Oneida Nation Arts Program in Oneida, Wisconsin, presented M. Cochise Anderson in November 2009.
This Performing Arts Fund–supported engagement included a performance by M. Cochise Anderson of The Kemosabe Therapy, an eclectic mix of music, prose, drama, and personal insights about the effects of stereotypical images of Native American people in popular media. The audience – diverse in ethnic background and age – were mesmerized by Cochise’s revelations of the Native American experience in interacting with the world and gained some insights into Native American culture.
In addition to his performance of The Kemosabe Therapy, M. Cochise Anderson also conducted a week of residency activities with students at Oneida Nation High School (ONHS), combining theater performance exercises with creative-writing exercises and other related activities to create a final multimedia project. The students were actively engaged with Cochise throughout the residency, from exploring the sensory perception of past memories and exploring the idea of legacy and what it means to them, to interaction with their local community and working in a team environment to produce their final project. This artistic residency was beneficial to the students in terms of the hands-on, experiential education they received in performance arts.
“We were pleased to be able to work with Cochise Anderson at Oneida Nation High School recently. He worked well with the students and despite the short time he had to work with them, I believe it was a positive experience. The students always enjoy working with other native artists with new and different projects.” — Becky Anderson, ONHS art teacher
Support from the Performing Arts Fund adds value and credentials to the Oneida Nation Arts Program’s presentations to the Oneida Indian Reservation, achieving the organization’s mission of promoting diverse artistic expression within their community, reflecting heritage and spirit to future generations. The mainstream media and performing arts lack authentic images of Native American people. Most of the performing arts presentations in nearby cities feature mainstream, national acts, that don’t reflect the images, livelihoods, or cultures of indigenous peoples.
This engagement was a Star Project that engaged a performing artist from the Midwest and provided cultural access to tribal communities and at-risk youth by partnering with Oneida Nation High School.