“I am interested in origins, and when we claim them and when we stop. The power of language and place. Native vs. foreign. Especially in a country as complicated as the US.”Tania, “Native Gardens”
PlayMakers is seeking art submissions to display in the Paul Green lobby during the run of “Native Gardens” by Karen Zacarías. Submissions of all art forms by Latinx and Native artists will be accepted, as well as art related to Latinx and Native experiences.
This is just one of the events that have been planned to ensure that the themes of the show are being done justice on stage. Talitha Morena Moniz McMillion, assistant director of “Native Gardens”, has been spearheading the efforts to combine educational opportunities with the performance.
After receiving an Alliance Grant from UNC-Chapel Hill, Moniz McMillion worked for several months to create various partnerships for the show. “This play explores themes surrounding the Indigeneity of Latin American people,” they explained. “As a LatIndigenous person, it was important to me to throw a number of educational celebrations that honor the intersections of these identities.”
“I want to create spaces where we can thrive in art again,” Moniz McMillion shared. “I am grateful PlayMakers has been open to working with myself, the American Indian Center, NC Botanical Garden, Carolina Latinx Center, and Latina/o Studies Program to create such a space in this production.”
In addition to Latinx and Native art being displayed in the lobby, Moniz McMillion has planned additional events ranging from art displays to voter registration to catering food that stays true to the play’s origins for opening and closing night.
If you are interested in having your art featured during the show or know someone who would like to become involved, email PRCArtist@unc.edu.
Read Talitha Morena Moniz McMillion’s personal statement below on PlayMakers engagement efforts for “Native Gardens.”
Statement by Talitha Morena Moniz McMillion, Assistant Director of Native Gardens
Living in a time of continued colonization, I have come to realize that even the sacredness of art has been affected. “Native Gardens” is the first play written by a Latinx to be produced at PlayMakers in 46 years, and this is not due to an absence of talented Latinx writers throughout history. This play explores themes surrounding the Indigeneity of Latin American people, and as a LatIndigenous person, it was important to me to throw a number of educational celebrations that honor the intersections of these identities.
My goal is to engage as many Latinx and Native people with art as possible. A business industry has grown where there should not be one and it has violently pushed so many of us away from our most ancient practices. I want to create spaces where we can thrive in art again, and I am grateful PlayMakers has been open to working with myself, the American Indian Center, NC Botanical Garden, Carolina Latinx Center, and Latina/o Studies Program to create such a space in this production.
We have several events planned, including voter registration during the previews, an opening night post-show fiesta, a closing day panel discussion, and a lobby filled with local LatIndigenous art throughout the entirety of the show’s run! Opening night will be catered by Soul Cocina and closing day will be catered by Epilogue for an all-vegan eating experience that honors the play’s themes in land justice by not supporting an industry (animal agriculture) that actively destroys Indigenous lands, people, and animals.
We hope so many folks with their infinite individual experiences in being Latinx and/or Native will contribute their art to be displayed – whatever art means to them. This, of course, includes Afro-Latinx, Afro-Native, Asian-Latinx, and all the combinations in identity, as well as all who know they may fall into one of these categories but are still figuring out what language is comfortable for them. And we hope people of all identities will come to celebrate and learn with us!
“Native Gardens” is on stage October 12-30, 2022. Get your tickets now!