Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Twelfth Annual Juried Exhibit at the Edge Center Gallery in Bigfork

This will be the twelfth time the Edge Center Art Gallery in Bigfork, will invite artists to submit their work for judging by a juror. Butch Holden is the juror for this show. The juror is responsible for selecting the participating artists and judging which of the works will receive awards. The unknown in juried art shows is what the juror believes makes award winning art verses exceptional art. Some of the exhibitors in this year’s juried show are new for this gallery event or any juried art exhibit. For the visitor, a juried show presents a wider variety talents and media, than an exhibition by a single artist. There will be twelve artists’ work on display in this Twelfth Annual Juried Exhibit which is on display from June 30th to July 30th.  The opening day reception is on July 1st from 5 to 7PM. There is also a special “People’s Choice Award” selected by viewers. That award will be part of the reception and can be voted on June 30th and up until 6PM July 1st. There is no charge for the gallery and reception. Edge Center Gallery is next to the Bigfork School and is open from 10:00 to 4:00 on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays.

As juror this year, Butch Holden is responsible for choosing the recipients of the Awards this year. Mr. Holden received his BA degree in art from the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN and his M.F.A. degree in ceramics from Indiana University, Bloomington IN.  He has taught drawing and ceramics at Mount Senario College in Ladysmith, WI and has recently retired as a Professor at Bemidji State University, Bemidji, MN, where he taught since 1983.  He has exhibited in local, regional and national competitions, and also has had many solo exhibitions.  In addition to having juried many shows, he has served on numerous art grant panels.

Those artists exhibiting are painters Nikki Besser, Harold Dzuik, Sara Fredrickson, Ralph Hanggi, Jr., Pegg O’Laughlin Julson, Tanya MacRostie, Gene Madsen, Chholing Taha and Christine Tierney. John McCoy’s prints and Joy Anderson’s drawings were also chosen for the show.  Among the accepted artists are photographers Audrey Johnson, Tim Lamey, and David Swanson. Denise Martin’s felted figure, Susan Gilbert’s aluminum sculptures, James Lutgen’s carved bird, and Cathryn Peters’ basket are the three-dimensional works that are part of the exhibit.

A special thanks to the sponsors of the awards.  This year they are: Best of Show Award by Kocian’s Family Market and two Awards of Excellence sponsored by Arvig Communications and First State Bank of Bigfork.  For the audience, the People’s Choice Award, sponsored by Bigfork Valley Hospital, is always a special. It gives visitors a chance to see how their opinions compare to the juror.

The Gallery invites you to come and see this Twelfth Juried show during the exhibit's opening day reception and pick your favorite while enjoying a snack and seeing a variety of exceptional art, or during its normal open hours from 10:00 to 4:00 on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays from from June 30th to July 30th. There is no charge to visit the gallery or attend the opening reception. For more information go to  The Edge Center gallery is located next to the Bigfork School.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Fiber Happenings at the Edge Center Gallery

During June the Edge Center Art Gallery will host an exhibit featuring “Fiber Art” that ties together past traditions and current ideas.  The term "Fiber Art" refers tofine art whose material consists of natural or synthetic fiber and other components, such as fabric or yarn. It focuses on the materials and on the manual labor on the part of the artist as part of the works' significance, and prioritizes aesthetic value over utility”. Fabrics were made by hand using knitting needles, crochet hooks or simple looms for centuries, and then, during the industrial age, those processes were taken over, in large part, by factory production.  Workers still continued to create “needle work” to make clothing or to decorate their homes, keeping alive the traditions. The term “Fiber Art” came about after WWII to describe works in the art world, using traditional fibers to make not only clothing, but to make artistic statements. Ref: 

Artistic expressions in fiber from a number of different artists will be on display in Fiber Happenings, an exhibit in the Edge Center Gallery Bigfork MN (above). The fiber work of 8 artists may be seen from June 2 until June 25.  The Opening Reception is Friday, June 3 from 5:00 to 7:00.

As you might expect the art shown at the Bigfork Gallery is but a slice of the “Fiber Art” world. And other examples include everything one might expect from such a large potential resource. Note the Yarn Bombing in Montreal in 2009 above or sculpture below.  They will not be at the Edge Exhibit, but you can learn more about “Fiber Art” at  

Many traditions inspire the Edge exhibit artists.  Oklahoma artist Michele Lasker (below) credits her travel experiences as sources of visual information.  Especially useful to her are “walking The Great Wall, studying the hand-chiseled designs on the doors of La Sagrada Familia, or climbing The Acropolis to see the statuesque columns of the Parthenon.  My travels throughout the world have shown me the synchronicity between different countries and cultures with similar approaches to fiber, miles apart and separated by centuries. I am most intrigued by that historical and contemporary context.”  In her own work, freeform knitting and crochet are enhanced with batik, hand embroidery, and beading.

Keila McCracken’s work comes from a specific tradition.  In order to achieve the type of weaving she preferred to do, Keila brought a 2000 lb. Industrial Age loom from Scotland to Bemidji, where she create traditional fabric.  Keila is a member of the Northern Minnesota Fibershed which is a group of farmers and fiber artists in the Northern Minnesota region that use local fiber, local dyes, and local labor to meet local fiber needs.

Mary Therese, from Fern Lake near Bemidji, paints and dyes fabrics (above and blow).  She uses batik and other dying methods to create reflections of the natural world, abstracting design elements and using rich vibrant colors.  She uses her fabric in wearable art, window treatments and church paraments, flags and banners.  Her work has grown out of her background in painting and printmaking.  

Two of the fabric artists featured in Fiber Happenings draw from their Native American heritages. Ccholing Taha is a Cree First Nation artist who has recently moved to the Twin Cities. Very complex textured shawls are one of her specialties (below).  “Shawls and wearing blankets are important garments even for modern times.  The shawl honors the drum, expresses modesty, given as a acknowledgment of dedication to the People, and much more.”

Maggie Thompson, Minneapolis based fiber artist, is a member of the Fond du Lac Ojibwe tribe as well as a graduate of Rhode Island School of Design.  Thompson knits and weaves with unique designs, rooted in her experiences as a modern Native American woman (below)

Edna Trunt displays her mosaic fabric quilted piece based on a photograph of one of her grandchildren (below). She owns Your Quilting Room in Grand Rapids.

 LeeAnn Geshick’s accomplished weaving (below)

and Bigfork’s Kristen Anderson’s large 2-D felted pieces (below) are also part of Fiber Happenings.

View the wide variety of ways textiles are part of the current art world at Fiber Happenings from June 2 to June 25.

The Opening Reception on Friday, June 3 from 5:00 to 7:00 is a great time to join others in seeing and discussing the work, while enjoying a snack.  And while you are there, consider attending a concert on the Edge Center Stage by “The Divas.”  There is a charge for the concert, but the gallery opening and exhibit is at no charge. The Edge Center is next to the Bigfork School. The Gallery is open from 10:00 to 4:00 on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays.  

Sunday, May 22, 2016

“The Divas” Summer Show in Bigfork at the Edge Close Harmony and Lots of Excitement

This will be the fourth time “The Divas” are on stage at the Edge Center in Bigfork. Their performances are noted for music sung in close harmony with fun and excitement. This time they will be celebrating summer and all the fun that it brings to the North Woods.  They mix nostalgia, and the sounds of more recent music all combined with laughs and joy. With a wide variety of music, instruments, and styles, these ladies aim to please the variety of tastes of everyone in the audience. Their mix will not only include the music and songs but the assortment of instruments they play.  The place is the Edge Center in Bigfork on Friday, June 3rd and the time 7PM.  Price $10 adults. Children $5.

The Stars

Having varied backgrounds, The Divas bring an assortment of many musical tastes, and particularly enjoy playing “their” arrangements of music. Rosie Gams, singing lead, is originally from Embarrass, where she began singing in grade school and sang with several groups before “The Divas”. Sharon Rowbottom, a native of Virginia, started singing at the age of 10 and received a vocal scholarship at Mesabi Community College. She has a varied background from performing with other local bands. Shannon Lee Gunderson is from RawlinsWyo. who sings lead vocal and harmony. Starting with piano lessons starting at age four and going to college on a musical scholarship, she also played with several groups including a show band for eight years. Shannon also toured for the USO in the Mediterranean.

“The Divas” are based in Virginia Minnesota, but range as far as their music talents and time will carry them, which include Northern Minnesota and neighboring states. After more than 15 years together, they know what audiences in the Midwest like and meld those “likes” into a repertoire they call “The Spectrum”. Audiences love their close harmony of 30’s and 40’s style music of the days gone by, and their 50’s and 60’s rock and roll which always provides an audience hit.  By adding some country, western, pop folk, and, don’t forget jazz,, the music really earns the title of being a spectrum of good sounds.

The Music

Shannon says of their upcoming visit to the Edge, “We are very excited to return to Bigfork for this fourth performance. We have been very busy with lots of fun gigs in and out of Minnesota, and, of course, getting ready for this upcoming performance. The first half of the program is a combination of three decades of music. We will keep you on the edge of your seat as to which decades they are from, and which is the best!  We will be having lots of banter and fun with all the harmony filled tunes.” The second half of the program will be dedicated to our veterans from all branches of military service throughout the years music,  but the music…will definitely be the 40’s.  CIRCLING THROUGHOUT THE 40’s to the 60”s”.


With the second set honoring service men and women of all services and all ages, the Divas picked music is from WWII. This will pull lots of memories up and give you a lasting impression. Here is a sample of the second half music: GOODY GOODY, BOOGIE WOOGIE BUGLE BOY, MR. SANDMAN, STRIP POLKA, and an all time favorite LET THERE BE PEACE ON EARTH.

Add to Your calendar

So, for a another good time with “The Divas” special musical talents and a great time to bring in the summer, come and see them at the Edge Center in Bigfork on June 3rd at 7PM. This show is for the whole family with adult tickets $10 and students $5. See you then and bring your dancing shoes for a swing around the orchestra pit in front of the stage.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Color, Color, and More Color in the 2016 Student Art Exhibit

This year's group of young artists from the Bigfork School in Minnesota will display their talents at the Edge Center Art Gallery from May 5th through the 21st. The art is both creative and colorful. As with each yearly exhibit, this group of new artists will give you a chance to see creations often best made with a young person's early encounters with the creative process. These artists manage to come through with a surprising outlook at the basics of color, texture, and shape, mixed with light and darkness. They are stretching their creativity in ways that may surprise you.  The art show is open through May 24th with a reception in the gallery on May 11th at 4:30PM to 5:30PM. Normal gallery hours are Thursdays, Friday and Saturdays 10AM to 4PM.

As in the past, the art is from Roberta Steinhart’s art classes. This traditional first of the season's exhibits in the gallery will not disappoint you and will show you a wide range of color and uses. Student artwork often reflects aspects of the artist's lives as emerging adults.  The following examples will give you a little taste of the color and creativity.  If you wish, contact the school for more details.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Piatigorsky Violin and Piano Artists with Captivating Presence

Once again we get to enjoy the pleasure of having two Piatigorsky artists on stage at the Edge center, but this time with extras. Not only do we get the pleasure of violinist Qing Li and accompanying pianist Paolo André Gualdi, we also have Mozart music on the program, which provides an excellent introduction to classical music. Debussy and Franck compositions also are added from different periods in music development which provide a nice contrast to the Mozart’s work.  There will be two performances on Monday, April, 25, a private performance for the elders of the Bigfork Valley Assisted Living and Long Term Care communities, and a second, open to the public, at 7PM at the Edge center for the Arts in Bigfork. Prices for the public performance are $10 adults,children are free. If someone wants an introduction to classical music in general, and its chamber music component, this concert is perfect for them.

Astonishing in her musical versatility, violinist Qing Li (above) brings great warmth, poise, and insight to her music. Born in Beijing China, Ms. Li began violin studies at age 4 with her father Zhen-Kun Li.  At age 12, Qing Li was accepted to the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing. There she was discovered at a master class by Berl Senofsky, the first American to win the prestigious Queen Elizabeth International Violin Competition.  Mr. Senofsky brought her to Baltimore’s Peabody Conservatory where she was granted a full scholarship and won the Marbury violin competition.  Ms. Li career’s has been incredible after graduating from Peabody and studying with the legendary Joseph Gingold.  In 1993 Ms. Li auditioned for the Baltimore Symphony, winning a position playing a $100 Chinese violin.  Ms. Li currently now performs on a Neopolitain instrument made by Nicolo Galliano in 1736.

In addition to being a Piatigorsky Foundation touring artist, Qing Li is currently the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra’s Principal Second Violin, and is soloist. Her broadcast appearances include a biography on Voice Of America, interviews on Baltimore’s WBJC and WYPR radio and television stations in Germany and China.

Ms. Li also serves as  Assistant Concert Master and facility member at the Eastern Music Festival.  She has taught at the University of Delaware, the Festival Internacional de Inverno Compos do Jordão Winter Festival in Brazil, and the Central Conservatory of Music, in Beijing.  Ms. Li has always felt that teaching is her way of repaying the kindness shown to her by her mentors.

Notable reviews for Qing Li include the Baltimore Sun, “It was impossible not to be swept along by all the passion,” The German Hohenlohe News, “excelled with ethereal play” and the Richmond Times, “her style was impeccable.”

Italian pianist Paolo André Gualdi (above) began studying piano with his father at the age of five, and eventually at the Conservatory of Santa Cecilia in Rome, Italy, with Carmela Pistillo. He earned his Piano Diploma with highest honors at the Conservatory Arrigo Boito in Parma. has played recitals in Italy, France, Brazil and the United States for numerous music organizations. He has also appeared with many orchestras including the Georgia Philharmonic, Wilmington Symphony, Atlanta Philharmonic, Florence Symphony, DeKalb Symphony, and the Universidade de Caxias do Sul Symphony Orchestra.  He has recorded for Mark Records and IFO Classics, and his performances have been broadcast by NPR and Radio Vaticana.

While in the U.S., he earned a Master Degree at Carnegie Mellon University, and a Doctorate of Musical Arts at the University of Georgia.  Gualdi worked extensively with Carlo Maria Dominici, Roberto Cappello, Enrique Graf, and Evgeny Rivkin and took part in master classes with Earl Wild, Sergio Perticaroli and Menahem Pressler, among others.

He has won the top prize in numerous piano competitions, including the European Competition of, the Altruda National Competition of Vasto and the Françoise Grimaldi National Competition of San Polo.  Winning the “De Martino Award” at the Ibla International Piano Competition enabled him to study at Elon University with Victoria Fischer.  During this period, he won the First Prize in the 15th Bartók-Kabalevsky International Competition.

Gualdi regularly gives master classes and lectures nationally and internationally at universities, conservatories and other music institutes, including New Mexico State University and College of Charleston (U.S.A.); the federal universities of Porto Santa Maria and Pelotas (Brazil); Cittadella della Musica (Italy), and others.  He has served on the faculties of Elon University, Emmanuel College and Oxford College of Emory University.  He is the founder and artistic director of the South Carolina Chamber Music Festival, and is currently Associate Professor of Music at Francis Marion University.  

The non-profit Piatigorsky Foundation's mission is to make live classical music part of the fabric of everyday life for communities throughout the United States with concert tours bringing top-quality musicians to audiences who often would not have the opportunity to hear them. The Foundation was established in 1990 by cellist Evan Drachman; grandson of the great Russian cellist Gregor Piatigorsky (1903-1976), The Foundation carries on his legacy in the belief that, as Piatigorsky said, "Music makes life better. Music is neither a luxury nor a frill. It is a necessity! It is rich. It is imaginative. And it is for everyone."

The Music

The music presented are Sonatas which are “…compositions for one or two instruments in three or four movements in contrasted forms and keys.” For the audience member who is new to classical music, this sonata format will make the concert an easy introduction to classical music in a way for the audience to understand and appreciate the music heard. Ref:

Composer: Mozart
There will be a Sonata from Mozart’s (above and below) work. It is hard to find someone that does not like, if not love, Mozart music. It is just easy listening. He started playing and composing at an age before some of us talked well....he was a "rock star" of his era and the love of his music lives on and on. 
Sonata titles, like the ones for this concert, are a way of cataloging classical music. Mozart composed this music in spurts starting when he was not yet a teenager and the more formal description just goes on from there for years of his life.  “…the six Mannheim sonatas of 1778, the six sonatas of 1781, and finally the four glorious late works put to paper during the mid- and late 1780s. The Sonata for violin and piano No. 26 in B flat major, K. 317d (formerly K. 378), comes from the 1781 set…”. If you want to read more go to: 

Music Title: Violin Sonata in B-Flat major, K.378
Allegro moderato
Andantino sostenuto e cantabile

Composer: Claude Debussy 
The second composer in the program is a Frenchman Claude Debussy (above) who “….offered a musical alternative to Romanticism. Because he reinterpreted or discarded many of the laws of traditional harmony and form, he is considered one of the fathers of modern music. - See more at:

 Music Title: Violin Sonata in G minor, L 140
  Allegro vivo
  Intermède: Fantasque et léger
  Finale: Tres anime
This sonata for violin and piano was “…the composers last major composition in what had originally been conceived as a cycle of six…the premiere took place on 5 May 1917…with Debussy himself at the piano. It was his last public performance. Reference:

Composer:  Cesar Franck

The third composer in the program is Cesar Franck (above) who was born in Liege which is now part of Belgium. “He gave his first concerts there in 1834 and studied privately in Paris from 1835, where his teachers included Anton Reicha. After a brief return to Belgium, and a disastrous reception to an early oratorio…he moved to Paris, where he married and embarked on a career as teacher and organist. He gained a reputation as a formidable improviser, and traveled widely in France to demonstrate new instruments built by Aristide Cavaille-Coll.”
“In 1858 he became organist at Sainte-Clotilde, a position he retained for the rest of his life. He became professor at the Paris Conservatoire in 1872; he took French nationality, a requirement of the appointment.” Reference:  


Music Title: Sonata for Violin and Piano in A major

Allegro ben moderato
Allegro Recitativo-Fantasia, Ben Moderato 
Allegro poco mosso 

“The Violin Sonata in A was written in 1886, when Franck was 63, as a wedding present for the 31-year-old violinist Eugine Ysaÿe. Twenty-eight years earlier, in 1858, Franck had promised a violin sonata for Cosima von Bulow. This never saw the light of day, but it has been speculated that whatever work Franck had done on that piece was put aside and eventually ended up in the sonata he wrote for Ysaÿe in 1886.
Franck presented the work to Ysaÿe on the morning of his wedding on 26 September 1886. After a hurried rehearsal, Ysaÿe and the pianist Leontine Bordes-Pene, a wedding guest, played the Sonata to the other wedding guests.” Reference:   

This promises to be a very special event for the Edge Center, and, as said earlier, it will have music that someone new to classical should enjoy along with veteran concertgoers. If you are a regular visitor to the Edge for Piatigorsky events, please mark this one on your calendar.  If you are not a regular, consider this one for your first try.  You certainly will hear a program that will fully utilize the acoustics of the theater, and qualities of the Yamaha grand piano.  It should be very interesting. Date April 25. Time 7PM. Place The Edge Center for the Arts in Bigfork.  Prices $10 for adults, children free..

Thursday, April 14, 2016

TU Dance Returns to Bigfork on the Edge Stage

The Minnesota-based TU Dance Company, led by Toni Pierce-Sands and Uri Sands, will again grace the stage at the Edge Center in Bigfork with a public performance on Saturday, April 23 at 7:00 PM.  Founded in 2004 by Toni Pierce-Sands and Uri Sands in Saint Paul, Minnesota, TU Dance is a leading voice for contemporary dance. The 10-member, professional company is acclaimed for its diverse and versatile artists and work that draws together modern dance, classical ballet, African-based and urban vernacular movements.  The TU Dance repertory features original work by Uri Sands, as well asother renowned choreographers including Gioconda Barbuto, Dwight Rhoden, Ron Brown, Katrin Hall, Gregory Dolbashian and Camille Brown.

TU Dance provides opportunities for everyone to experience the connective power of dance. The public performance is at 7PM on Saturday, April 23. Prices for the public performance are $10 adults and $5 children. 

Founders Toni Pierce Sands and Uri Sands are veterans of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater.  They have won numerous awards and recognition including the Minnesota State Arts Board and McKnight fellowships, the Princess Grace Award, and the Joyce Award. TU Dance has credits including the Sage Cowles Best Performance Awards (2005, 2007 and 2010).  They consistently receive outstanding reviews, and engage new and diverse audiences.  They have performed in auditoriums from the 200-seat Southern Theater to the 1900-seat Ordway Center TU Dance is known for bringing a multi-cultural awareness of modern dance with style and grace to audiences of all ages.

Part of the public Bigfork performance includes three numbers:

Title: Veneers (24 minute, 7 dancers) Premiered in 2006
Choreography: Uri Sands
Music: Arvo Part, Kronos Quartet
Above Photo by V. Paul Virtucio

A 2009 review by Camille LeFevre says in part.  "Veneers" is my favorite dance work by a local choreographer. That it still has the rigor, intelligence, ferocity and nuance to thrill — even after five or so viewings — is a testament to its choreographer, Uri Sands…”


Title: High Heel Blues (5 minutes, 2 dancers) Premiered in 2005
Choreography: Uri Sands
Music: Tuck and Patti
Above Photo by V. Paul Virtucio

A 2008 review by Erin Caryle  of City pages says in part, “…Next, TU Dance pleased the crowd with High Heel Blues, a retro-feel piece danced by Uri Sands and Toni Pierce-Sands, the company's artistic directors. Pierce-Sands acted out the sung longings of a woman lusting after high-heeled shoes, though she knows that they are not good for her feet; Sands was the salesman who helped her along the path to buying them.”


Title: Vibrations, Sightglass San Francisco (28 minutes, 10 dancers)
Premiered in 2015 with production support from The O'Shaughnessy
Choreography: Uri Sands
Music:  Charles Mingus
Above Photo by Michael Slobodian ©

A review by Caroline Palmer in a special to the Star and Tribune says in part…““Vibrations, Sightglass San Francisco” is an ode to city living with sections titled ‘Morning Coffee,’ ‘Power Lunch and ‘Happy Hour.’ But choreographer Uri Sands adds a distinct 21st-century twist to this suite set to sparkling Charles Mingus jazz compositions. His dancers are constantly in motion, their heads bobbing and twitching, their bodies unsettled and yearning for the digital pulse as they search for rhythmic connections.

Of note is a trio for Darwin Black, Randall Riley and Alexis Staley, all buttoned up and ready to conquer the financial district. They stomp to the flamenco-inspired beats, agitated as bulls locked up in a pen. All three are stylish and cool yet itching to seal a deal. But Sands directs the talents of these exquisite dancers away from the obvious power play, directing them into soaring leaps and long-limbed looseness. They have a higher purpose.”

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Experimental Contemporary Dance and Mixed-media Exhibit by Native Choreographer Rosy Simas

Rosy Simas Danse presents “We Wait In The Darkness”, a story of one Native American family’s struggles through generations of displacement and search for identity, and is a multimedia event that documents the history of a Native American family through the generations that includes traumatic events of Simas’ mother, including the flooding of her ancestral home to make way for the Allegheny reservoir.  Rosy Simas Danse will present, “We Wait In The Darkness” on Saturday, April 9th at 7PM. Admission $10 adults and $5 children. Simas will also conduct residency activities in the area and in neighboring Native American communities associated with her visit.  Ms. Simas’ accompanying historical exhibition will be displayed in The Edge Center Gallery April 8 through April 30.

From the Rosy Simas website (  “Recent scientific study verifies what many Native people have always known, that traumatic events in our ancestors lives are in our bodies, blood and bones. These events leave molecular scars adhering to our DNA. Our grandmother’s tragic childhood can trigger depression or anxiety in us, but we have the ability to heal these DNA encodings and change that trait for future generations.”

"Rosy Simas, wearing an old-fashioned white dress, dances to the sounds of rushing water and whispering voices. Eyes closed, she steps carefully along an invisible path trod by many before her, including her grandmother Clarinda Jackson Waterman. Simas uses her slowly unraveling movement to reach back into time while still performing in the present..." From  

Ms. Simas states: “If time travels in both directions, we can heal the scars of our grandparents’ DNA.”

“We Wait In The Darkness” is an art/dance work created to heal the DNA scars of Simas’ grandmother, her mother, and our ancestors.  It is a journey of displacement and homecoming fueled by the stories of the Seneca women of Simas’ family, particularly her grandmother Clarinda Waterman.”

Within an environment of images and sounds from Seneca lands this new dance work engages past and future, DNA memory, and invisible presences, to create a personal artwork about loss, family, perseverance and home.  This work is created in collaboration with French composer Francois Richomme.

Background of the Seneca People and the KinZua Dam                                  
The Seneca are a group of indigenous Iroquoian-speaking people native to North America who historically lived south of Lake Ontario.  They were the nation located farthest to the west within the Six Nations or Iroquois League in New York before the American Revolution. In the 21st century more than 10,000 Seneca live in the United States in three federally recognized Seneca tribes.  Two are in New York and one in Oklahoma, where their ancestors were relocated from Ohio during Indian Removal. Approximately 1,000 Seneca live in Canada, near Brantford, Ontario, at the Six Nations of the Grand River First Nation. They are descendants of Seneca who resettled there after the American Revolution, as they had been allies of the British and forced to cede much of their lands.

 “The federal government through the Corps of Engineers undertook a major project of a dam for flood control on the Allegheny River.  The proposed project was planned to affect a major portion of Seneca territory in New York.  Begun in 1960, construction of the Kinzua Dam on the Allegheny River forced the relocation of approximately 600 Seneca from 10,000 acres of land which they had occupied under the 1794 Treaty of Canandaigua….The Seneca had protested the plan for the project, filing suit in court and appealing to President John F. Kennedy to halt construction…The Seneca lost their court case, and in 1961, citing the immediate need for flood control, Kennedy denied their request.” Reference: