Thanks for your support of Dancing with the Spirit! We are gearing up for a major fundraising campaign for full-time staff and an endowment fund. I found a young Emmy Award-winning filmmaker who is coming with us to Arctic Village to make a three-to five-minute video about our program.
We just got back from trips to Circle and Venetie with an all Gwich’in staff—fluent speakers too, except for me. In Venetie we recorded 12 Gwich’in fiddle tunes that go with 12 Gwich’in dances, so this great fiddle and dance tradition can be passed on!
Love and blessings from Alaska,
Rev. Belle Mickelson,
Dancing with the Spirit Director
Our staff lives and works on the lands of dAXunhyuu, the Eyak People, the Sugpiaq People, the Gwich’in People, the Koyukon People, the Inupiaq People, the Deg Hit’an People, the Yupik People, the Aleut People, the Tlingit People, the Haida People, and the Tsimpsian People.
An individual Arnold Shultz Fund grant was awarded to Oscar Chilumo Mbawana, a young fiddle player in Nairobi, Kenya, whose instrument was damaged in a motorbike accident last year. Oscar himself ended up in the hospital for a while and is now fully recovered, but the news wasn’t so good for his fiddle. The Shultz Fund grant paid for repairs and new strings. Oscar is one of two fiddlers in the Elephant Grass Musical Chairs bluegrass band based in Nairobi and headed by Tom Wolf. Elephant Grass is currently presenting a series of educational bluegrass programs at local high schools, funded in part by another Shultz Fund grant. (Photo above: Oscar Mbawana and his repaired fiddle, with band leader Tom Wolf)
RETURN to the December 2023 issue of The Cornerstone.