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Appreciating Mother Earth: Animation, Talk, and Performance

Sunday, Apr 23, 2023 at 3:00 pm

Location: Digital Learning Suite

3:00–8:00 p.m.

In celebration of Earth Day, join us on Sunday, April 23 for a performance by the folkloric Ecuadorian dance troupe Wawakuna and a video installation of Indigenous artist Tecumseh Ceaser’s Water Connects Us All, which will be displayed in the Digital Learning Suite. Water Connects Us All reflects the artist’s journey learning the languages, culture, and history of his ancestors. In this video, Tecumseh shares the power of language to hold vital interconnected teachings between Indigenous communities, visualizing the ongoing language reclamation research in which he has been participating with many communities as part of the Algonquian Language Revitalization Project. By animating the spoken and written words for “water” across sister languages in the Algonquian language family, the artist demonstrates the deep connections between them. The work represents the power of collective memory to recover dormant or resting languages. These languages are never truly lost but, like water, can be seen as a shared life source for regeneration and healing. 

From 3:00–4:00 p.m., Museum visitors are welcome to participate in an animation workshop inspired by Tecumseh Ceaser’s practice that explores nature and gives thanks to the Earth. Using everyday objects from nature, such as shells and stones, participants will create a stop-motion animation. Free with Museum admission. RSVP here for the workshop. 

At 5:00 p.m., there will be a conversation between artist Tecumseh Ceaser and Assistant Curator of Public Programs Tiffany Joy Butler.  

At 7:00 p.m., Wawakuna and their band Semillas del Sur will be performing in the Museum’s Courtyard. 

About the artists  

Tecumseh Ceaser is an Indigenous artist and cultural consultant. He is of Matinecock Turkey clan, Montaukett, and Unkechaug descent. Born and raised in Queens, NY, the homeland of the Matinecock, he works in the traditional medium and practice of Wampum (quahog shell) carving. He frequently collaborates with organizations to bring cultural programming to local tribes and their communities. He currently serves as an advisor for the Global Indigenous Youth Caucus at the United Nations, where he advocates for Indigenous Americans’ rights to member states, NGOs, and other indigenous nations. He is also the Educational Program Coordinator for Niamuck Land Trust, an organization dedicated to protecting and preserving culturally significant sites. He is currently in residence at Flushing Town Hall. Ceaser is based in New York City.  

Wawakuna is a group where they use the art of dance to educate by different branches as well as to strengthen our identity and the excellence of our first Andean immigrants’ generation. Wawakuna (children) not only focuses on the kids, but also educates the parents about their rights as immigrants and to remain proud of being campesinos  (peasants) or indigenous. Wawakuna believes in the importance of preserving our cultural identity. Wawakuna uses the tools of art such as painting, writing, dancing, and singing to express our emotions, express the injustices occurring in the community, build leadership for parents and kids, and apply it as part of healing. 

The dance troupe Wawakuna will perform on April 23 in the Museum courtyard.