Backstage Pass with Lia Chang

National Museum of the American Indian presents ESSENTIALLY INDIGENOUS?: Contemporary Native Arts Symposium, May 5-6

 Tsu Héidei Shugaxtutaan I and II by Nicholas Galanin (Tlingit)

Tsu Héidei Shugaxtutaan I and II by Nicholas Galanin (Tlingit)


The National Museum of the American Indian is presenting the ESSENTIALLY INDIGENOUS?: Contemporary Native Arts Symposium on Thursday, May 5, and Friday, May 6, 2011, at the National Museum of the American Indian, George Gustav Heye Center; Diker Pavilion, One Bowling Green in New York.

The two-day symposium will wrestle with questions about how Native art is defined. Is there an essential quality? Is it a relationship to land or ties to traditional art forms? How do contemporary artists define their work as Indigenous? What role do communities play in establishing or enforcing standards?

The program will open with a keynote presentation by the Anishnaabe artist Robert Houle. Andrea Geyer, David Garneau, Ute Meta Bauer, Robert Janhke and Nicholas Galanin are among the speakers, which will include artists, scholars, and graduate students in the field, both Native and non-Native. A respondent will close each day with reflections on the day’s sessions. Organized by Kathleen Ash-Milby and Mario Caro. Free event. Registration is strongly recommended to reserve a seat and receive program updates.

Activities on Thursday May 5th will run from 9AM–4:30PM. Activities on Friday May 6th will run from 9AM–2PM.
For further information, please contact NMAI-SSP@si.edu.

ESSENTIALLY INDIGENOUS?: Contemporary Native Arts Symposium
Thursday, May 5, and Friday, May 6, 2011
National Museum of the American Indian in New York
George Gustav Heye Center; Diker Pavilion
One Bowling Green, New York, NY

5/5-5/6 -ESSENTIALLY INDIGENOUS?: Contemporary Native Arts Symposium Program Guide
ESSENTIALLY INDIGENOUS?: Contemporary Native Arts Symposium Participants
5/7 -SEEING INDIGENOUS Indigenous Art and Media Arts on Film Program Guide
Register for the symposium

About the National Museum of the American Indian
The National Museum of the American Indian is the sixteenth museum of the Smithsonian Institution. It is the first national museum dedicated to the preservation, study, and exhibition of the life, languages, literature, history, and arts of Native Americans. Established by an act of Congress in 1989 (amendment in 1996), the museum works in collaboration with the Native peoples of the Western Hemisphere to protect and foster their cultures by reaffirming traditions and beliefs, encouraging contemporary artistic expression, and empowering the Indian voice.
The museum’s extensive collections, assembled largely by George Gustav Heye (1874–1957), encompass a vast range of cultural material—including more that 800,000 works of extraordinary aesthetic, religious, and historical significance, as well as articles produced for everyday, utilitarian use. The collections span all major culture areas of the Americas, representing virtually all tribes of the United States, most of those of Canada, and a significant number of cultures from Central and South America as well as the Caribbean. Chronologically, the collections include artifacts from Paleo-Indian to contemporary arts and crafts. The museum’s holdings also include film and audiovisual collections, paper archives, and a photography archive of more than 300,000 images depicting both historic and contemporary Native American life.
The National Museum of the American Indian comprises three facilities, each designed following consultations between museum staff and Native peoples. In all of its activities, the National Museum of the American Indian acknowledges the diversity of cultures and the continuity of cultural knowledge among indigenous peoples of the Western Hemisphere and Hawai’i, incorporating Native methodologies for the handling, documentation, care, and presentation of collections. NMAI actively strives to find new approaches to the study and representation of the history, materials, and cultures of Native peoples.

Other articles by Lia Chang
Nicholas Galanin featured in SEEING INDIGENOUS Indigenous Art and Media Arts on Film at National Museum of the American Indian in NY on 5/7
Nicholas Galanin is among nine Native Artists featured in “Dry Ice” Exhibit in Princeton
Alaskan and National Acts to Share Stage at Sitka’s Homeskillet Fest, July 15-18
In Conversation with Nicholas Galanin
Nicholas Galanin is featured in Identity Exhibition at Alaska House in New York
Andy Warhol, Romare Bearden, Alexander Calder, Lia Chang in Art & Healing Exhibit at Snug Harbor on SI
Samrat Chakrabarti stars in Soham Mehta’s Fatakra, Shiva Bajpal’s Raju, and Rehana Mirza’s Zameer & Preeti at NYIFF
Victory Gardens appoints renowned director and playwright Chay Yew as its new Artistic Director
LUCKYRICE Festival 2011 in New York includes Daniel Boulud, Susur Lee, Anito Lo, Masaharu Morimoto, May 2-8, 2011
Vikas Khanna’s Holy Kitchens Karma to Nirvana premieres at New York Indian Film Festival on 5/7 at Tribeca Cinemas
Ruby Dee, Alicia Keys, Sidney Poitier among honorees at Woodie King, Jr.’s New Federal Theatre’s 40th Anniversary Gala at Edison Ballroom on May 22
André De Shields stars in Chicago Premiere of Charles Smith’s The Gospel According to James at Victory Gardens 5/14-6/12
32nd Annual Asian American & Pacific Islander Heritage Festival at Union Square Park in NYC on May 8, 2011
11th Annual New York Indian Film Festival (NYIFF), May 4-8, 2011
Click here for the Lia Chang Articles Archive.

All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2011 Lia Chang Multimedia. All rights reserved. All materials contained on this site are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of Lia Chang. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content. For permission, please contact Lia at liachangpr@gmail.com.

Lia Chang Photo by Brianne Michelle Photography

Lia Chang Photo by Brianne Michelle Photography


Lia Chang is an actor, performance and fine art botanical photographer, and an award-winning multimedia journalist.

As a photographer and videographer, Lia collaborates with artists, organizations and companies in establishing their documentary photo archive and social media presence. She has been documenting her colleagues and contemporaries in the arts, fashion and journalism since making her stage debut as Liat in the National Tour of South Pacific, with Robert Goulet and Barbara Eden. Lia currently plays Nurse Lia on “One Life to Live”. She has appeared in Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon, Taxman and “New York Undercover”.

Selections of Lia’s archive of Asian Pacific Americans in the arts, fashion, journalism, politics and space are now in the newly created LIA CHANG THEATER PHOTOGRAPHY PORTFOLIO in the ASIAN PACIFIC AMERICAN PERFORMING ARTS COLLECTION housed in the Library of Congress Asian Division’s Asian American Pacific Islander Collection.

Lia’s portraits and performance photos have appeared in Vanity Fair, Gourmet, German Elle, Women’s Wear Daily, The Paris Review, TV Guide, Daily Variety, Interior Design, American Theatre, Broadwayworld.com, Life & Style, OUT, New York Magazine, InStyle, Timeout.com, Villagevoice.com, Playbill.com, Theatermania.com, thelmagazine.com, The Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, USA Today, The Boston Globe, New York Times and Washington Post. A former syndicated arts and entertainment columnist for KYODO News, Lia is the New York Bureau Chief for AsianConnections.com. She writes about culture, style and Asian American issues for a variety of publications and this Backstage Pass with Lia Chang blog.

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