Safe Harbors Indigenous Collective

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Safe Harbors Indigenous Collective, headed by Murielle Borst-Tarrant, is dedicated to the promotion of indigenous art and culture, while creating accessibility to the arts for high need and underserved communities. In residence at La MaMa Experimental Theatre Club, Safe Harbors creates a new paradigm in the presentation of Indigenous arts and culture within the broader American theatre by combating stereotypes and supporting vibrant Native communities. The Collective strives to develop ongoing dialogue with policymakers about how cultural and socioeconomic issues can be approached through theatrical performances, panel discussions, and cultural events.  The Collective seeks to build an understanding of Indigenous methodologies and cosmologies that in turn will support the development of legal constructs for arts building and production. The Collective functions on a grassroots level within local Indigenous arts communities, as well as nationally and internationally through arts presentation and education.

Safe Harbors’ activities are designed to raise awareness of urban Indigenous arts, facilitate discussion of cultural identity, perceptions, and experiences of Indigenous peoples, and provide opportunities for under-represented artists. In addition to theatrical productions, activities include:
  • The Urban Indigenous Arts & Culture Symposium – highlighting Native performance and bringing together Indigenous artists and scholars to discuss Native arts and culture and address issues of Native representation in American pop culture.
  • Workshops – engaging young Native American/Indigenous artists with urban artists in a cultural exchange that promotes Native American/Indigenous art forms and provides art-making opportunities and creative outlets.

Past Safe Harbors Activities

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The overarching goals of Safe Harbors are:

  • Providing a platform for Indigenous arts and culture
  • Promoting Indigenous artists to audiences in New York, other parts of the nation, and in other countries
  • Facilitating a vibrant discussion about Native representations in the media and pop culture
  • Establishing the annual UIAC Symposium as a forum for Native and Indigenous  performance and the discussion of topics relevant to Indigenous peoples
  • Empower Indigenous youth through educational and fun workshops

Safe Harbors also regularly collaborates with several partners across the country including:
CultureHub (telepresence partner); Pua Ali’i ‘Ilima (Hawaiian hula school); Kinding Sindaw; International Sonoran Desert Alliance, AZ; The Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues to the United Nations; AILA; Red Cloud Indian School, SD; Alaska Native Heritage Center; Longhouse Education and Cultural Center, WA; Institute of American Indian Art, NM; Haskell Indian School, NE and the Shinnecock Nation Culture Center and Museum, NY.