This October marks our sixth Pomo Honoring Month in Sebastopol. Throughout the month we're featuring highlights and editions to Batikletcaw Was Here, in collaboration with the West County History Museum and the Sebastopol Gallery. Other events include Pomo Images at Sebastopol Gallery, multiple broadcasts of Janey Hirsh's radio play, Close One, our annual Pomo Youth Dancer performance at Farmers Market. Our keynote talk this year is a presentation on "Indians in California: the Mission System and Boarding Schools" by Molin Malacay. See the whole schedule on the 2015 Events page.
History of Pomo Honoring Month
In 2010, the Sebastopol City Council resolved that each October will be Pomo Honoring Month, to celebrate the continued presence and enduring culture of the Pomo people.
October 2010, our First Annual Pomo Honoring Month, had 24 events, including five art shows, educational programs, booths at Farmers Market and business fairs, dance performances, an interview on KOWS, storytelling, a documentary film, and three talks.
October 2011 was our Second Annual Pomo Honoring Month. We had multiple performances of an original play, two art shows, a special Dine Out Sebastopol, an interview on KOWS, a dance performance, a traditional singer at Farmers Market, & a showing of a Pomo history documentary with a discussion led by the filmmaker.
October 2012, our Third Annual Pomo Honoring Month, included a talk about Native Permaculture, an art show, a film, a dance performance, and approval by Sebastopol City Council to begin a project to put educational signage in two city parks.
October 2013, our Fourth Annual Pomo Honoring Month, included an original play by Janey Hirsh, High Stakes; a Pomo Women's forum; a presentation on beavers and hydrology; and a poetry reading.
Each year's events reflect the talents and interests of volunteers, and the availability of special guests. You can enjoy these opportunities in October, and you can get involved now to help create a successful celebration.
Mission Statement:The Pomo Project emphasizes awareness of Pomo history and building bridges for future generations. Pomo wisdom traditions hold value for resolving contemporary challenges. We support Pomo people having an active voice in public policy, including development, education, culture, and vision. Not affiliated with any specific tribal group, we value collaboration with all Pomo people toward reconciliation and understanding.
October 2013 is our Fourth Annual Pomo Honoring Month
Our core group meets monthly in the winter, biweekly in the spring, and weekly from midsummer until October. The challenges of bridging the rifts left by traumatic history turn out to be quite complex, and we are continually evolving our ideas about how best to serve our intention.
We invite input from our community, and especially input from local Pomo people, about appropriate and effective events, displays, dialogues, and other processes.
Please contact us to get on our mailing list, attend meetings, suggest ideas, sponsor events, and help organize and carry out this year's offerings.
We welcome your help in celebrating the continued presence and enduring culture of the Pomo people. We need artists, educators, Farmers Market coordinators, business liaison people, and extra hands.
We also need funds for printing costs, website hosting, food and travel expenses for speakers and dancers, space rental and liability insurance, and the creation of educational signage in our public parks. To contribute, please write your check, large or small, to the Pomo Project, and mail it to 540 DuFranc Avenue, Sebastopol CA 95472. [Donations are not currently tax deductible.]
2011 Featured Event: Weya
Janey Hirsh's original play, Weya, weaves the adventures of the "Hardly Strictly Pomo Rock Band" into episodes of history. This political musical comedy can be seen on YouTube.
The Pomo Project
This project was initiated by Armando Williams in October, 2009, when he visited Sebastopol Gallery and was moved by the Native content in Sandy Eastoak’s featured work. Other Sebastopol Gallery artists soon joined in. Gallery members voted to set aside their fall, 2010, rotation to show work from the Pomo Project. Armando would help the artists learn about Pomo culture and medicine ways, introduce them to Pomo elders and ceremony, and trust them to create work reflecting--and honoring--the Pomo way of life.
As the artists talked about the project, people in the community quickly became enthusiastic about the need to understand Pomo history and culture, and to involve Pomo people in decision making processes as we work toward sustainability, justice, and harmony. Teresa Ramondo of the Chamber of Commerce encouraged involving downtown businesses in events and festivities. Many people expressed a desire for education and reconciliation. As our ideas became bigger than our ability to organize, we recognized the need for an annual celebration, and are grateful that the Sebastopol City Council agreed. We’re planting the seeds, and look forward to seeing what others grow in years to come.
See also www.pomo-honor.blogspot.com.
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