Professional Studies and Fine Arts

Professional Studies and Fine Arts

Vincent Whipple Joins SDSU as 21-22 Arts Alive Artist in Residence

Whipple will start his residency with Native American Arts and Advocacy: An Artist Talk, on Tues. Sept. 28 via Zoom

Vincent Whipple Joins SDSU as 21-22 Arts Alive Artist in Residence

by Elizabeth Allison

September 8, 2021

Arts Alive SDSU has announced Vincent Whipple as its Artist in Residence for the 2021-2022 academic year.

Whipple is an American Indian performing artist and educator who has worked in Southern California tribal communities for over 30 years. He is an enrolled member of the Navajo Tribe of Arizona and is also descended from the Oglala Sioux Tribe of South Dakota.

Dr. Whipple has served as the Director of Tribal Relations for California State University, San Bernardino, and he has been the Artistic Director for the Wichozani Native American Dance & Theater Company, a Southern California based theater group focusing on cultural revitalization through Native music, dance, theater, and storytelling.

“In Native communities, expressive culture and education go hand in hand,” explained Whipple. “I have found that teaching and learning in tribal contexts comprise a collaborative process that provides mutual rewards to both students and teachers.”

Over the course of the academic year, Whipple’s residency will provide opportunities for students in classes, organizations, and centers to engage in critical dialogue about arts activism, identity, and diversity, especially as they relate to Native and Indigenous cultures. In spring 2022, the residency will culminate in a performance event on campus, which will feature student participation and address themes emerging from these conversations.

“I am excited for Vince to be here on campus to bring us together and share his heart with all of us,” said Jacob Alvarado Waipuk, SDSU Chair of Tribal Relations and Tribal Liaison. “This is the first time we have ever had a Native American Artist in Residence, and I encourage everyone in our community to welcome Vince to our family here at SDSU.”

The Arts Alive SDSU Artist in Residence Program

Sponsored by the Division of Student Affairs and Campus Diversity, the residency contributes to the goals of the university’s Strategic Plan, reinforcing SDSU’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Now in its second year, the program aims to provide impactful experiences that transform the SDSU campus and strengthen our community by inviting everyone to participate in the creative process.

“What is art and dance but another form of telling our stories?” said Chris Medellin, Director of the SDSU Native Resource Center. “Art and storytelling are deeply ingrained in how Native people explain the world around us. It is another way to speak and to pass along knowledge. I hope that folks who will be working with Vincent will see that.”

An Artist Talk

Whipple will be presenting Native American Arts and Advocacy: An Artist Talk to share his art and discuss the influences that shaped his work, including the intergenerational passage of Native American artistic traditions.

“I hope to bring awareness to Indigenous artistic traditions as a vibrant part of contemporary Native life,” said Whipple. “I want students to acquire a tangible respect for tribal arts and make a connection with their own cultural traditions.”

This free Zoom webinar event will take place on Tuesday, Sept. 28, 2021 from 4:00–5:00 p.m.. Advance registration for the event is available here.

“It is amazing to have someone like Vincent as the new Artist in Residence here at San Diego State University,” said Medellin. “Having more Native American representation on campus is essential, as it shows our whole community that we are committed to creating spaces of inclusion. Our voices are important and, with Vincent here, we are showing that. Native youth will look at him as a role model and see that they too can find their place on a college campus.”

The content within this article has been edited by Lizbeth Persons.

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