33rd San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival
June 3; 11 & 12; 18 & 19; 24, 25 & 26; and July 1, 2 & 3
New Programs, Events & Locations
- 50 Companies, 750 World Dance & Music Artists, 15 World Premieres
- Special Events Mark Return of Native Ohlone Peoples to SF
- Five Weekends of Events in San Francisco & Berkeley
- New Participatory Events
San Francisco, CA, March 3, 2011 —Building on its past success as the most extensive and highly regarded festival of its kind, and responding to both dance community and public demand, the San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival is excited to offer new performances, events and venues for the 33rd season, scheduled in San Francisco and, for the first time, in Berkeley from June 3-July 3, 2011. The 2011 Festival will feature a record 50 different companies representing 30 traditions from five continents, including 15 world premieres. The expansion reflects the Festival’s trajectory and the growth of world dance and music in Northern California, and offers new participatory events designed to give the public opportunities to do much more than observe the rich variety of ethnic dance on stage. For more information, visit www.sfethnicdancefestival.org. [EDITOR NOTE: Complete main stage and participatory programs, artists, dates and venues may be found in the attachment at the end of this release.]
Honoring its mission of taking an active role in helping to keep cultural traditions alive via dance and music, the Festival is particularly pleased to partner with the Ohlone Profiles Project (www.ohloneprofiles.org) to present the most in-depth and sustained Ohlone Native American presence in San Francisco in more than 200 years.
“Return of the Ohlone” Celebrations―June 3 & June 18
The 2011 Festival kicks off with a special opening ceremony and performance Friday, June 3, at Noon at San Francisco City Hall honoring the Costanoan Rumsen Ohlone Tribe and featuring tribal song and dance, and the presentation of the Festival’s annual Malonga Casquelourde Lifetime Achievement Award to Tribal Chief Tony Cerda. Beginning in 1776 with the Europeans’ building of Mission Dolores, Ohlone populations were decimated and scattered, giving rise to the notion that the Ohlone peoples did not survive this genocide and displacement. Many 2011 Festival and Ohlone Profiles Project events will bring Ohlone tribal members back to San Francisco to share their ongoing culture in their homeland.
In addition to the June 3 kick-off event, the Festival will present an historic California Indian Big Time Gathering on Saturday, June 18, from Noon to 11 pm throughout Yerba Buena Gardens and Forum (map) featuring hundreds of California tribal members in dance, music and other cultural presentations, as well as participatory opportunities for the public throughout the day. Participating tribes include Elem Indian Colony Tribe, Pit River Maidu Tribe, Shingle Springs Miwok Tribe, Stewarts Point Kashaya Band of Pomo and Manchester Pomo Tribe.
New this year will be Participatory Events at YBCA Forum and Yerba Buena Gardens Festival, designed to bring the public into the action for the first time in the Festival’s 33-year history. At each of the four Forum performances, companies representing different world dance and music traditions will give a short performance, followed by an invitation for audiences to join them on the dance floor for a “feet-on” experience.
Friday, June 3, at 12 pm ― San Francisco City Hall Rotunda
Opening Ceremony featuring Rumsen Ohlone Tribe, presentation of Lifetime Achievement Award and Native American Tribal Song and Dance
June 18 & 19—San Francisco
Saturday, June 18
NOON – 3:30pm in The Forum (300 seat auditorium)
3-11 pm – Tables, information, artifacts, cultural presentations, with FOOD Yerba Buena Center Gardens (map)
8:30pm – Ceremony begins outside, indoor activities close down
PARTICIPATORY PROGRAM: “California Indian Big Time Gathering”― A day honoring the Ohlone, including performances, rituals, ceremonies and craft presentations hosted by the Costanoan Rumsen Ohlone Tribe. Native American Tribal Song and Dance performances by Elem Indian Colony Tribe, Pit River Maidu Tribe, Shingle Springs Miwok Tribe, Stewarts Point Kashaya Band of Pomo, and Manchester Pomo Tribe.
Sunday, July 1st, 2nd, and 3, at 8 pm ― YBCA Novellus Theater
Ohlone Tribal Dance (Native American), Rara Tou Limen (Haitian), Caminos Flamencos (Spanish), Yang Yang Dance (Chinese), Halau o Keikiali`I (Hawaiian), De Rompe y Raja Cultural Association (Afro-Peruvian), Charya Burt Cambodian Dance (Cambodian), Chinyakare Ensemble (Zimbabwean), Bal Anat (Egyptian), Compañia Mazatlán Bellas Artes (Mexican)
They’re Both Coming Home!
Join us Sunday, November 7th
as San Francisco celebrates Veterans Day.
The Ohlone Tribe returns to San Francisco to join the Veterans for Peace Contingent in the Veterans Day Parade.
The Parade staging area: on Howard St. near 3rd St at 10:30am.
The Parade starts: 11:00am and ends at Civic Center around 1:00pm.
After the parade everyone is requested to join us for ceremony at 1:30pm at the Memorial Grove, the grassy area between the Opera House and the Veterans Bldg. This year, Chief Tony Cerda presents the Congress of American Indians’ “Warriors Medal of Valor” to the American Legion Posts in San Francisco from the Ohlone Nation.
A wreath in the shape of that medal will be placed on the octagon and a ceremony of dance, songs and prayers will bring us together. The Veterans and the Ohlone are returning home to a sacred site.
San Francisco is an Ohlone place of origin and the Memorial Grove is the site where soil from the Battlefields of World Wars I, II and Vietnam are buried. This is the first year of a four-year ceremony to celebrate their homecoming. We hope the Kiowa Gourd Clan will join us with their prayers and ceremony for the Warriors.
The SF Arts Commission has chosen an artist to design a memorial for the site with a ribbon cutting ceremony planned for 2013. We are supporting the Ohlone tribe to return for the next 4 years to conduct this ceremony for the Veterans. Joining us will be the Family of Reuben Paul Santos, for their 1st year memorial ceremony as they cope with his loss, after he took his life six years after returning from Iraq.
The Cherokee Society of the Greater Bay Area and the Black Native Americans Association will provide a Pot Luck food sharing after the ceremony in the Veterans Building Rm 223 on the 2nd floor north side of the Building.
POST UPDATE: Photos from the Event, by Catherine Herrera from her Galleries. Read her report, also.
Photos by Catherine Herrera - http://catherineherrera.photoshelter.com/gallery-list
The Ohlone Return: Inclusion in SF and Yosemite Slough by The Ohlone Profiles Project.
30-minute document of an Ohlone Sunrise Healing ceremony for Yosemite Slough on the day that the SF Board of Supervisors voted on Hunters Point Redevelopment and Ohlone inclusion. Public testimony in front of the Board of SF Supervisors. Video production by pollinatethis!
After the Resolution passed unanimously yesterday, the press conference received a staffer from Supervisor Eric Mar’s office, who offered to help in the next steps of implementing the resolution’s intent: inclusion in the planning process. She suggested help with drafting language for “ordinances” and other legislative action.
As the recognition process continues to leave the realm of symbolic and enters the reality of law, more and more Ohlone decendants are seeking out their heritage, embracing it and learning the culture that comes with it.
Eventually, there is a personal confrontation with the history of genocide and mass murder, the anger and despair that comes over that and the dangerous nuclear waste polluting their sacred sites where Lennar Corp actually wants to build housing, all of which is difficult for any human to come to terms with and choose a path of healing, reconciliation and active reformation for future generations.
Conscious choice is key. One can remain inactive around the issues of Native American justice, or one can step forward and participate, whether they are Native or not. For most Ohlone, there’s not much of a choice: it’s participate or disappear and never exist… or exist as something other than Ohlone.
The Ohlone Profiles Project remains an effort for artists, cultural workers and, as seen yesterday, politicians to support and embrace the necessity to strengthen and uphold San Francisco’s positive legacy as Sanctuary City and birthplace of the UN Charter. Artistic forms of communicating culture are just one element of the work. This week’s success at the local, legislative level is another.
At a place known as an EPA Superfund cleanup site where the Navy dumped toxic, toxic waste and ran nuclear tests in a building that’s still standing radioactive… a corporation wants to build housing with a plan that the San Francisco government approved… all in a place that long before was home to Native tribes who still live today, and have not forgotten their ancestors and legacy. Despite the fact that the Navy never cleaned it up, dumped it on SF, which sold it to Lennar Corp for $1, which still hasn’t cleaned it up and is banking on the forgetfulness of a defeated justice-seeking population including environmental scientists public video testimony against the Lennar’s development plan… despite all of this, it is still all of our responsibility today to find justice and to create and live in a just, sacred and sustainable world.
Look at the nice photos taken by Chronicle photographer at the sunrise ceremony
Tomorrow, the Ohlone Profiles Project joins with the Costanoan Rumen Carmel Tribe of Ohlone to continue the Ohlone Renewal effort in hearing and seeing the SF Board of Supervisors call for more inclusion of Native peoples in City Planning.
Tuesday, 6am, Yosemite Slough Sunrise Ceremony (public, TV welcome)
Tuesday 2pm: board of supervisors meeting including testimony about the resolution
Tuesday 4pm City Hall, Room 278, Press Conference with Chairman Tony Cerda and members
of Costanoan Rumsen Carmel Tribe (CRCT), Chairwomen Ann Marie Sayers, and others
SAN FRANCISCO, CA – The native Californian Ohlone tribe continues its return to its homeland of San Francisco and will likely get the support of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors in a vote on Tuesday, August 10 (tomorrow). A resolution introduced by Supervisor Maxwell on Aug 3rd, urges the Mayor, Planning Department and the Redevelopment Agency to include the Ohlone in the planning process. The purpose is to bring Ohlone into the cultural life of San Francisco, a life from which one of the Ohlone tribes who is organizing the events tomorrow, have been exiled since 1834.
Tomorrow begins for the Ohlone with a public sunrise ceremony at 6am, and includes testifying at the Supervisors’ meeting about 2:30 in the afternoon. The tribe will hold a press conference after the meeting, about 4pm, in City Hall (Room 278). The 6am sunrise ceremony will occur at Yosemite Slough, accessed at the end of Carroll Road in Candlestick Point State Park (see attached map). Television and photojournalists are invited to attend.
The park has the potential to host a circular, outdoor ceremonial arbor for Ohlone and public use. If it were restored the Slough could become a precious salt marsh ecosystem that helps heal the Bay, according to State publicity about the park.
Of highest priority for the Ohlone community is preventing any desecration of their native burial, village and ceremonial sites, the Ohlone ancestors. “What often happens is the builders start driving pylons into the ground at some project site, discover some bones and artifacts, and say ‘oh, sorry’ and offer a monument as as an apology,” says Neil MacLean of the Ohlone Profiles Project. “This resolution aims to prevent that from happening.” The supervisors are urging a full and meaningful inclusion of Ohlone in the development of Hunter’s Point.
READ COMPLETE Press Release
Examples of inclusion and autonomy with Tony’s tribe are non-stop.
The first event this morning was the spiritual advisor, Robert John Knapp, talking about the power of gentleness and introducing the young people and those in regalia, blessing them, and then having everyone of the children and the people in regalia greet everyone else who is here, because friendship is the base for everything else.” he said.
While that’s happening, more people, friends are showing up. .
“I can make the words but I can’t give the thanks:” that is how Robert begins the opening prayer.
“Some people say this is social, a pow wow, not ceremonially sacred, but it is. Because our creator told us two things: the first is that we must give thanks. There is never enough of giving thanks.
The second instruction is the most sacred, that we must enjoy life. And so in that kind of way, that is why we are here. To enjoy life as well as for healing and many other things.
It doesn’t say, if you get time, no , it says you must enjoy life.”
Everything I do is a prayer. “
I can say the words, but you have to give the thanks.”
Just be thankful, don’t be the judge. “
Robert opens with his resolution to the question I asked earlier. He begins the opening prayer saying we ask you to listen,, I was taught to say this prayer, and then you can carry it forward in your own way. “
So often, all the native people are asking for from settler society is that we listen, we listen and then we go forward not controlled by them, but with their teaching in our thoughts.
so that’s my first listening to Robert.
I’m at Tony Cerda Park in Pomona, the guest of Tony, the Chair of the Costanona Rumsen Carmel Tribe, who, at 72, is getting more and more support and
acknowledgment: both here in Pomona, where the tribe relocated over a century ago, and is an exciting leader that Mary Jean and I have been profiling as part of the Ohlone Profiles Project and supporting to come to San Francisco.
We have been working on getting him and his tribe up for the last few years.
When I first met Tony, four years ago, I was working at New College and had a center there and some support for Native American programming, including support for recognizing Ohlone as the original people of San Francisco. I tried to get Tony and the dancers to come to New College on Valencia street, but I learned that he was bigger than I could support. He comes with forty dancers and singers, and with so many other supporters, the college didn’t even have parking let alone enough performance space to welcome Tony.
When I learned that is when I thought to began the Ohlone Profiles to get support from the arts commission and to find organizations in the community that would give their resources to welcome Ohlone and receive the original people’s blessing.
I’m usually too involved in organizing the events, such as the Coit Tower Projection, or last weeks opening ceremony for the Eco classroom at Heron’s Head, to do the writing and blogging the way it deserves to be done. This weekend, I’m down at an event Tony has organized, I’m free to write and think and reflect. What a gift that is.
We just heard the Mayor of Pomona, saying the best thing they ever did with this park was to name it after Tony Cerda. “Now is a really big day for the park, he said. A little thing now turned into a huge, multi-ethnic, and Ohlone sponsored and organized, day of tribal events with hundreds of people.
As usual, though there are lots of things happening on the surface, there is also a back story in my head and writing allows me to go into it a bit.
The issue, the conversation, is about how to remain authentic, while still being flexible and relevant. About that I am learning most from Tony and the other Ohlone Mary Jean and I are working to bring forward. It seems to me that there are different traditions or ways of carrying ancient culture forward. Tony and Ann Marie and some of the other Ohlone that we are fortunate to be working with are so flexible and welcoming. The settler religious movement calls this ecumenical. Edward Said points out that culture is actually adaptation, its being smart about learning from others. Yet, there is also a role for remembering and honoring the past and the teachings that elders can share.
We are about to bring everyone into the ceremony. I’ve got to go be part of it.
Wednesday night 6pm.
1) Broadcast and projection opening with a ceremony led by Ohlone Costanoan Carmel Rumsen Tribal Chair Tony Cerda,
The fog rolled in on Thursday, Nov. 26, 2009 allowing us to see the statue of the murderer Columbus looking bewilderedly out into the San Francisco Bay as projections of Indigenous Renewal splashed Coit Tower for a second night. Photo by D. N. Russo
supported by Indian Canyon Chair, Ann Marie Sayers and several people and organizations that are helping bring about a renewal of Ohlone presence in San Francisco: San Bruno Mountain Watch and Literacy for Environmental Justice among others.
2) After the opening ceremony we will broadcast a unique recording of key meetings and interviews made on Alcatraz during February of 1970, of Alcatraz occupiers telling their goals and perspectives. It provides a powerful window on the exuberance and clarity of the Red Power Movement at that time. Our guest will respond, interject, and reflect on that window.
3) Act three will discuss the consequences of Alcatraz. Members of the International Indian Treaty Council, and veterans of the occupation, and a special guest, one of the skippers of Sausalito Indian Navy, Mary Crowley, will tell us stories of solidarity on the sea.
We’ll project five short films onto Coit Tower while these guests converse: films about Alcatraz and the Ohlone, all made within the last few months, will dance on Coit Tower. Films by Marlo McKenzie, Sam and Keith Moreau, Anthony Sol, Rupert, Ben Wood and Dave Mark, Catherine Herrera, and Richard Robinson and Lorenzo will accompany the broadcast.
At 10pm we’ll project the full and excellent documentary “Alcatraz is not an Island,” and we’ll broadcast the audio from that stunning documentary of that history making event.
If we can webcast the event, look for a live Quicktime video stream here: rtsp://tv.indybay.org:80/CoitProjections.sdp
For Immediate Release
Alcatraz Remembered: Coit Tower To Be Lit with All-Night Projections
Coit Tower morphed again from romantic winespot to tourist lookout. Photo: D. N. Russo
SAN FRANCISCO – Nov. 11, 2009 – This “Thanksgiving” Eve, a digital projection & live radio broadcast commemorating the 40th anniversary of the Native American occupation of Alcatraz Island in 1969-71, prefiguring the return of Ohlone to San Francisco, will have us ask ourselves, what is indigenous? The two-night event titled, “Indigenous Renewal: Alcatraz Occupation Remembrance + Ohlone Presence Celebrated!” features regional film makers’ works and archival footage from the occupation of the island in 1969. Wednesday’s projections will greet people early morning Thursday as they gather at Pier 31 to board boats to Alcatraz for the annual ceremony there.
The encore 2nd screening happens on all-night Thursday evening, November 26, 2009.
An accompanying LIVE radio program is scheduled for this projection beginning at 6pm and continuing to at least 11pm, on Wednesday, November 25th, 2009
This event follows a series of projections by David Mark and Ben Wood in 2004, 2006, & 2008 highlighting the cultural heritage of the San Francisco Bay Area.
Since 2008 the projection has combined the use of live radio broadcast with the participation of KPOO 89.5 FM and the cooperation of Neil MacLean & Mary Jean Robertson, of Voices of Native the Ohlone Profiles Project. The producers hope to “probe the many thousands of supporters to rethink San Francisco’s history.”
"Welcome to Ohlone Territory!" with a still from the film "Alcatraz Is Not An Island" made in 2001. Photo by D. N. Russo
This outdoor cinematic event culminates a week of events commemorating the 40th anniversary of the occupation of Alcatraz Island by the Indians of All Tribes. The occupation changed American history by ending the US policy of Tribal Termination, and it also strengthened tribes across the country to stand up, including San Francisco’s original inhabitants, the Ohlone. Their renewed strength brings with it the chance for San Francisco to finally do the right thing for its Native people, as so many tens of thousands demanded in 1969.
Collaborating Film Makers and Artists include:
* Alcatraz is Not an Island: James Fortier
* Rendevouz with Alcatraz: Ben Wood & David Mark
* Welcome to Ohlone Territory: Marlo Mckenzie and Neil Maclean
Ohlone Families: Charlene Sul, Anthony Sul
* San Bruno Mountain: Keith Moreau and Sam Ellis Moreau
* Humaya Dancers at De Young: Richard Robinson and Lorenzo
* Alcatraz is Not an Island REDUX – We Remember: D. N. Russo
Hours after the Ohlone Welcoming ceremony led by Ann Marie Sayers and Tony Cerda broadcast live on 89.5 FM, guests lingered and CBS did a standup news spot live. Photo by D. N. Russo
The projection will use two 12,000 lumen projectors that will cast an illuminated moving image sequence onto the surface of the 210 foot tower from two separate vantage points, covering an area of 270 degrees from the West to the North-East portions of Coit Tower and live remote broadcast from viewing areas.
The San Francisco Department of Recreation and Parks has again issued a permit. Special thanks for cooperation with the dwellers of Telegraph Hill, particularly Julie Christiansen. Thanks to Alex Cherian of Bay Television Archive at San Francisco State University and the San Francisco Arts Commission, and D. N. Russo of the Bay Area Community Exchange (BACE) Time Bank.
What: A digital projection & live radio broadcast commemorating the 40th anniversary of the
Native American occupation of Alcatraz Island in 1969-71
When: November 25th & 26th, 2009, dusk to 7am
Where: Coit Tower, Telegraph Hill, San Francisco, CA,
TUNE IN: 6pm-11pm Wednesday, broadcast on KPOO 89.5 FM (online at www.coitlive.com www.ohloneprofiles.org)
Viewable from: Pier 31, Fisherman’s Wharf, Pioneer Park, Grant St. & Greenwich St, Washington Sq. Park
Photo by D. N. Russo
Ben Wood's piece screens below while another film plays above. Photo by D. N. Russo
Media Inquiries please contact:
Ben Wood: 415 515 8390 firstname.lastname@example.org
David Mark: 415 515 5540 email@example.com
Neil Maclean: 415 515 8430 firstname.lastname@example.org
Extra Special Thanks to The Clutch Volunteer Union:
Neil MacLean (Co-founder – Ohlone Profiles Project, Coit Location Producer, Location Hospitality)
Mary Jean Robertson (Radio Host, KPOO and SF Local Hero)
Rupert (Coit Location Producer, Mobile Media Studio & Projection Truck, FM Radio Remote Engineer, Website Management, Video Editor, Graphic Design, PR, Location Hospitality)
Manuel Trujillo (Sound Support, Carpenter, Labor Rustler)
Armando (Carpenter, Labor Rustler)
Michael Fox (Projectionist Assistant, Technical Staff)
Michael Friedman (Location Videographer, Editor)
Modok (Remote Radio Location Assistant, Technical Staff)
Sean McMahon (FM Radio Technical Engineer)
Lisa Weiss (Volunteer Rustler, Photographer, Publicity)
Bernadette (FM Radio Producer)
Harrison at KPOO, Fara at ATA, Craig from Other Cinema, Eileen, Telegraph Hill Parrots and Other Dwellers Association, Bill Gunn, Vernon, Ben at VER, D. N. Russo, Marlo Mckenzie, Charlene Sul, Donna Tuggy, Anthony Sul,
Ann Marie Sayers, Tony Cerda, Greg Castro, Ben Wood, David Mark, David Molina
Special Thanks to Video Producers:
James Fortier and Jon Plutte (”Alcatraz Is Not An Island” 2001), Marlo Mckenzie, Keith Moreau and Sam Ellis Moreau, Richard Robinson and Lorenzo, Charlene and Anthony Sul, Ben Wood, D. N. Russo
Also Very Cool:
Noisebridge, Artists’ Television Access, 89.5 FM KPOO Radio San Francisco, Bay Area Community Exchange
Interviews in the Remote Studio, Photo by: D. N. Russo
Mr. Jones looks on at Alcatraz Is Not An Island. We put on the whole film for him to watch after hearing that he was the captain of the boat seen in the historic footage that the Coast Guard crashed into in 1969 as he brought more Indians to Alcatraz!... and he had never seen it. Photo by: D. N. Russo
Tony Cerda on CBS 5
Ann Marie Sayers and Tony Cerda begin the broadcast in ceremony live on KPOO 89.5 FM. If you recorded the radio broadcast, we want to know.
Neil MacLean explains the power of transforming culture through public conversation on giant monuments...
Sam Ellis Moreau talks about San Bruno Mountain and her film on the tower. Keith Moreau documents the moment.
Links to Ohlone Organizations, artists and teachers