2017 Cultural Educator Award presented to Tara Chadwick
Where is our Place?
As children of the global diaspora, pleuricultural nationals of the legacy of human migration, colonization and industrialization that has resulted in the forced abandonment of our indigenous identities from every continent… where now do we belong? What role are we to play in the tumultuous time of transition we find ourselves woven within? How is it that we will identify and assemble those disparate items from our various bundles of cultural treasures and fashion them into a guidemap to a future of harmony we cannot yet imagine…? There is much within the burdens we each carry, including the gift of free will. It is a choice for us to take up our responsibilities at each stage of our life. We each have the opportunity to take a good critical look at the things we have allowed into our life as well as those things we have chosen to keep away. Are those choices we are making now, every day likely to increase long term health, happiness and humanity? What of our strong history of patriotism to the nations on our cherished homeland(s)? Yes! We are who we are! But remember, our history was written by the victor of many wars and our heritage is the sum of many parts still un-written. We are the children of the seventh generation of current human memory and the mission to bring balance to this past five hundred and twenty five years of chaos is ours, should we choose to accept that we each have the capacity and the responsibility to be who we are and by so doing, to change the world by being the very best that we can be. — Tara A Chadwick
Tara Chadwick is an interdisciplinary traditional artist interested in developing and sharing her knowledge of the indigenous history of our region through transformative dance and visual art installations integrated with live sound, movement and spoken word.
Although Ms. Chadwick is most well known as a contemporary vocalist for her 10 year stint with the Neeconis Singers, she is also gaining notoriety for her work in visual art and as Mesoamerican Spark Dancer.
Tara is an artist in residence in the Sistrunk Corridor and Curator of Exhibitions at the Fort Lauderdale Historical Society. She has received wide-spread media coverage for her lively presentations, workshops and lectures and for her cultural contributions to the South Florida Day of the Dead Celebration.
Tara’s artistic work in the specialized art of traditional traje (outfit) making for Danza, were recently highlighted on MTV TR3S Top 20.
As an emerging leader in the preservation and practice of indigenous lifeways, part of Tara’s responsibility is to find ways to maintain and pass on the skills and knowledge she has earned in the same ways that those opportunities to earn and learn were presented to her.
Winning individual artist grants from both Puffin Foundation West and Community Arts in Education Partnership from the Broward County Cultural Division have helped to leverage interest and support from local cultural and arts organizations such as the Miramar Cultural Center and local United Nations Association.
Tara Chadwick is also a writer, educator, and mentor with 30 years of demonstrated success bridging community and culture.
Ms. Chadwick has provided administration, training and technical assistance for a cross section of local, regional and international organizations and has a unique ability to facilitate meaningful information and insight sharing that is mutually beneficial, culturally responsive and respectful.
Most recently, Tara has served as a consultant and teaching artist for several culture and arts venues including History Fort Lauderdale, Broward County Public Schools, Koubek Cultural Center, Miami Dade College and the City of Miramar’s Miramar Cultural Center and Arts Park.
An indigenous Belizean-Canadian woman of Mayan, English and African descent, Ms. Chadwick works in regions as diverse as Canada, Belize, the American Midwest and South Florida.
Her integrated approach to community development has been shown effective in improving outcomes for children, youth, teachers, trainers, educators, curriculum developers, managers and directors.
Ms. Chadwick continually demonstrates her expertise as a social change agent, engaging in strategic education, science and technology initiatives that motivate community wide behavior change from a solid foundation of interwoven social asset and relationship building.
Through a purposeful focus on identifying and upholding community held values, Ms. Chadwick has played a key leadership role in the design, incubation and launch of many community relevant, values driven social enterprises such as the Division of Indian Work’s award winning “Live It” pro-gram and the Science Museum of Minnesota’s record-breaking travelling exhibition “Maya: Hidden Worlds Revealed.”
Using her degree in Cultural Anthropology and advanced certificate in Aboriginal World-views in Education to revitalize and apply indigenous knowledge to contemporary issues, Tara infuses her wealth of experience in education, management and organizing to enhance the life experience of children, youth and adults in her communities with both public and private partnerships.
Her vision is to build support for an effective, vibrant, culture-based movement that celebrates Earth, her people and our power to create a human legacy of health, happiness and harmony with the cycles of nature and each other.
A United Nations Day awards luncheon will be held at the Signature Grand in Davie, Sunday, Oct. 22, 2017 at 2-6 pm. Tickets are $60 per adult, $30 per child. Follow @wabigun @bawshkeengwabigun for all the latest on work and life adventures of Tara A Chadwick