Indigenous artists celebrate Native peoples and cultures through music, poetry, and storytelling
Indigenous artists celebrate Native peoples and culture through historic music, poetry, and storytelling for the East Coast premiere performances of “Welcome to Indian Country” on Wednesday, Sept. 22, and Thursday, Sept. 23, at 7 p.m.
Commissioned in part by the Moss Arts Center, these work-in-progress performances will be held in the center’s Anne and Ellen Fife Theatre, located within the Street and Davis Performance Hall at 190 Alumni Mall.
The Moss Arts Center adheres to the guidelines of the Virginia Department of Health and Virginia Tech in its operations, including protocols for distancing, face coverings, and cleaning and sanitation. In accordance with current university policy for indoor events, all faculty, staff, students, and visitors to the Moss Arts Center are required to wear a mask regardless of vaccination status.
Representing the Diné (Navajo), Osage, Nez Perce, Lhaq’temish (Lummi), and Abenaki, as well as South American Indigenous descent, the diverse Native American performers of “Welcome to Indian Country” share songs and stories to honor the ancestors and elders and to celebrate life, love, connecting to culture, survival, and resilience.
The evening performances feature Rena Priest, storyteller and Washington state poet laureate; Delbert Anderson, trumpet and theremin; Nick Lucero, percussion; Mali Obomsawin, vocals, bass, and guitar; Nokosee Fields, bass and fiddle; and Julia Keefe, vocals, piano, and guitar.
Together, they exemplify the vibrant life of modern Native people and honor their ancestors—including the Indigenous musicians who left an indelible mark on the world—and the many art forms considered American music. “Welcome to Indian Country” captures the joy the artists feel being part of a Native community, while sharing their expressions with the world.
These performances of “Welcome to Indian Country” are presented in partnership with the American Indian and Indigenous Community Center and supported in part by a gift from Clem and Georgia Carter.
“Welcome to Indian Country” is a National Performance Network (NPN) Creation and Development Fund Project co-commissioned by Moss Arts Center, Virginia Tech; Hopkins Center for the Arts, Dartmouth College; Washington Center for the Performing Arts; Native American Community Development Institute; and NPN.
In addition to developing the work while at the Moss, the artists will engage with multiple Virginia Tech classes and student groups. Area musicians are invited to make music with “Welcome to Indian Country” fiddler Nokosee Fields during an informal old time jam session on Tuesday, Sept. 21, from 5-6:30 p.m. This event is free and open to the public, but registration is required. Recommended for intermediate to advanced musicians.
Join the musicians and storytellers of “Welcome to Indian Country” for a post-performance question-and-answer session immediately following the Wednesday, September 22 performance.
Tickets for “Welcome to Indian Country” performances are $25 for general admission and $10 for Virginia Tech students. Tickets can be purchased online; at the Moss Arts Center's box office, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Friday, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday; or by calling 540-231-5300 during box office hours.
Parking is available in the North End Parking Garage on Turner Street for $5. Payment must be made in cash at the time of entry. Virginia Tech faculty and staff possessing a valid Virginia Tech parking permit can enter and exit the garage free of charge. Virginia Tech has also partnered with ParkMobile to provide a convenient, contactless electronic payment option for parking, which may be used at any parking meter, campus parking space, or lot with standard F/S, C/G, or R parking.
If you are an individual with a disability and desire an accommodation, please contact Jonathan Boulter at 540-231-5300 or email email@example.com during regular business hours.