Art space founded by Indigenous women comes to Phoenix

Art space founded by Indigenous women comes to Phoenix

The new Cahokia SocialTech + ArtSpace in downtown Phoenix will evoke the spirit of an historical Midwestern city that once was household to over 20,000 Indigenous individuals and a flourishing center of artwork, knowledge and trade.

Cahokia, which opens Oct. 11 in the Roosevelt Row Arts District, was established by co-founders and companions Eunique Yazzie of the Navajo Nation and Melody Lewis, who is Hopi, Tewa and Mojave. Their enterprise is in collaboration with the Roosevelt Row Group Progress Company. 

Yazzie and Lewis have been influenced by the original Cahokia, the premier pre-Columbian city in North America, which existed from 700 to 1350. It was a confluence of cultures and thoughts in which artisans, farmers, astronomers, leaders and daily folks shared knowledge and traded merchandise, in accordance to the Washington Article. The historic city sat across from the Mississippi River from modern-day-day St. Louis.

The Cahokia in Phoenix will serve the exact reason its forerunner did hundreds of several years in the past: to bring with each other the expertise and creative imagination of Indigenous people in a central gathering place.   

Cahokia co-founders, Eunique Yazzie, left, of the Navajo Nation and Melody Lewis, who is Hopi, Tewa and Mojave, are seen at Cahokia, a new Indigenous-led social, tech and art working space in Phoenix on Oct. 4, 2021.

The 3,000-square-foot space inside The Linx PHX apartment complicated will give gallery and show regions, retail and co-performing areas, workshops, markets and occasions for underrepresented communities. It is really the 1st this kind of place in Phoenix and, in accordance to the founders, the first they have encountered in the region. 

“Our mission is to uplift a thousand creatives and social business owners within the subsequent a few many years,” explained Yazzie, a board member of the local community development company. “So which is how quite a few individuals we want to force by this place and seriously elevate to the next level of where ever they are at. 

“We want this position to be in the modern feeling wherever Indigenous folks develop and innovate and trade awareness, equipment, resources and suggestions. So we are just a resourceful system for people to consider their abilities and artistry and develop them even additional.” 

Additional:How a person Yaqui artist employs her system to completely transform the narrative of her men and women