IAIA Hosts International Musician Katja Šulc
The Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA) is pleased to host ArtsLink International Fellow Katja Šulc, who will be joining IAIA’s Performing Arts Department for five weeks. Šulc is a musician, singer, and songwriter from Slovenia whose work intertwines poetry and music. Her albums feature modern and traditional poetry, including Indigenous and endangered languages. As an artist-in-residence at IAIA, Šulc is researching Native American heritage and culture, with a focus on art, music, and poetry. “I came here to search deeper, to feel, to be inspired and to pay homage to these unique cultures through my work,” Šulc says. “I believe the wisdom, the art, the values and beliefs of Native American cultures are very healing for humanity and the planet. There is so much to learn.”
Šulc is also drawing a parallel between Native American cultures and the Old Believers—a secret belief society that existed in Slovenia until the late ’60s. “They lived in remote regions, had their own way of life (despite the strong impact of Catholicism),” says Šulc. “They practiced rituals in connection with nature. They highly respected nature and its forces. Very inspiring culture.”
“I will be working on a project during my residency, searching for artistic collaborations—poetry, music, visuals, and stories of Indigenous languages—that I would like to present during the upcoming decade. While here, I will be sharing with students my work, my work process, the vocal methods that helped me, the traditional songs from my part of the world, the songs that carry our histories, traumas, and joys.”
As an ArtsLink International Fellow at IAIA, Šulc aims to participate in exchange through dialogue with Native American artists, students, and mentors. “This is a most privileged, inspiring, transformative experience, and I am very grateful for this opportunity,” says Šulc. “I will be working on a project during my residency, searching for artistic collaborations—poetry, music, visuals, and stories of Indigenous languages—that I would like to present during the upcoming decade. While here, I will be sharing with students my work, my work process, the vocal methods that helped me, the traditional songs from my part of the world, the songs that carry our histories, traumas, and joys.” On November 8, Šulc will give a workshop to IAIA Students that focuses on traditional song and vocal delivery and expression. “We will discuss the importance and the healing power of the song, its creation, how traditional songs were born, and how a poem becomes a song. Hopefully, we will share our views on that.”
Katja Šulc presented her work at IAIA’s Black Box Theater on Friday, October 29, along with Lakota John (Lumbee/Lakota), IAIA student Ellen Maldonado (Acoma Pueblo) ’22, and other Native American artists. For upcoming presentations and workshops by Katja Šulc, check the IAIA Community Calendar.
Šulc’s ArtsLink International Fellowship at IAIA is made possible by CEC ArtsLink. CEC ArtsLink supports transnational cultural mobility and collaboration, empowering artists and arts leaders to engage communities in dialogue and creative projects for a more equitable, compassionate, and sustainable world. For more information, please visit www.cecartslink.org.
About the Institute of American Indian Arts
The Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA) is the only college in the world dedicated to the study of contemporary Native American and Alaska Native arts. IAIA offers undergraduate degrees in Cinematic Arts and Technology, Creative Writing, Indigenous Liberal Studies, Museum Studies, Performing Arts, and Studio Arts; graduate degrees in Creative Writing and Studio Arts; and certificates in Broadcast Journalism, Business and Entrepreneurship, Museum Studies, and Native American Art History. The college serves approximately 500 full-time equivalent (FTE) Native and non-Native American students from around the globe, representing nearly a hundred federally recognized tribes. Named one of the top art institutions by UNESCO and the International Association of Art, IAIA is among the leading art institutes in our nation and is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).