Honoring Dinner
This year we are celebrating traditional arts and culture. Tomaquag Museum is honoring Governor Lincoln Chafee for his support of Tomaquag Museum’s education programs, his support of tourism and for proclaiming October Arts & Humanities Month. “Governor Lincoln Chafee has continued to support Tomaquag Museum’s efforts to educate the public on American Indian culture, history and the arts. He visited Tomaquag Museum last October with representatives from Rhode Island and South County Tourism Councils,” stated museum Executive Director, Lorén Spears.

Tomaquag Museum is honoring Dawn Spears for her trailblazing work as the first Native Arts Program Manager at the New England Foundation for the Arts. She is multidimensional Narragansett/Choctaw artist. Under her guidance Tomaquag Museum has developed various projects such as Online Gallery, Eastern Woodland Native Arts Virtual Museum, and others that empower Native arts and artists at Tomaquag Museum. “ Through the virtual museum we are able to expose Rhode Islanders and visitors from around the world to Eastern Woodland Native Arts from Tribes such as Narragansett, Wampanoag, Nipmuc, Niantic, and others from this Southern New England Region,” said Spears.

Tomaquag is also honoring Elena Calderón Patino, Community Arts Program Director at Rhode Island State Council on the Arts. Under her leadership and in partnership with Tomaquag Museum she established the first biannual “Eastern Woodland Native Art Show” at the Atrium Gallery in Providence. “Elena has worked tirelessly to reach out to diverse communities of artists. For the Native Art Show, she had Deborah Moorehead, a Wampanoag artist curate the show and partnered with Tomaquag Museum to ensure the authenticity and diversity of the show focusing on tribal communities of Southern New England,” added Spears.

In keeping with traditional ways, Tomaquag Museum is honoring Narragansett tribal elder, Alberta Wilcox," Laughing Water" who is a traditional knowledge keeper. She is an extremely talented traditional artist. Her art forms include fingerweaving, twining, beadwork, leatherwork, drumming, dance, and much more. “Mrs. Wilcox shares her knowledge of traditional arts, culture, history, and cultural wisdom within the Narragansett community and at Tomaquag Museum,” said Spears. She was recently filmed by the University of Rhode Island's nursing program regarding her career in nursing and how she utilized her traditional medicinal knowledge in healing.

The honoring dinner was held at the Quidnessett County Club, and included musical performances, storytelling, a silent auction and a four course meal. For more information call 401-491-9063 or Lorenspears@tomaquagmuseum


Rhode Island State Council on the Arts (RISCA) | www.arts.ri.gov/
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