Flushing Town Hall to host annual Native American Social honoring community with art, songs and dances

Flushing Town Hall
(Courtesy of Flushing Town Hall)

Flushing Town Hall will host its annual Native American Social featuring artwork, dancing, drumming, singing, and story sharing to build community on Saturday, Dec. 3 at 12 p.m. 

The global art institution is partnering with NativeTec, Ma’s House & BIPOC Art Studio Inc., and Niamuck Land Trust for the event. Refreshments will be served. 

This year’s Native American Social will feature artwork from Tecumseh Ceasar, Shane Weeks, Jeremy Dennis, Chenae Bullock and others. Ginew Benton and Young Blood Singers will lead a drum performance and Jennifer Kreisberg of the Native American women’s acapella group Ulali will sing as a special guest.

“After a nearly two year pause due to covid, we are pleased, once again, to host our Native American Social in-person at Flushing Town Hall. Covid hit the Indigenous community particularly hard, and sadly, many elders and tribal leaders passed away,” said Gabrielle Hamilton, director of Education and Public Programs at Flushing Town Hall. “We dedicate our third annual Native American Social to the legacy of those we lost; and hope our art, songs, and dances will honor them.” 

About the artists

Ceaser is a Native American artist and cultural consultant of the Matinecock Turkey, Montaukett, Metoac and Unkechaug tribes. Born and raised in Queens in the homeland of the Matinecock, he works in the traditional medium and practice of quahog shell (wampum) carving. His goal is to bring exposure to the indigenous groups of Queens and Long Island and draw attention to the fact that Native American culture and art are not stagnant. He frequently collaborates with local tribes to bring cultural programming to their communities.

Weeks is a member of the Shinnecock Nation, where he resides. He is an artist, author, traditional dancer, traditional drummer, hunter and fisherman, cultural consultant, and educator. Weeks has spent several years traveling to and working with indigenous communities around the world. He works for Wampum Magic on the Poospatuck reservation in Mastic throughout the year, making wampum beads out of quahog clam shells. One of his biggest goals is to bridge the gap in awareness between the community of Shinnecock and the local communities and global communities.

Bullock is an enrolled Shinnecock Indian Nation Tribal Member and descendant of the Montauk Tribe in Long Island, New York. Also known as Netooeusqua, translating to “Butterfly Woman,” Bullock is a community leader, water protector, cultural preservationist, Indigenous perspective historian, and humanitarian. Beginning her life’s work in the world of arts, anthropology and Indigenous studies, she has always been engulfed in research and amplifying the voices of Native peoples.

Kreisberg (Tuscarora, North Carolina), a mother, singer, composer, and teacher, comes from four generations of Seven Singing Sisters through the maternal line. She is known for fierce vocals, soaring range and lilting and breath-taking harmonies.

Dennis is a contemporary fine art photographer and a tribal member of the Shinnecock Indian Nation in Southampton. In his work, he explores indigenous identity, culture and assimilation.

Rudy Lazzaro is a Quechua jewelry designer who started crafting his art at a young age. Upon arriving in the US as a teenager, he apprenticed and worked in the Diamond District of New York for over twenty years. Now he crafts all his jewelry from his studio in New Jersey. His rich cultural heritage from the Altiplano of Bolivia is the foundation of his work. Today his work expresses a blend of his roots and his commitment to life on the Red Road. His passion, love and prayers are put into every piece he creates.

Those who wish to attend the event must RSVP at www.flushingtownhall.org/native-american-social.

Admission is free. There is a suggested $5 donation for children and a suggested $10 donation for adults.

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