LIVE from NYPL: The Land We’re On: Living Lenapehoking
Contributors to A Lenapehoking Anthology explore the personal journeys of people seeking welcome in their ancestral homeland while pushing back against their erasure.
Before New York City, there was Lenapehoking, the ancestral land of the Lenape people. Forcibly displaced by European settlers, their land was stolen to create settler states. Now, in an act of reclamation, A Lenapehoking Anthology, recently published by the Lenape Center and the Brooklyn Public Library, contends with subjects ranging from the myth of the purchase of Manhattan to the self-curation of indigenous art and culture.
Lenape Center co-founders and co-directors Joe Baker, Curtis Zunigha, and Hadrien Coumans will join Cora Fisher, Curator of Visual Art Programming at Brooklyn Public Library, in conversation.
Printed by Ugly Duckling Presse, the Anthology will be available to attendees to take home.
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ABOUT THE SPEAKERS
Joe Baker is an artist, educator, curator and activist who has been working in the field of Native Arts for the past thirty years. He is an enrolled member of the Delaware Tribe of Indians of Oklahoma and co-founder executive director of Lenape Center in Manhattan. Baker is an adjunct professor at Columbia University’s School of Social Work in New York and was recently Visiting Professor of Museum Studies at Colorado College, Colorado Springs, Colorado. He serves as a board member for The Endangered Language Fund, Yale University and on the Advisory Committee for the National Public Art Consortium, New York and cultural advisor for the new CBS Series, Ghosts.
Baker has guided in his capacity as executive director for Lenape Center partnerships with the Metropolitan Museum of Art (his work is currently on exhibit there), Brooklyn Museum of Art, American Ballet Theater, Moulin Rouge on Broadway, The Whitney Museum of Art, and others. In partnership with Farm Hub in the Hudson River Valley, Baker and Lenape Center are championing the return of ancestral seeds in the homeland through a seed rematriation project. This seed saving project, now in its second year, has done much to contribute to the cultural foodways of the Lenape diaspora. In partnership with the Brooklyn Public Library, Baker is the curator of the first ever Lenape exhibition of cultural arts in the City of New York, opening January 2021. Baker graduated from the University of Tulsa with a BFA degree in Design and an MFA in painting and drawing, and completed postgraduate study, Harvard University, Graduate School of Education, MDP Program.
Hadrien Coumans is co-founder and co-director of Lenape Center, and an adopted member of the WhiteTurkey-Fugate family.
Cora Fisher is a contemporary art curator and arts writer. As Curator of Visual Art Programming at the Brooklyn Public Library she produces exhibitions, programs, and special projects. Together with the Lenape Center, she helped organize Lenapehoking, the first Lenape-curated exhibition in the City of New York. Her writing has appeared in Artforum, Bomblog, The Brooklyn Rail, Hyperallergic, Objektiv Magazine, and MOMUS, among other publications. Recent contributions include the introduction to Saved: Objects of the Dead (2023, Artsuite). She holds a BFA from The Cooper Union School of Art and an MA from the Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College.
Curtis Zunigha is an enrolled member of the Delaware Tribe of Indians in Oklahoma. (www.delawaretribe.org) He has forty years of experience in tribal government & administration, community development, telecommunications, and cultural preservation. He is a specialist in Delaware/Lenape culture, language, and traditional practices. Curtis Zunigha is a citizen of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma and a veteran of the U.S. Air Force.
Mr. Zunigha is Co-Founder and Co-Director of Lenape Center based in Manhattan, NY and led by Lenape elders. Lenape Center has the mission of continuing Lenapehoking, the original homeland in New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania, through community, culture, and the arts. Since 2009, Lenape Center has created programs, exhibitions, workshops, performances, symposia, land acknowledgment, and ceremonies to continue the Lenape presence. Lenape Center is working towards the creation of a physical culture center. (www.thelenapecenter.com)
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This program is made possible by the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF).