INDIGENOUS PEOPLE’S DAY CELEBRATION – THE NEA BIG READ LONG ISLAND PROGRAM KICKS OFF ON OCTOBER 11
Teatro Yerbabruja will kick off its 7-month NEA BIG READ LONG ISLAND Project on Monday October 11, starting at 1 PM, at its home in the historic Second Avenue Firehouse, 17 Second Avenue, in downtown Bay Shore.
Teatro Yerbabruja’s NEA BIG READ LONG ISLAND will focus on An American Sunrise, a collection of poems by Joy Harjo, the current, and first, indigenous United States Poet Laureate. Ms. Harjo is a member of the Creek/Muscogee Nation, and will do a day-long residency on April 8, 2022 as part of the program.
NEA BIG READ LONG ISLAND will include dozens of free events throughout Suffolk County, at public libraries, cultural and community organizations, including in Long Island’s Shinnecock and Montaukett Nations. Those events range from a reading and discussion of Ms. Harjo’s An American Sunrise to readings and discussions of her and other authors’ related works targeted at adult and younger audiences, as well as theme-related visual art exhibits and the various performing arts. Ms. Harjo will be the keynote speaker at Bay Shore High School’s Ethnic Pen Conference on April 8 and will give a public reading on the Shinnecock Reservation that evening.
“We are an organization that envisions its many visual and performing arts events as a means of achieving constructive social and economic change in the heavily Latino-populated Long Island communities that we generally serve, and it would have been easy simply to choose the offered book by a Latina author,” said Margarita Espada, Teatro Yerbabruja’s Founder and Executive-Artistic Director. “But it was clear that we had to accept the challenge of focusing on a different marginalized population of color, so that interested Long Islanders could better explore the similarities and differences between and within those populations.”￼
The program on October 11 will include an art show focused on indigenous artists, poetry reading, and conversations about decolonization and indigenous people in America and around the world.