CMN hosting night of poetry, painting, music

Native artists showcasing work, talent at cultural center

Painting, poetry, and music are coming to College of Menominee Nation Cultural Learning Center in Keshena.

“Who We Are, What is Ours: A Celebration of the Art, Music, and Poetry of Native People” will be held Nov. 10 from 5-8 p.m.

Denise Sweet is faculty emerita, having taught humanistic studies, creative writing, and First Nations studies for the University of Wisconsin. She has performed in theater and film productions (both a full-length feature and various documentaries) and has given over 100 readings in North and Central America, Canada, and Europe.

Her books of poetry include “Know By Heart,” “Songs For Discharming,” “Days Of Obsidian,” “Days Of Grace” and “Nitaawichige.” In 1998, Songs For Discharging won both the Wisconsin Posner Award for Poetry and the Diane Decorah Award, given by the North American Indigenous Writers Circle of the Americas.

Her poem, “Veteran’s Dance: After Oklahoma City” took second place in Santa Fe Indian Market’s first annual Poetry Competition. In 2006, the International Crane Foundation commissioned Sweet to author a poem for the organization, eventually titled, “All The Animals Came Singing.” Additionally, her poem, “Constellations” is part of a permanent etched installation at the Midwest Express Center in Milwaukee.

In 1998, Sweet was one of five North American tribal writers sponsored by the U.S. Embassy to attend the first World Congress on Indigenous Literature of the Americas held in Guatemala City, GUATE. In 2004, Gov. James Doyle appointed Sweet as Wisconsin Poet Laureate.

Mildred “Tinker” Schuman (Migizkwe-Eagle Woman) is a member of the Ojibwe Nation, Lac Du Flambeau. She graduated from the Institute of American Indian Arts with a creative writing degree.

About her work, Schuman says, “Expression of life through my art, whether poetry, painting, drawing, beadwork, writing short stories, dancing, singing, these phrases of my experiences, my life beliefs, my spiritual life that is native tradition.”

Schuman was co-author of the book “The Healing Blanket.” She was featured in Mary Burns’ Ancestral Women Weaving Exhibit of the Native Women.

Schuman also received the Wisconsin Indian Education Association Indian Elder of the Year 2017 Award. She recited her poetry in October at the National Congress of Americans Conference in Milwaukee.

Gary Dodge, who goes by the stage name Gary D, is Menominee and is currently attending UW-Oshkosh pursuing his bachelor’s degree in radio, television, and film. He will graduate in spring 2018. Dodge received his certificate as a radio marketing professional.

Dodge recently released his latest CD, “Independent Dreams.”

Dodge has performed for five years at the Steel Bridge Songfest in Sturgeon Bay. He has performed with international musician Wade Fernandez and three-time Grammy Award Winner Bill Miller.

Dodge has put together his Native Hip Hop Toys for Tots fundraiser show for the past seven years. He plans to continue his hip hop career after graduation.

Among the other guests are master of ceremonies Richie Plass, artist Anthony Gauthier, photographer Vaughn Panek and artist and show facilitator Colleen Dodge.