When Clara Natonabah began offering after school tutoring in English at the Santa Fe Indian School three years ago, she discovered a glaring omission in the lives of the kids at her alma mater: "I realized there were really no performing arts happening there, and it kind of crushed my spirit for them," she says. "So I said OK, even though I didn't have any resources, I started talking to the kids and they said they wanted something like that, that they'd work for something like that."
And so they did, with Natonabah's help; thus, the SFIS Celebration of the Arts was born. For Natonabah, a graduate of Boston's Berklee School of Music, a soon-to-be grad student at Middlebury College in Vermont (and, perhaps most impressively, a lifetime Santa Fean who returned to Santa Fe to enrich others' lives post-college), the work has been worth it. "First I had to secure a place where we could meet a few times a week, and I wanted to instill the kids with a sense of pride in their work," she recalls. "Then there was the rehearsal and dress rehearsal; the practice and peer critique, where the students could give each other creative feedback, work on skills and live performance, memorization—they were able to excel."
The annual event, which hits its third iteration this week, grew from there. Thursday's event is poised to be the biggest and best yet, and guest artists scheduled include Albuquerque Native MC Def-I and 11-year-old vocalist Anjamora from Taos Pueblo; plus live painting demonstrations, musicians, poets, spoken-word artists, dancers and numerous students—all Native.
"It's something that's not only needed, but fueled by the student body and, hopefully, I can bridge our school with other schools in the future to create a platform for Indigenous youth," Natonabah explains. "I feel responsible and humbled and grateful for the opportunity because, for me, these kids are some of the most valuable, underrated and under-heard voices of our time. It's a powerful statement to have an all-Native lineup." (Alex De Vore)
SFIS Celebration of the Arts:
6-8 pm Thursday April 12. Free.
Pueblo Pavilion at the Santa Fe Indian School,
1501 Cerrillos Road,
"There's so much artwork and writing about race now in a way that I think is really new. And I think, as dreadful as the impetus has been, it's going to be a nutritious moment for the discussion of race," Peggy Diggs says. She, along with fellow artists/coordinators Veronica Jackson and Issa Nyaphaga, has kicked off a monthly gathering and open discussion about race in modern-day America. Diggs says there is no specific endgame outside of frankness, respect and understanding. "I deeply feel that folks need to have an opportunity to talk about race," she says. "We need to hear ourselves talk; we need to figure out what we think." All are welcome. (ADV)
Exchanges on Race:
5:30 pm Wednesday April 11. Free.
Quaker Meeting House,
2098 Calle Ensenada.
Those who attended last year's Santa Fe Zine Fest at the Center for Contemporary Arts found a small but glorious coming-together of about a dozen or so DIY writers, designers, artists and activists from near and far who spend their time lovingly crafting zines to share with interested parties. And if you don't know what zines are, you need to fix your life right away, because we found creative calendars, moving treatises on trans issues, fabulous artwork and a tight-knit community of zine lovers. This year's fest more than doubles in size with notable authors and artists including Anastasio Wrobel, Enrique Martinez, Charlotte Thurman, Bucket Siler—also the founder and organizer—and many more. Attend, we're beggin' you. Do it to pick up a gift, do it for yourself, do it because printed products are cool. Just do it. (ADV)
Santa Fe Zine Fest:
Noon-5 pm Saturday April 14. Free.
Center for Contemporary Arts,
1050 Old Pecos Trail,
Our Pal, Billy Shakes
Even people who love Shakespeare have to admit that he's not wildly accessible to newcomers, but for lecturer John Yeomans from the University of Toronto, it all comes down to cracking the puzzle. By examining The Bard's early plays and sonnets through the lens of the period in which they were written, we can learn much about what that guy from Stratford-Upon-Avon was talking about. We won't go so far as to say he somehow held the key to the mysteries of the universe, but Shakespeare certainly seemed to have an innate understanding of human psychology and, also, he totally helped us score our first kiss ever in high school. Learn something, brush up your skills—either way, it's sheer poetry, baby. (ADV)
7:30 pm Monday April 16. Free.
Senior Common Room, Peterson Student Center, St. John's College,
1160 Camino Cruz Blanca,