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Indigenous Performing Artist Residency Program

Raised toward our $5,000 Goal
22 Donors
Project has ended
Project ended on November 30, at 11:59 PM PST
Project Owners

A New Program for Indigenous Performing Artists at UC Berkeley

“Story is the most powerful force in the world. In our world, maybe in all worlds. Story is culture. Story, like culture, is constantly moving.” 

— Deborah A. Miranda, Bad Indians: A Tribal Memoir

The Department of Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies (TDPS) in collaboration with the Arts Research Center (ARC) have created a multi-year Indigenous Performing Artist Residency Program, which allows us to host a performance by emerging Indigenous performing artists yearly, along with a visit to campus by the artist for a public talk and an opportunity to work with students in class visits and workshops. 

The mission of the artist residency program is to strengthen relationships with Indigenous community partners and to create ongoing financial and material support for upcoming Indigenous performing artists so that Native stories can be told on our campus now and into the future. It utilizes the longstanding collaborative partnership that ARC and TDPS have established with each other over many years, and utilizes both our units’ connections to local California theater and performing arts organizations off campus. 

The program stems from the idea that embodied theater and performance practices are a site of historical remembering and knowledge production.

Image: The 2023 TDPS production of Daughters of Leda, a play written and directed by Indigenous theater artists Madeline Sayet (playwright) and Shannon R. Davis (director). Pictured left to right: Audrey Schultz, Sophia Partain, Emma Hoehn, Jordan Goodwin, and Emma Gardner.


The Indigenous Performing Artist Residency Program builds a relationship with a local performance company for multiple years, to premiere Native or Indigenous creative works in their theater/performance space. ARC and TDPS will then collaborate to reprise those artistic works in one of our campus performance spaces. During the presentation of the performance, the artist(s) will be invited to campus to meet with our community, give talks, engage with our students in a variety of ways that best support the artistic production. 

Image: Actor Steven Flores in Pueblo Revolt by Dillon Chitto (Diné), world premiere with AlterTheater at Arts Research Center, 2023 / Photo by Laurie Macfee


In the short term, we are seeking funds to help augment the residency program so that the first three years are secured. Our current goal of $5,000 will secure the first year, and act as a match to funds already pledged. If we exceed our goal, it will help fund years two and three of this multi-year project. Ideally, we are seeking to create an endowment to ensure the permanence of the program for many years to come.

Your donation will go directly toward the artist fee and bringing the artist to campus for a free public talk, workshops, and class visits.


Our hope is that the Indigenous Performing Artist Residency Program could become a template for how other units on campus can work towards more reciprocal and material relationships with Native communities both on and off campus.


The Indigenous Performing Artist Residency Program is the logical next step to supplement the ongoing commitment of ARC and TDPS to supporting Indigenous voices in the arts.

Examples of recent programming for ARC include a collaboration last spring with AlterTheater to host the world premiere of Pueblo Revolt by Dillon Chitto; artist talks with Jeffrey Gibson, Cara Romero, and Wendy Red Star; readings by poets including Jake Skeets, dg nanouk okpik, and Natalie Diaz; our current Artist-in-Residence visit with artist/choreographer Tanya Lukin Linklater; ARC's Indigenous Poetics Lab; and our Poetry & the Senses Fellowship program based around the theme of Reclamation.

Row 1: Deborah Miranda, Esther Belin, Natalie Diaz, Jeffery Gibson, Dillon Chitto, Wendy Red Star 
Row 2: Terry Jones, Cara Romero, Craig Santos Perez, dg okpik, Canuppa Hanska Luger, Robert Sullivan 
Row 3: Joy Harjo, Jake Skeets, Claire Hong, Tanya Lukin Linklater, Alice Te Punga Somerville, Michael Wasson

Recent TDPS programming with Indigenous artists/guests includes: a production of the play Daughters of Leda, written by Madeline Sayet and directed by Shannon R. Davis; public talks and conversations with costume designer Asa Benally, dancer Erica Estrada, community organizer Corrina Gould, artistic director Pauline Lampton, playwright and attorney Mary Kathryn Nagle, and musician-scholar Jessica Bissett-Perea; class visits with composer Raven Chavon, dancer and choreographer Jack Gray, and playwright Drew Woodson; and a performance of Bayal Kaymanen (Dancing Smoke), a collaboration between Miriki Performing Arts and the Northern Pomo Dancers.

Row 1: Asa Benally, Jessica Bissett-Perea, Shannon R. Davis, Corrina Gould
Row 2: Pauline Lampton, Mary Kathryn Nagle, Madeline Sayet, Dancing Smoke 

Both ARC and TDPS serve the public through our research and programming, which allows us to create bridges between the university and local communities.


Learn More:

ARC Website:

ARC Instagram: @ArtsResearchCtr

ARC Email:

TDPS Website:

TDPS Instagram: @BerkeleyTDPS

TDPS Email:

Your support matters!

UC Berkeley sits on the unceded territory of xučyun (Huichin), the ancestral land of the Chochenyo speaking Ohlone people.

Land acknowledgments without material commitments are empty gestures. 

Support Indigenous artists today!

Image from Artist/choreographer Tanya Lukin Linklater, This moment an endurance to the end forever, 2020 (video still)



Our way
of Thanking You


Program Listing: Contributor

You'll be acknowledged as a Contributor in our first residency program!

8 of 1000 Claimed
Estimated Delivery: April 2024


Program Listing: Advocate

You'll be acknowledged as an Advocate in our first residency program!

6 of 1000 Claimed
Estimated Delivery: April 2024


Social Media Shoutout

You'll get a shoutout in our Faces of Support campaign on Instagram! (+previous perks)

3 of 1000 Claimed
Estimated Delivery: November 2023


Newsletter Feature

You'll be included in the Circle of Light feature in our e-newsletters! (+previous perks)

0 of 1000 Claimed
Estimated Delivery: November 2023


Opening Night Reception

You and a guest will be invited to the Opening Night reception for our first Indigenous Performing Artist Residency performance! (+previous perks)

1 of 25 Claimed
Estimated Delivery: April 2024


Front Row Seats

You and a guest will enjoy reserved seats to one Indigenous Performing Artist Residency performance! (+previous perks)

1 of 25 Claimed
Estimated Delivery: April 2024
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