Arts Briefs

Erdrich speaks today

Nationally known writer Louise Erdrich starts the annual Kachemak Bay College Visiting Writers Series with a talk and reading at 6:30 p.m. today at the college. The author of 13 novels as well as poetry, short stories, children’s books and a memoir, her novel “Love Medicine” won the National Book Critics Circle Award. “The Last Report on the Miracles At Little No Horse” was a finalist for the National Book Award. Her novel “The Round House” won the National Book Award for Fiction. Most recently, “The Plague Of Doves” was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. Her most recent novel, “LaRose,” was released in 2016.

Louise Erdrich is the oldest of seven children, and was raised in Wahpeton, N.D., where her Ojibwa-French mother and German-American father taught at a Bureau of Indian Affairs School. She did not leave the Red River Valley region until 1972, when she entered Dartmouth College in Hanover, N.H. She now lives in Minnesota and is the owner of Birchbark Books, an independent bookstore.

ALAXSXA comes to Homer

A national touring company visits Homer starting Sept. 13 for the production of ALAXSXA | ALASKA, a multi-media production using puppetry, video installations, recorded interviews and yuraq or Yup’ik drum and dance. The visit includes a free outreach performance at Fireweed Academy on Sept. 15. Performances also are at 7 p.m. Sept. 15-16 and 3 p.m. Sept. 17 at Bunnell Street Arts Center. ALAXSXA is the Unangax word for the Alaska Peninsula, pronounced uh-LUK-shuh. ALAXSXA | ALASKA presents a collage of striking contemporary and historical encounters between indigenous Alaska Native communities and newcomers to the Great Land. The title of the piece serves as a metaphor for the personal and cultural clashes at its heart. Performers Ryan Conarro and Gary Upay’aq Beaver (Central Yup’ik), along with puppeteer Justin Perkins, use movement, stories, and puppetry to reveal a series of little-known historical narratives of collisions between people and cultures in Alaska. These histories juxtapose against Beaver and Conarro’s own memories. Through storytelling and yuraq, they recount their shared memories and unfold their personal perspectives as “insider” (represented by Beaver as a 21st-center indigenous artist and culture-bearer) and “outsider” (Conarro, confronting the ramifications of his choice to move to Alaska and his presence as non-Native artist, journalist and educator). ALAXSXA | ALASKA LAO will be presented Off-Broadway in October 2017 at La MaMa ETC in New York, and will tour in Alaska and nationally with support from NEFA’s National Theater Project, the Jim Henson Foundation, the Ferguson Foundation, and the NEA.

Art sought for second-annual Dia de los Muertos show

The Homer Council on the Arts seeks submissions for its second annual Dia de Los Muertos show, to be held in October. Submit art on the theme of Day-of-the-Dead. Submission forms are due due Monday, Sept. 18, at HCOA. Drop artwork off at the HCOA gallery by 5 p.m. Monday, Sept. 25. The First Friday exhibit opening is 5-7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 6. For more information and submission forms, visit homerart.org.

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