National Museum of the American Indian

The National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI) is committed to advancing knowledge and understanding of the Native cultures of the Western Hemisphere—past, present, and future—through partnership with Native people and others. The museum works to support the continuance of culture, traditional values, and transitions in contemporary Native life.

AHFES at Cultural Institutions


Winter Lottery 

Hear Me Say My Name
Presented by: National Museum of the American Indian

"I am not your mascot, and I don't live in a tipi. See me for who I am, hear me say my name." How do American Indian stereotypes, prejudice, and identity shape the discussion of what it means to be a young person in our country today? This original multimedia play, created in collaboration with Smithsonian Associates Discovery Theater, tackles America's assumptions about American Indians and starts a conversation with audiences reclaiming rich history, challenges, hopes, and dreams. After the play, students are invited to explore the exhibition galleries with self-guided materials to learn more.
Date: 02/06/20, 2/7/20, 2/13/20, 2/14,20 2/27/20, 2/28/20 
Time: 10:30 AM and 11:30 AM 
Duration: 70 Minutes 
Length of Program: 70 minutes
Content: Social Studies/ History/ Geography, Arts, Diversity
Grades: 6th-12th
Learning Standards: "Arts Education Learning Standards: Theatre
Strand 3: Respond; Analyze, critique, and respond to theatre and dramatic media. Strand 4: Interconnect; Apply theatrical concepts to construct meaning and understanding in other subject areas.
Capacity: 120

 for "Hear Me Say My Name"

Contemporary Dance Performance: The Mush Hole 
Presented by: National Museum of the American Indian

Choreographer Santee Smith (Mohawk) presents a contemporary dance piece that focuses on stories shared by students who attended an Indian boarding school nicknamed "The Mush Hole." This performance explores the lives of children who were forced to attend the Mohawk Institute residential school in Ontario through song, dance, and theater. It is about survival, resilience, and reconciliation. This performance contains mature subject matter. It portrays the experiences of two generations of Survivors, demonstrating the intergenerational effects of Residential Schools. Students were dehumanized and experienced physical and sexual abuse, confinement, and hunger. As adults, this impacted their ability to parent.
Date: 03/13/2020 
Time: 10:30 AM 
Duration: 75 Minutes 
Length of Program: 70 minutes
Content: Social Studies/ History/ Geography, Arts, Diversity, Culture
Grades: 9th-12th
Location: National Museum of the American Indian, 4th Street and Independence Ave SW, Washington DC, 20013
Learning Standards: Arts Education Learning Standards: [Visual Arts] Strand 1. Perceive and understand the components of visual language: the elements of art and the principles of design. (Artistic Perception) Strand 3. Investigate and understand historical and cultural dimensions of the visual arts and to construct meaning in the diverse ways in which human experience is expressed across time and place. (Historical and Cultural Context) [Theatre] Strand 3: Respond; Analyze, critique, and respond to theatre and dramatic media. Strand 4: Interconnect; Apply theatrical concepts to construct meaning and understanding in other subject areas.
Capcity: 120

 for The Mush Hole

Through Her Eyes: Celebrating Indigenous women of the Andes 
Presented by: National Museum of the American Indian

In celebration of Women’s History Month, this program will amplify the stories, experiences, and perspectives of indigenous women in the Andes. Cultural and content experts will lead a series of vibrant performances, demonstrations, and activities that will give students a window in the rich traditions and contemporary realities of these indigenous communities.
Date: 03/19/2020 
Time: 10:00 AM 
Duration: 3 hours. 
Length of Program: 70 minutes
Content: Social Studies/ History/ Geography, World Languages/Global Studies, Science, Technology, Arts, Diversity
Grades: 4th-12th
Location: National Museum of the American Indian, 4th Street and Independence Ave SW, Washington DC, 20013
Learning Standards: [Social Studies] 4.1 Students describe the different peoples, with different languages and ways of life, that eventually spread out over the North and South American continents and the Caribbean Basin. 6.3 Identify the cultural contributions of various ethnic groups in selected world regions and countries. 9.6 Locate and explain the locations, landforms, and climates of Mexico, Central America, and South America and their effects on Mayan, Aztec, and Incan economies, trade, and development of urban societies. [Visual Arts] Strand 1. Perceive and understand the components of visual language: the elements of art and the principles of design. (Artistic Perception) Strand 3. Investigate and understand historical and cultural dimensions of the visual arts and to construct meaning in the diverse ways in which human experience is expressed across time and place. (Historical and Cultural Context)
Capcity: 125

 for Through Her Eyes 


Fall Lottery 

The Lakota Music Project
Presented by: National Museum of the American Indian

The Lakota Music Project is the flagship project of the South Dakota Symphony Orchestra’s community engagement work with the Lakota community of Pine Ridge Reservation. Using music from both Native and non-Native cultures, the project creates an environment of openness that treats the music of both cultures with dignity and respect. Performers include Lakota artists Emmanuel Black Bear and Chris Eagle Hawk and Dakota cedar flute artist Bryan Akpa. After the performance, students will visit the Lakota exhibition in Our Universes gallery to learn more about the traditions of the Pine Ridge Sioux Tribe in South Dakota.
Dates: 10/21/19
Time: 10:30 AM
Length of Program: 70 minutesLakota Music Project featuring Bryan Akipa on flute performing Pentatonic Fantasy.
Content: Social Studies/ History/ Geography, Arts, Diversity
Grades: 7th-12th
Learning Standards: Arts Education Learning Standards: General Music Standards, Strand 1: Listen to, analyze, and evaluate music
Strand 5: Connect music to other art formats and subject areas through understanding the historical and cultural context of music.
Capacity: 120
Supplementary Materials: Pre-Visit Guide

 for "The Lakota Music Project"

 

Lakota Music Project featuring Bryan Akipa on flute performing Pentatonic Fantasy.
Source and Credit: South Dakota Symphony Orchestra

Hear Me Say My Name
Presented by: National Museum of the American Indian

This interactive museum theater play will frame and further the conversation of what it means to be a young Native person in America today. It focuses on the themes of identity and stereotypes. This piece was commissioned by the National Museum of the American Indian and created by Discovery Theater, the Smithsonian's educational theatre and performance company. Playwright, director, and artist Ty Defoe (Giizhiig Ojibwe and Oneida Nations) served as collaborator on the project. After the play, we invite students to explore the exhibition galleries with self-guided materials to learn more about the history and use of Indian imagery that has informed present-day stereotypes of Native people in the United States.
Date: 11/7/19
Time: 10:30 AM
Length of Program: 70 minutes
Content: Social Studies/ History/ Geography, Arts, Diversity
Grades: 6th-12th
Learning Standards: "Arts Education Learning Standards: Theatre
Strand 3: Respond; Analyze, critique, and respond to theatre and dramatic media. Strand 4: Interconnect; Apply theatrical concepts to construct meaning and understanding in other subject areas.
Capacity: 120
Supplementary Materials: Pre-Visit Guide, Impact of Words Teacher Resource

 for "Hear Me Say My Name"

This original multimedia play tackles America’s assumptions about American Indians. 
Source and Credit: Smithsonian Associates

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