Happening Now

August 3, 2020

Nanibah Chacon | Diné/Chicana, b. 1980 | What Dreams Are Made Of  (Part of the exhibition, Larger than Memory, opening at the Heard Museum on September 4th, 2020)

President’s Message

Arizona students are starting school this week.  It is hard to believe and reminds me that   time flies.  Like these students and their teachers, we will be connecting with each other in new ways.  What does that mean to you as a Guild member?  The Board has decided to hold virtual Guild meetings through the end of December.  Our meeting format will be the same, with guest speakers and Board updates, only online. Imagine…enjoying a Guild meeting from the comfort of your own home.  An added benefit…no need to bring a sweater!  (We love Steele Auditorium, but it gets so cold in there.)  We feel this is the right decision, given COVID-19 concerns. Your health and safety are especially important to us.  While we will miss seeing you in person, laughing together, breaking bread, dare I say. even hugging each other, this too shall pass.

The first Guild meeting will be held on September 16th, using Zoom.  Zoom will replace our in-person meetings by providing a virtual meeting space.  Many thanks to Guild member Anita Hicks for sharing this AARP video on how to use Zoom.  Check it out!


In other news, if you get a friendly email, letter, or call from Jackie Stubbs, Membership Coordinator, it is to remind you to renew your Guild membership.  Since we will not be meeting live in September, please send your renewal checks via mail or consider renewing online.  Thank you in advance for your timely response.

Until next time, my warm regards to you and your family.

Jane Przeslica

Heard Museum’s Away From Home: American Indian Boarding School Stories Wins 2020 AASLH Award of Excellence


NASHVILLE, Tenn.—July 28, 2020—The American Association for State and Local History (AASLH) proudly announces that the Heard Museum is the recipient of an Award of Excellence for its exhibition Away From Home: American Indian Boarding School Stories. The AASLH Leadership in History Awards Program, now in its 75th year, is the most prestigious recognition for achievement in the preservation and interpretation of state and local history.

Developed under the leadership of Heard Museum curator Janet Cantley, Away From Home conveys the complex histories surrounding United States government efforts during the 19th and 20th centuries to educate and “assimilate” American Indian youth through the controversial practice of removing children from their families and forcibly placing them in distant boarding schools. The exhibition was developed with an advisory committee of scholars and culture bearers from Indigenous communities nationwide and presents a diversity of perspectives and personal stories that bring this challenging history to light. Founded in new scholarship, Away From Home replaces the Heard’s 2000 groundbreaking exhibition Remembering Our Indian School Days: The Boarding School Experience, curated by Margaret Archuleta. Away from Home is on view at the Heard Museum now.

In partnership with the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and the Mid-America Arts Alliance (M-AAA), a traveling iteration of the exhibition is in development through the NEH on the Road program. The Away From Home compendium exhibition is scheduled to visit 24 institutions nationwide, ranging from libraries to museums and historical societies.

This year, AASLH is proud to confer 57 national awards honoring people, projects, exhibitions, and publications. The winners represent the best in the field and provide leadership for the future of state and local history.

The AASLH Leadership in History Awards Program was initiated in 1945 to establish and encourage standards of excellence in the collection, preservation, and interpretation of state and local history throughout the United States. The awards not only honor significant achievement in the field of state and local history, but also bring public recognition to the superior and innovative accomplishments of small and large organizations, institutions, and programs in this arena. For more information about the Leadership in History Awards, contact AASLH at 615.320.3203 or go to www.aaslh.org.

The American Association for State and Local History is a not-for-profit professional organization of individuals and institutions working to preserve and promote history. From its headquarters in Nashville, Tenn., AASLH provides leadership, service, and support for its members who preserve and interpret state and local history in order to make the past more meaningful to all people. AASLH publishes books, technical publications, and a quarterly magazine, and it maintains numerous affinity communities and committees serving a broad range of constituents across the historical community. The association also sponsors an annual meeting, regional and national training, in-person workshops, and online training.

2021 Indian Fair & Market
Anna Flynn, Chair

The times they are a-changin’ and we are a changin’ with them! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=90WD_ats6eE

Given the high degree of uncertainty related to COVID-19, we are developing three contingency plans: Plan A: Live event, Plan B: Virtual Event and Plan C: Hybrid. Going virtual has implications for every aspect of the Fair from budgeting to applications to juried competition to staging. With the disproportionate health and economic impact of COVID-19 on Native American Tribes, the support that the Fair provides to Indigenous artists is more important than ever. One thing is certain: We are determined to host a Fair in 2021!

Key Questions About a Virtual Fair
While there are a zillion questions, the key ones are:
1.  If we build it, will they come?
2.  How do we build it?
3.  What is “it”?

If we build it, will they come?
There are two relevant and interrelated “theys”—the artists and the visitors.

How many artists will participate? Will they have the financial means to participate, art available to sell, capability to participate in a virtual event and confidence that we will deliver sufficient customers? Will we attract first-time Heard Fair artists? Some may be challenged by a lack of broadband access, poor connectivity, a low degree of tech-savviness, poor capability of selling art and accepting payment online, and logistical difficulties of packing and shipping. How might we lessen the digital divide, keep the elders involved, and clearly and convincingly demonstrate that we offer something artists cannot do on their own?

How many visitors will attend and, most importantly, buy art? A virtual market has the potential for global reach dependent on our marketing strategy and execution.

How do we build it?
A virtual Fair requires digital capabilities that neither the Guild nor the museum currently has in place. We are exploring the digital tools needed to execute our still-developing vision, the associated costs, and the possibilities for outside funding.

We have adopted ZAPPlication, an online application system offered by  ZAPP®, part of the Western States Arts Federation (WESTAF), a regional non-profit arts service organization dedicated to the creative advancement and preservation of the arts. Cathy Robertson, Chair, Exhibitors Committee will continue to provide email and phone support to artists.

What is “it”?
What would a virtual Fair look like? How might we include virtual booth hopping, performances, interviews, talks, studio tours, storytelling, a fashion show, a best of show awards event—all the elements of our live event—in a virtual format? We want to convey the uniqueness of our Fair, transform the Guild’s tradition of artist hospitality, and capture the magic of the Heard. We must foster engagement and interaction between artists and visitors. We want to capture and convey the excitement of the dancers in the amphitheater and the soothing sounds on the Courtyard Stage. These are just some of the exciting ideas we are exploring. We are working with the Clark Hulings Fund (CHF), the non-profit partnering with SWAIA, to develop a roadmap for a virtual Fair. Check out SWAIA’s virtual market which runs August 1- 31.

Despite the pandemic and economic devastation, this is an exciting time for questioning what we do and how we do it so that we might transform and expand our ability to support Indigenous arts and cultures. If you have thoughts or ideas for a virtual Fair, please contact Anna Flynn, Fair Chair, at fairchair@heardguild.org or 928.899.6073.

Guild Dues Reminder

The annual $40 Guild dues for 2020-2021 were due on May 1 of this year and are now overdue.  Thanks to all of you who have paid promptly and if you have not had an opportunity to do so, now would be a great time.  You may go to the Guild website and pay online or mail a check made out to the Guild.  Please mail it to the Museum at 2301 N Central AV, Phoenix, 85004, attention Treasurer.  Any questions may be directed to Membership Coordinator Jackie Stubbs at jackiecstubbs@sbcglobal.net.  Thank you for your attention to this matter.

2020/2021 Guild Board Members