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Dancing for Our Tribe: Potawatomi Tradition in the New Millennium

Thursday Jun 9 7:00pm – 8:30pm
Holland Museum
31 W 10th Street

Photographer and Citizen Potawatomi Sharon Hoogstraten has spent a decade portraying contemporary Potawatomis in regalia and as an unexpected dividend, discovered her own roots. Through her work, she has created a permanent record of present-day Potawatomis wearing the traditional regalia passed down through the generations yet modified to reflect the influence and storytelling of contemporary life. Join us as Sharon talks about her long career and the work that has brought her closer to her own Native heritage and history.

Thursday, June 9, 2022
7:00 – 8:30 p.m.
In person at the Museum Spark!Lab
Register now on Eventbrite

Free, adult exhibit program, Contemporary Portraits of Native Americans by James Cook, and Cultural Lens Program

Donations appreciated.

About Sharon Hoogstraten
A Michigan native, Sharon traveled to Chicago for graduate study and then stayed—having no clue that she was literally walking in the footsteps of her Potawatomi ancestors. Starting at Citizen Potawatomi Nation, her home reservation in Shawnee, Oklahoma, she called on the Nine Nations of the scattered Potawatomi Tribe, producing photographic proof that in this new millennium, “WE ARE STILL HERE.”

“In the last ten years of photographing and listening to personal stories, it is regalia that forms the basis of my cultural exploration. Through my portraits, I know these Potawatomi descendants are living modern lives, while reflecting deeply on the ancestors whose footsteps we tread on. They are not wearing ‘costumes’ and unlike street clothes, each dancer knows exactly where their clothing comes from and what it means. In charming ways, artifacts of modern life make an appearance – a Nike sock, Converse shoes, beaded Hello Kitty medallion, etc. Some are in full regalia, and others, just a ribbon shirt. These are contemporary Native people. What is most compelling to me is that they are both preserving and evolving ceremony and handcrafts for the seven generations going forward.

Sharon and her husband Robert Gray reside in the Logan Square neighborhood where they raised two fine young men and rescued a 1908 landmark house.


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