National Museum of the American Indian

The National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI) is committed to advancing knowledge and understanding of the Native cultures of the Western Hemisphere—past, present, and future—through partnership with Native people and others. The museum works to support the continuance of culture, traditional values, and transitions in contemporary Native life.

AHFES at Cultural Institutions


Spring Lottery

Urban Meets Rural: Youth Leading the Way at the Crossroads of Environmental Justice
Presented by: National Museum of the American Indian

This program brings young people together for dialogue about environmental justice and climate change. During a moderated panel discussion, young indigenous activists and adults committed to youth advocacy will speak about their experiences leading change within their communities. The breakout sessions that follow will include a film screening and discussion and provide hands-on workshops that share ways to use art as a medium of social and personal expression.
Date: 4/22/20
Time: 10:30 AM
Length of Program: 2.75 hours
Content: Social Studies/ History/ Geography, Civics/Government, World Languages/Global Studies, Science, Arts, Diversity
Grades: 8th-12th
Learning Standards: Geographic Skills (6-8) • Students study current events to identify the characteristics, distribution, and complexity of earth’s cultural mosaics. • Students assess how people’s changing perceptions of geographic features have led to changes in human societies. They study current events to describe how people’s experiences of diverse cultures and places influence their perceptions and viewpoints. • Students identify and explain the process of conflict and cooperation (political, economic, religious, etc.) among people in the contemporary world at local, national, regional, and international scales. • Students explain the effects of interactions between humans and natural systems, including how humans depend on natural resources and adapt to and affect the natural environment. • Students apply the concept of region and their patterns of change to the study of the natural and human characteristics of places. • Students use geographic knowledge and skills to analyze historical and contemporary issues. Geographic Skills (9-12) • Students study current events to explain how human actions modify the physical environment and how the physical environment affects human systems (e.g., natural disasters, climate, and resources). They explain the resulting environmental policy issues. • Students explain how different points of view influence policies relating to the use and management of Earth’s resources. • Students identify patterns and networks of economic interdependence in the contemporary world. • Students understand the influence of physical and human geographic factors on the evolution of significant historic events and movements. They apply the geographic viewpoint to local, regional, and world policies and problems. • Students relate current events to the physical and human characteristics of places and regions. They identify the characteristics, distribution, and complexity of Earth’s cultural mosaics. • Students evaluate ways in which technology has expanded the capability of humans to modify the physical environment and the ability of humans to mitigate the effect of natural disasters.

 for "Urban Meets Rural"

Hula Ki’I (Hawaiian Puppetry Traditions)
Presented by: National Museum of the American Indian

Four kuma hula (hula teachers) will bring stories to life using Hula Ki’i, also known as Hawaiian puppetry. This traditional art form incorporates music, dance and three-dimensional figures made from natural materials as vehicles for storytelling.
Date: 5/15/20
Time: 10:30 AM
Length of Program: 45 minutes
Content: Social Studies/ History/ Geography, World Languages/Global Studies, Arts, Diversity
Grades: 3rd - 6th
Learning Standards: Arts Education Learning Standards: [Visual Arts] Strand 1. Perceive and understand the components of visual language: the elements of art and the principles of design. 4.3.3 Observe dance and describe how the use of space, time, and energy develops a change from the beginning of the dance to the end of the dance. 5.1. L2 Analyze how musical sounds are used in various genres and cultures. Strand 5: Connect music to other art forms and subject areas through understanding the historical and cultural context of music. 5.4.1 Interpret how theatre and storytelling forms (past and present) of various cultural groups may reflect their beliefs and traditions.
Capacity: 120

 for "Hula Ki’I "

Pure Native
Presented by: National Museum of the American Indian

This two-act play by Vickie Ramirez (Tuscarora) is a collaboration with the National Autry Center and tells the personal story of a Native entrepreneur starting a bottled water company on his reservation. Brewster White returns to the reservation with a plan to convince the tribal council and clan mothers to lease "rez" water rights to a large food conglomerate that wants to sell Pure Native bottled water. The only problem is that his close friends and family aren't on board, and his old love, Connie, is fiercely opposed. Will the community vote to change their recipe for traditional life with a proposal to bring hundreds of jobs to the rez if it risks dramatically changing their daily lives? Or will they hang on to tradition? 
Date: 5/1/20
Time: 10:30 AM
Length of Program: 120 minutes
Content: Social Studies/ History/ Geography, Civics/Government, Arts, Diversity
Grades: 3rd - 6th
Learning Standards: Arts Education Learning Standards: [Theatre] Strand 3: Respond; Analyze, critique, and respond to theatre and dramatic media. Strand 4: Interconnect; Apply theatrical concepts to construct meaning and understanding in other subject areas. [Visual Arts] Strand 1. Perceive and understand the components of visual language: the elements of art and the principles of design. (Artistic Perception) Strand 3. Investigate and understand historical and cultural dimensions of the visual arts and to construct meaning in the diverse ways in which human experience is expressed across time and place. (Historical and Cultural Context)
Capacity: 120

 for "Pure Native"

Hear Me Say My Name
Presented by: National Museum of the American Indian

"I am not your mascot, and I don't live in a tipi. See me for who I am, hear me say my name." How do American Indian stereotypes, prejudice, and identity shape the discussion of what it means to be a young person in our country today? This original multimedia play, created in collaboration with Smithsonian Associates Discovery Theater, tackles America's assumptions about American Indians and starts a conversation with audiences reclaiming rich history, challenges, hopes, and dreams. After the play, students are invited to explore the exhibition galleries with self-guided materials to learn more.
Date: 2/13/20, 2/14,20 2/27/20, 2/28/20, 5/21/20, 5/22/20, 5/29/20
Time: 10:30 AM and 11:30 AM 
Length of Program: 70 minutes
Content: Social Studies/ History/ Geography, Arts, Diversity
Grades: 3rd - 6th
Learning Standards: "Arts Education Learning Standards: Theatre
Strand 3: Respond; Analyze, critique, and respond to theatre and dramatic media. Strand 4: Interconnect; Apply theatrical concepts to construct meaning and understanding in other subject areas.
Capacity: 120

 for "Hear Me Say My Name"

Contemporary Dance Performance: The Mush Hole 
Presented by: National Museum of the American Indian

Choreographer Santee Smith (Mohawk) presents a contemporary dance piece that focuses on stories shared by students who attended an Indian boarding school nicknamed "The Mush Hole." This performance explores the lives of children who were forced to attend the Mohawk Institute residential school in Ontario through song, dance, and theater. It is about survival, resilience, and reconciliation. This performance contains mature subject matter. It portrays the experiences of two generations of Survivors, demonstrating the intergenerational effects of Residential Schools. Students were dehumanized and experienced physical and sexual abuse, confinement, and hunger. As adults, this impacted their ability to parent.
Date: 03/13/2020 
Time: 10:30 AM 
Length of Program: 70 minutes
Content: Social Studies/ History/ Geography, Arts, Diversity, Culture
Grades: 9th-12th
Location: National Museum of the American Indian, 4th Street and Independence Ave SW, Washington DC, 20013
Learning Standards: Arts Education Learning Standards: [Visual Arts] Strand 1. Perceive and understand the components of visual language: the elements of art and the principles of design. (Artistic Perception) Strand 3. Investigate and understand historical and cultural dimensions of the visual arts and to construct meaning in the diverse ways in which human experience is expressed across time and place. (Historical and Cultural Context) [Theatre] Strand 3: Respond; Analyze, critique, and respond to theatre and dramatic media. Strand 4: Interconnect; Apply theatrical concepts to construct meaning and understanding in other subject areas.
Capcity: 120

 for The Mush Hole

Through Her Eyes: Celebrating Indigenous women of the Andes 
Presented by: National Museum of the American Indian

In celebration of Women’s History Month, this program will amplify the stories, experiences, and perspectives of indigenous women in the Andes. Cultural and content experts will lead a series of vibrant performances, demonstrations, and activities that will give students a window in the rich traditions and contemporary realities of these indigenous communities. The program will be available from 10:00am to 1:00pm. The experience is self-paced with mostly ongoing activities and a small selection of timed events. 
Date: 03/19/2020 
Time: 10:00 AM 
Duration: up to 3 hours
Content: Social Studies/ History/ Geography, World Languages/Global Studies, Science, Technology, Arts, Diversity
Grades: 4th-12th
Location: National Museum of the American Indian, 4th Street and Independence Ave SW, Washington DC, 20013
Learning Standards: [Social Studies] 4.1 Students describe the different peoples, with different languages and ways of life, that eventually spread out over the North and South American continents and the Caribbean Basin. 6.3 Identify the cultural contributions of various ethnic groups in selected world regions and countries. 9.6 Locate and explain the locations, landforms, and climates of Mexico, Central America, and South America and their effects on Mayan, Aztec, and Incan economies, trade, and development of urban societies. [Visual Arts] Strand 1. Perceive and understand the components of visual language: the elements of art and the principles of design. (Artistic Perception) Strand 3. Investigate and understand historical and cultural dimensions of the visual arts and to construct meaning in the diverse ways in which human experience is expressed across time and place. (Historical and Cultural Context)
Capcity: 125

 for Through Her Eyes


Fall Lottery 

The Lakota Music Project
Presented by: National Museum of the American Indian

The Lakota Music Project is the flagship project of the South Dakota Symphony Orchestra’s community engagement work with the Lakota community of Pine Ridge Reservation. Using music from both Native and non-Native cultures, the project creates an environment of openness that treats the music of both cultures with dignity and respect. Performers include Lakota artists Emmanuel Black Bear and Chris Eagle Hawk and Dakota cedar flute artist Bryan Akpa. After the performance, students will visit the Lakota exhibition in Our Universes gallery to learn more about the traditions of the Pine Ridge Sioux Tribe in South Dakota.
Dates: 10/21/19
Time: 10:30 AM
Length of Program: 70 minutesLakota Music Project featuring Bryan Akipa on flute performing Pentatonic Fantasy.
Content: Social Studies/ History/ Geography, Arts, Diversity
Grades: 7th-12th
Learning Standards: Arts Education Learning Standards: General Music Standards, Strand 1: Listen to, analyze, and evaluate music
Strand 5: Connect music to other art formats and subject areas through understanding the historical and cultural context of music.
Capacity: 120
Supplementary Materials: Pre-Visit Guide

Lakota Music Project featuring Bryan Akipa on flute performing Pentatonic Fantasy.
Source and Credit: South Dakota Symphony Orchestra

Hear Me Say My Name
Presented by: National Museum of the American Indian

This interactive museum theater play will frame and further the conversation of what it means to be a young Native person in America today. It focuses on the themes of identity and stereotypes. This piece was commissioned by the National Museum of the American Indian and created by Discovery Theater, the Smithsonian's educational theatre and performance company. Playwright, director, and artist Ty Defoe (Giizhiig Ojibwe and Oneida Nations) served as collaborator on the project. After the play, we invite students to explore the exhibition galleries with self-guided materials to learn more about the history and use of Indian imagery that has informed present-day stereotypes of Native people in the United States.
Date: 11/7/19
Time: 10:30 AM
Length of Program: 70 minutes
Content: Social Studies/ History/ Geography, Arts, Diversity
Grades: 6th-12th
Learning Standards: "Arts Education Learning Standards: Theatre
Strand 3: Respond; Analyze, critique, and respond to theatre and dramatic media. Strand 4: Interconnect; Apply theatrical concepts to construct meaning and understanding in other subject areas.
Capacity: 120
Supplementary Materials: Pre-Visit Guide, Impact of Words Teacher Resource

 

This original multimedia play tackles America’s assumptions about American Indians. 
Source and Credit: Smithsonian Associates

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The DC Collaborative is proud to receive a grant for its Collective Impact work supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.