7-9:30 pm
Location: Charlie’s Cafe
3202 Folsom @ Precita, San Francisco
Poets Jen Foerster of Santa Fe and Istuyee Montes of Berkeley, followed by Open Mike.  Jen recently completed her studies at the Institute for American Indian Arts (IAIA) in Santa Fe, New Mexico.  Istuyee is currently a student at UC Berkeley majoring in performing arts. Both poets last read in San Francisco as part of the Earth Dance Theater naming Ceremony in January 2004, where they made a great impression. Call 415-377-7604 for additional info.
Earth Dance Theater Birthing Ceremony
January 18, 2004:  7-9:30 pm
Location: Dance Mission
24th and Mission
Following the dance performance, poets Jennifer Foerster and Istuyee Montes perform with indigenous jazz musician John Carlos Perea and his band, who will improvise off the words with indigenous violinist and dancer Quetzal Guerrero.  Be sure to catch this exciting fusion!
Photo by Julaire Scott

By admin

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *