SHAWNA SHANDííN SUNRISE

I am the daughter of Bill & Pearl Sunrise. I was raised as a 5th generation Diné weaver through the matrilineage of my mother. I learned all the aspects of creating through both my parents, weaving from my mother who is Diné (Navajo) and Traditional performance and organizing from my father who was  Kewa (Santo Domingo Pueblo). I am a filmmaker, photographer, multi-media installation artist, performance art, actress, producer, director, radio DJ, organizer, and a weaver. 

At the moment, I am an Independent Contractor in Native Media, Education & Organizing. I was the program director for the REZILIENCE Organization for the 2020. I also am the owner of an Indigenous Design Company called “Nizhónígo Anílééh” (In Diné/Navajo Language) meaning Make It Beautiful Designs.  In the past I have worked for IPCC as the Director of Public Programming, Americans for Indian Opportunity’s (AIO) Communications Specialist an Indigenous social justice not-profit organization, Special Programming & Tribal Liaison at SWAIA 2011, Director of Entertainment for Discover Navajo at the 2002  Olympics in Salt Lake City. In the field of Media, I produced a Cable Access TV show, NATIVEZINE in Albuquerque, NM for over 10 yrs. It was a visual mini magazine that promoted the creative movement of art, music, and performance through native eyes on a multimedia impact. And I also was a DJ/Producer of a three-hour live radio show called “Native Music Hours”on KANW 89.1 a show produced by my elder sister Beulah Sunrise-Rau. As far as my formal education, I received an Associate Arts degree from the Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA) and a BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC). I am also an Alumnus for Americans of Indian Opportunity Ambassador Program and a former fellow for First Peoples Fund, WESTAF, and UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues. 

I wear many hats from production to education through social media and communication in this community. The work I am evolving into is not about protesting or reacting it is all about establishing a communication bond that will develop a deeper understanding of the community I come from to the rest of the world. I believe that any artistic creative process is a form of insight, communication, and healing. As you create you communicate with your hands to your thoughts from your heart. I hold space not only with Native American artists but also all Indigenous artists across the world. 

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