The Arts Council presents a variety of events throughout the year, at the Coconino Center for the Arts and in other venues around Flagstaff. At the Center, you’ll experience art exhibitions, compelling concerts, and more. Around Flagstaff, we host performances on downtown Flagstaff’s Heritage Square, concerts in the idyllic setting at the Arboretum at Flagstaff, and Navajo Rug Auctions at the Museum of Northern Arizona.

Upcoming Events

Oct
24
Tue
Cultural and Psychological Impact of Uranium @ Coconino Center for the Arts
Oct 24 @ 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm

This special lecture presentation will explore the cultural and psychological impacts of uranium mining and contamination on Navajo people. There are over 500 abandoned uranium mines on the Navajo Nation. Navajo people in some communities have learned that their water has been contaminated for years without their knowledge. As recently as 2015, the school district in Sanders, Arizona, had to shut off the water in their schools. Many Navajos have seen loved ones suffer from illnesses as a result of radiation exposure. This presentation will explore how these kinds of traumatic experiences impact people’s culture and way of life.

Speakers for this presentation are Navajo Nation member and NAU graduate student in Educational Psychology Davonna Blackhorse, and Ann Collier, Ph.D. (pictured), Assistant Professor in Clinical Psychology at NAU.

This event is part of Hope and Trauma in a Poisoned Land, the new exhibition that explores the impact of uranium mining on Navajo lands and people. The art exhibition will feature work by more than two dozen artists, including Navajo and Native artists. It will be open to the public August 15 – October 28, 2017.

Hope and Trauma in a Poisoned Land, photo by Tom Alexander

Through the participating artists, Hope and Trauma shares stories and perspectives from Navajo people of their experiences due to radiation-related impacts to their bodies, their land, their water, their animals, and the natural materials and objects they use in their everyday lives. Art work is based on a series of interactions, shared stories, and educational programs that took place in Cameron, Arizona, and in Flagstaff, in October 2016. Artists attended a four-day intensive education program which immersed them in the landscape where uranium mining and contamination has occurred on the Navajo Nation. They learned from Navajo community members, scientists, health care professionals, mental health professionals, and other experts about the impacts of uranium mining.

This blockbuster exhibition is funded in part through a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.

From 1944 to 1986, nearly 30 million tons of uranium ore were extracted from Navajo lands. At the time, Navajo miners and residents were not informed of the health impacts of working in the mines, or of the impact on their lands. Many Navajo people have died of kidney failure and cancer from conditions linked to uranium contamination. Research from the CDC shows uranium in babies born now.

Virtual reality headset by artist Klee Benally, photo by Tom Alexander

More than one thousand abandoned uranium mines are located on the Navajo reservation in northeastern Arizona, Utah and New Mexico. Hundreds are located within fifty miles of Flagstaff near and in Cameron, Arizona. The federal government recently agreed to commit over $1 billion to clean up 94 abandoned mines on the Navajo Nation. The estimated cost to clean up all abandoned mines is likely too large to calculate.

Hope and Trauma in a Poisoned Land is a partnership between the Cameron Chapter House of the Navajo Nation, the Flagstaff Arts Council, University of New Mexico Community Environmental Health Program, and Northern Arizona University.

Project partners followed the established model for art exhibitions that began with Fires of Change. That exhibition also featured a week-long training for participating artists that covered forest and fire ecology, giving artists education insight into the increase in size and frequency of wildfires in the American southwest, with a focus on Northern Arizona. This process ensures that participating artists are educated and informed about the complex issue of uranium mining before they created artwork for the exhibition.

Hope and Trauma will feature several educational events to be scheduled during the run of the exhibition. Check back on this site in summer 2017 for a detailed schedule of events.

Read the Arizona Republic’s in-depth story on uranium mining >

Funded in part by a grant from:

Hope and Trauma in a Poisoned Land is generously supported by:

MonteVistaLogoWeb      nau

freeman-law-full-logo-color

 

 

Jan
28
Sun
Screen Time Symposium @ Coconino Center for the Arts
Jan 28 @ 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm

Film screening in conjunction with Arrangement for a Silent Orchestra

Film: Screenagers (1hr5min)

Award-winning SCREENAGERS probes into the vulnerable corners of family life, including the director’s own, and depicts messy struggles, over social media, video games, academics and internet addiction. Through surprising insights from authors and brain scientists solutions emerge on how we can empower kids to best navigate the digital world.

The event will take place on Sunday, January 28th, 2018 at 1:00pm (doors are 12pm). Tickets are free but reservations are required.

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Trailer: https://vimeo.com/215750447

 

Noon-1:  Doors open

1-2:05: Film screening: Screenagers

2:05-2:35: Panel Discussion

2:45-3:15: Breakout sessions include:

            Art Project

            Student Performances

            Compassionate Communication

            Panel Q&A

Screen Time Symposium – 2nd Showing @ Coconino Center for the Arts
Jan 28 @ 3:30 pm – 6:00 pm

Film screening in conjunction with Arrangement for a Silent Orchestra

Film: Screenagers (1hr5min)

Award-winning SCREENAGERS probes into the vulnerable corners of family life, including the director’s own, and depicts messy struggles, over social media, video games, academics and internet addiction. Through surprising insights from authors and brain scientists solutions emerge on how we can empower kids to best navigate the digital world.

The event will take place on Sunday, January 28th, 2018 at 1:00pm (doors are 12pm). Tickets are free but reservations are required.

[button link=”https://flagstaffculturalpartners.secure.force.com/ticket” color=”default” size=”” stretch=”” type=”” shape=”” target=”_self” title=”” gradient_colors=”|” gradient_hover_colors=”|” accent_color=”” accent_hover_color=”” bevel_color=”” border_width=”1px” icon=”” icon_divider=”yes” icon_position=”left” modal=”” animation_type=”0″ animation_direction=”down” animation_speed=”0.1″ animation_offset=”” alignment=”left” class=”” id=””]Reserve Tickets[/button]

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Trailer: https://vimeo.com/215750447

 

Noon-1:  Doors open

1-2:05: Film screening: Screenagers

2:05-2:35: Panel Discussion

2:45-3:15: Breakout sessions include:

            Art Project

            Student Performances

            Compassionate Communication

            Panel Q&A

Apr
9
Mon
Artist Talk: Bullets and Fire @ Coconino Center for the Arts
Apr 9 @ 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm

Conversation with Artists Azin Seraj and Ruth Liberman
Moderated by Tara Kohn and Björn Krondorfer

In conjunction with the exhibit Echoes of Loss, please join co-curators Björn Krondorfer, NAU’s Director of the Martin-Springer Institute and Endowed Professor of Religious Studies, and Tara Kohn, the Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in American Art History at Bowdoin College, in conversation with participating artists Azin Seraj and Ruth Liberman.

Ruth Liberman, originally from Frankfurt, Germany, works with appropriated texts to explore the reverberations of suffering contained within language itself. In the select pieces Word Shot and Untitled Book, she frames questions about the desire for revenge that often rises as a dark and overwhelming force in the aftermath of traumatic rupture. She transforms the textures and tones of language by shooting words through with bullets or allowing them to spill and slide together until they become illegible, inky marks.

Born and raised in Iran, Azin Seraj is a Canadian citizen who lives and works in Oakland, California. As a new media artist, she explores echoes of loss as a series of repetitions. Reiterations of light and sound become increasingly layered as they develop in her time-based work. Her video installation featured in the exhibit, Prima Materia, evokes the alchemical processes of transmutation—of transformation and healing—through overlapping images of fire, ice, and strips of fabric marked by Farsi inscriptions that repeat a mantra of darkness and loss.

Both artists engage in conceptual art practices that center on the structure of language and complex collisions of images and ideas. Pain lingers in their dense works even as the narrative content remains elusive—obscured, pierced, punctured, blurred, burned, melted, and shot through.

This event is free and open to the public.

Apr
18
Wed
Chernobyl Voices @ Coconino Center for the Arts
Apr 18 @ 4:00 pm – 4:30 pm

“You can’t see it, can’t smell it, can’t taste it, can’t talk about it

Community Reading Performances of Chernobyl Voices on

  • Wednesday April 18, 4:00-4:30pm
  • Saturday May 5, 1-1:30pm
  • Thursday May 17, 4:00-4:30pm

as part of the exhibition
ECHOES OF LOSS: ARTISTIC RESPONSES TO TRAUMA

Members of the Flagstaff community read aloud fragments of survivor voices from Chernobyl’s nuclear disaster in 1986. The performance takes place in front of Gabriela Bulisova’s photographs Chernobyl Revisited: Half-Lives and Half-Truths. Bulisova had traveled to the “exclusion zone” in Belarus to capture the aftereffects of the nuclear catastrophe. The spoken testimony comes from Svetlana Alexievich’s book Voices from Chernobyl for which she won the Nobel Prize in Literature. On each of the three days, different fragments will be read.

This event is free and open to the public.

May
5
Sat
Chernobyl Voices @ Coconino Center for the Arts
May 5 @ 1:00 pm – 1:30 pm

“You can’t see it, can’t smell it, can’t taste it, can’t talk about it

Community Reading Performances of Chernobyl Voices on

  • Wednesday April 18, 4:00-4:30pm
  • Saturday May 5, 1-1:30pm
  • Thursday May 17, 4:00-4:30pm

as part of the exhibition
ECHOES OF LOSS: ARTISTIC RESPONSES TO TRAUMA

Members of the Flagstaff community read aloud fragments of survivor voices from Chernobyl’s nuclear disaster in 1986. The performance takes place in front of Gabriela Bulisova’s photographs Chernobyl Revisited: Half-Lives and Half-Truths. Bulisova had traveled to the “exclusion zone” in Belarus to capture the aftereffects of the nuclear catastrophe. The spoken testimony comes from Svetlana Alexievich’s book Voices from Chernobyl for which she won the Nobel Prize in Literature. On each of the three days, different fragments will be read.

This event is free and open to the public.

Artist Talk: Feathers and Fabric @ Coconino Center for the Arts
May 5 @ 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm

Conversation with Artists Eric O’Connell and Gina Adams
Moderated by Catherine Petersen and Björn Krondorfer

In conjunction with the exhibit ECHOES OF LOSS, please join Björn Krondorfer, NAU’s Director of the Martin-Springer Institute and Endowed Professor of Religious Studies, and Catherine Petersen, Lecturer in NAU’s Art History program, in conversation with participating artists Eric O’Connell and Gina Adams.

Originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, Gina Adams creates political artwork inspired by her grandfather’s Native Objiwe and Lakota roots and his boarding school experience at the Carlisle Indian Industrial School in Pennsylvania. The piece selected for Echoes of Loss explores the encounter between colonizers and colonized through the remembrance of broken trust. Her quilt Treaty of Middle Plantation 1677, from her Broken Treaty Quilts series, quite literally documents the deceptions and broken promises of European settlers, leaving Native American impoverished and bereft of ancestral lands.

Eric O’Connell is a photographer and visual anthropologist from New Mexico, currently based in Flagstaff, Arizona. His site-specific sculptures—photographs of feathers arranged in the earth—are still and meditative. In these works, he channels the lingering pain of his own traumatic near-death experience on September 11, 2001 in New York, exploring the suffering of others in a way that is measured, controlled, and contained in the patterns he creates on the ground. The sculptures evoke the suffering left in the wake of colonialism and subjugation: the loss of Native lives and the violent suppression of culture. Designed to dematerialize, the sculptures are dissolved by the forces of nature.

Working in fabric and feathers—materials that evoke comfort and decorative beauty—both artists delve into visions of softness as a means of revealing the hard truths of conquest, betrayal, exploitation, and cultural oppression.

This event is free and open to the public.

May
17
Thu
Chernobyl Voices @ Coconino Center for the Arts
May 17 @ 4:00 pm – 4:30 pm

“You can’t see it, can’t smell it, can’t taste it, can’t talk about it

Community Reading Performances of Chernobyl Voices on

  • Wednesday April 18, 4:00-4:30pm
  • Saturday May 5, 1-1:30pm
  • Thursday May 17, 4:00-4:30pm

as part of the exhibition
ECHOES OF LOSS: ARTISTIC RESPONSES TO TRAUMA

Members of the Flagstaff community read aloud fragments of survivor voices from Chernobyl’s nuclear disaster in 1986. The performance takes place in front of Gabriela Bulisova’s photographs Chernobyl Revisited: Half-Lives and Half-Truths. Bulisova had traveled to the “exclusion zone” in Belarus to capture the aftereffects of the nuclear catastrophe. The spoken testimony comes from Svetlana Alexievich’s book Voices from Chernobyl for which she won the Nobel Prize in Literature. On each of the three days, different fragments will be read.

This event is free and open to the public.

Sep
2
Sun
Let the River Speak! @ Coconino Center for the Arts
Sep 2 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm

Let the River Speak! The Paleoflood Hydrology of the Colorado River Canyons

Dr. Vic Baker, Regents’ Professor of Hydrology and Atmospheric Sciences, Geosciences, and Planetary Sciences, University of Arizona, will present his latest findings on Colorado River flood extremes. For over fifty years, Dr. Baker has been studying paleoflood hydrology, authoring or editing eighteen books and 418 research papers along the way. Dr. Baker is past President of the Geological Society of America and his flood research has been featured in multiple television documentaries for PBS, BBC, the National Geographic, Discovery, and History Channels, including the NOVA productions “Mystery of the Megaflood” (2005) and “Killer Floods” (2016).

This event is free and open to the public. Sponsored by River Runners For Wilderness.

 

Sep
5
Wed
The Future of the Colorado River in Grand Canyon @ Coconino Center for the Arts
Sep 5 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm

 The Future of the Colorado River in Grand Canyon

Dr. Jack Schmidt will speak about the fate of the Colorado River ecosystem in Grand Canyon, primarily determined by large-scale, basin-wide decisions about how to allocate increasingly scarce water supplies. Decisions about how to distribute long-term water storage in Lakes Mead and Powell and how much water to deliver from the Upper Basin to the Lower Basin each year are the primary drivers of ecosystem conditions in Grand Canyon. The existence of Lake Powell and the existence of its present array of water release structures perpetuates the continuing fine sediment deficit in Grand Canyon and continues to create a highly perturbed temperature regime. Reoperation of Glen Canyon Dam to moderate the range of load-following, modified hydropeaking releases can only accomplish a small degree of ecosystem improvement in Grand Canyon. New negotiations among the federal government, state governments, and Mexico about how to respond to impending decreases in watershed runoff provide an opportunity to reconsider the fundamental agreements and infrastructure that now control the Colorado River.

Jack Schmidt is Professor of Watershed Sciences at Utah State University where he has been on the faculty since 1991. He is a recognized expert on the Colorado River and has published widely on the historical transformation of the river and its ecosystem, geomorphic processes of the Colorado River and other southwestern rivers, strategies to restore aspects of the pre-dam ecosystem, and management strategies for the river’s large dams, including the use of controlled floods as a management tool in Grand Canyon.

 

Sep
14
Fri
Thinking Like a Watershed: John Wesley Powell, and the Past and Future of the American Southwest @ Coconino Center for the Arts
Sep 14 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm

Thinking Like a Watershed: John Wesley Powell, and the Past and Future of the American Southwest

John Wesley Powell understood the challenges of life in a land of little water like few others of his time, and his ideas for settlement of this region were visionary. As water becomes scarcer and more precious in the West, Powell’s ideas may provide valuable guidance for water managers at all levels in the coming decades. Author Christa Sadler will discuss Powell’s understanding of this landscape, and his ideas for water use and settlement here. Joaquin Murrieta Saldivar, from Tucson’s Watershed Management Group, will discuss how everyone from individual homes to entire cities can strive to become net water producers, instead of net water users, and help restore our watersheds.

 

Jan
18
Fri
Artist Talk: The Incomplete Creature @ Coconino Center for the Arts
Jan 18 @ 7:30 pm – 9:00 pm
The Incomplete Creature
Artist talk by Rodrigo de Toledo about the Myth of the Incomplete Self exhibition

pergamene

The creator of the Myth of the Incomplete Self exhibition will reveal the meaning behind the mysterious symbols in display and their connection to ancient spiritual iconography. He will talk about his creative process, the project’s history, showcase the art in exhibition, and discuss the unique concept of fictional mythology design as an art form. The work, created between 2016 and 2018 in Flagstaff and Italy, offers us a beautiful and delicate mythology of contemporary origin, in which the artist directly addresses the core of the human structure: our incompleteness. The artist approaches the theme with timeless metaphor and clarity, as we seek answers in these times of concern about the consequences of humanity’s unquenchable desire for more.

About the presenter: Rodrigo de Toledo is a Brazilian-American contemporary artist, designer, and visual communication full Professor at Northern Arizona University. Since 1990, his whimsical imaginary world has been exhibited around the globe in museums, galleries, festivals, and the media. Inspired by ancient mystical icons, mythological archetypes, Jungian psychology, and cartoons, his work explores questions of identity and spirituality, as well the media’s effect on personal memory and fantasy. In the past decade, he has focused on the design of a personal mythology and its visual iconography—an inner research that he describes as psycho-archeology. De Toledo employs a surreal pop visual style in cross-media blends of digital imaging, graphic novels, painting, interactivity, installation, and animation.
Instagram: @neurondiva