Native Stories From The Land Festival at Long Island Children’s Museum

By 7/11/2023 11:27:00 AM ,

Long Island Children’s Museum “Stories from the Land,” a two-day festival featuring indigenous artists, indigenous storytellers and land preservationists is on Friday, July 14 and Saturday, July 15 from noon to 3 p.m.

Stories from the Land Activities

Visitors will hear from Shinnecock artist and storyteller Denise Silva-Dennis as she shares Indigenous interactive stories that illustrate the deep history and connection of the Indigenous people to the land. Silva-Dennis will share multiple stories each afternoon (noon, 12:40, 1:20, 2 and 2:40 p.m.); each highlighting the role individuals play in protecting and preserving the resources Mother Earth provides us.

Visitors will have the opportunity to share their own cultural stories and experiences about connections to the land at a Story Sharing Wall.

Artist Ella Mahoney, a member of the Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head, MA, will work with visitors as they practice fabric dyeing using natural dyes, sourced from plants found in the Museum’s garden. Children will learn flower-pounding and dip-dying techniques using a range of natural dyes.

These techniques provide a valuable history lesson as they discover practices employed by indigenous members dating back thousands of years.

Dyed fabric pieces created by visitors will be collected and used by Mahoney in the creation of the outdoor interpretive art piece that will be installed next spring in LICM’s outdoor exhibit space, “Our Backyard.”

She will also create an indoor fabric art piece for the Museum’s lobby. The four-panel piece will depict the changing landscape over time – pre-colonization, colonization, present time and future hopes for our shared land. Stories visitors share during the Festival will help inform Mahoney’s interpretive land acknowledgment pieces.

Friends of the Hempstead Plains Program Director Doug Schmid will run an activity station allowing children to help create a native bed in LICM’s outdoor exhibit. Native plants that will be used include butterfly weed, milkweed, native grasses and more.

While planting, children will learn the history of the land and how its natural resources sustain us and our shared responsibility to protect it. Children will also make biodegradable newspaper planters and plant milkweed seeds to take home to start their own native plant gardens.

Land Acknowledgment Project

The Festival is the initial activity in a year-long interpretive Land Acknowledgment project that will result in the creation of two permanent art pieces (indoor and outdoor) presenting visual interpretations of Long Island Children’s Museum’s Land Acknowledgement Statement.

Made possible with a Humanities New York Action Grant, The” Stories from the Land Festival” continues the Children’s Museum’s land acknowledgment efforts and deepens its partnerships with the indigenous community and land protection allies.

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