SFA is delighted to announce the cohort of Plain View Fellows in this pilot fellowship program. These documentarians and artist-researchers were selected from a competitive pool of applicants to carry out a project that elevates and illuminate a slice of folklife, culture, or heritage in the region that may otherwise be misunderstood, overlooked, or forgotten. The program takes its name from folklorist Mary Hufford’s notion that the study of folklife reveals beauty “hidden in plain view.”
Each fellow will be awarded $5,000 and to carry out their research over the next nine months. They will also participate in monthly learning and support sessions with each other and offer a public workshop for the community-at-large or within the specific communities where their project is based. Fellows will also share their work in BorderLore, SFA’s online journal of culture and heritage, and in other venues.
This fellowship aims to bring visibility to aspects of culture and heritage that might otherwise be overlooked. It is a pilot program.
The Plain View Fellows for 2021 are:
Sakya Calsoyas, a filmmaker from Flagstaff/Navajo Nation, will document the impact the loss of Indigenous elders to Covid-19 on the Navajo Nation and culture.
Yvonne Montona, a Tucson-based dancer/choreographer, will study/document the Sonoran Bronco, a traditional Mexican folkloric dance form, in collaboration with digital artist Ammi Robles and Maestro Juan Luis Ángeles González through a cross-border dance exchange in Agua Prieta, Sonora.
Marc David Pinate, a theater artist in Tucson, will work with a team of apprentice artist-ethnographers to research and document through oral history significant sites to Mexican American communities along the Santa Cruz River and in Tucson’s west side barrios.
Nolan Veneklasen, a Tucson-based filmmaker, will document the Tucson Chinese Lion Dance Troupe and its role in creating cultural identity among Chinese American adoptees.
Karen Vargas, a poet in Taos, NM, will document the work traditional agriculturists within Native and Indo-Hispano communities of the upper Rio Grande Valley through interviews and inter-generational creative writing workshops.
“It’s exciting to be able to to support working artists, documentarians, and researchers to do the work of looking, listening, and paying deep attention to cultural practices in the region. This kind of fieldwork and documentation gets to the heart of how we can better understand one another amidst our differences and celebrate the beauty that really is hidden in plain view,” said Kimi Eisele, BorderLore managing editor and SFA communications manager.
The panelists who reviewed applications were: Estevan Azcona, Ethnomusicologist, San José State University, San José, CA; Karen Falkenstrom, Director, Odaiko Sonora Taiko Drummers, Tucson, AZ; Bryan Falcón, Director, Scoundrel & Scamp Theater, Tucson, AZ; Mele Martinez, Writer & Flamenco Artist, Tucson, AZ; and Selina Morales, Folklorist, Philadelphia, PA.