State University Service Learning Center's Tutorial Coordinator,
Lyn Risling, has been awarded one of five national Community Spirit
Awards from the First People's Fund.
year the Fund, based in Rapid City, South Dakota, awards five American
Indian artists from throughout the United States for their commitment
to sustaining the artistic and cultural traditions in their communities.
Risling, a Yurok, Karuk and Hupa Indian from McKinleyville, was
honored for her ceremonial regalia and painting.
recipients each received $5,000 to help them practice their art.
They were honored at a ceremony at the Journey Museum in Rapid City,
South Dakota on December 4, 2003. "I was overwhelmed, and very honored,
to receive this award," Risling said. "It was a wonderful and very
humbling experience to be standing among the other recipients, who
are outstanding, talented people and well-respected elders, who
have given so much back to their communities."
People's Fund first established the award in 1999 to recognize artists
who selflessly teach their art to others. The artists are first
nominated by members of their communities and then an independent
panel of American Indian reviewers selects those that most exemplify
the idea of community spirit. Recipients are not selected based
on a long resume of art shows, exhibitions and awards, but on their
mentoring and teaching efforts.
that artists play an important role in sustaining Indian communities,"
said Lori Pourier, executive director of the First People's Fund.
"Through their artistic creations, they help the people to know
who they are, where they come from and where they are going. Whether
these artists are producing items for ceremonial, decorative or
utilitarian use, they are carrying on the spirituality, life ways,
histories and traditions of their tribes. The First People's Fund
is honored to be able to recognize these talented people who are
living examples of generosity, responsibility and strength."
reflects my culture in many ways," Risling added. "The regalia is
for our ceremonies, such as the Ihuk, our Karuk girls' puberty ceremony.
We have been able to revive it recently, after it disappeared about
130 years ago. I enjoy teaching girls and young women songs, regalia-making
and about our ceremonies and culture. Some of my paintings illustrate
our traditional tribal stories and other aspects of our culture."
Learn more about the First People's Fund Awards:
People's Fund Awards