2023 BAAITS Two Spirit Artist Grantees
Just Added: Additional BAAITS Two Spirit Artist Mini-grant 2023-24 Recipients
Ana R Corella
Ana R Corella is a gender non-conforming Yaqui filmmaker/video producer from Mexico currently based in the Bay Area and is the visionary behind Moonlight Bend Productions. They graduated from CSULA in 2014 where they were President and Station Manager for Golden Eagle TV/Golden Eagle Productions which they founded in 2013. Prior to that, they also co-founded Golden Eagle Radio at Cal State LA which is where they started Dj’ing and working on audio production.
They produce music as Velaluna and have DJ’d multiple radio shows since 2012. Velaluna is part of Juke MX and has an array of releases on their Bandcamp and other renowned labels such as Juke Bounce Werk and Nu Kvlture. Ana worked on marketing and distribution for Sydney Freeland’s trans Navajo Sundance film “Drunktown’s Finest” and worked as production crew for the Student Academy Award-winning short film “Drone.”
They have been a professional videographer since 2008 and founded Moonlight Bend Productions in 2016 where they continue working to make multimedia that makes an impact in our communities.
Marisela Featherstone is from Woodland, California. They received their BA in Chicanx Studies and a Minor in Native American Studies from the University of California at Davis. They were an intern at TANA (Taller Arte del Nuevo Amanecer) in Woodland, California, where they learned the art of serigraphy by Master printmakers Malaquias Montoya, Gilda Posada, Edgar Lampkin, and Jose Arenas. Their work explores identity as they attempt to heal past wounds by exploring heritage, culture, and Queerness. They use art making to amplify their voice and as a conduit to bring their spirit back to themselves and their family back to pre-colonial ways of existing. Link to Portfolio
Ximena Zhao is a queer, permanently-disabled, mixed-Ngäbe filmmaker, photographer, painter, bead- and leather-worker, seamstress/tailor, writer, perfumer, musician/sound engineer, traditional foods cook, acorn-processor, Tule Reed harvester, dancer, martial artist, and licensed tattoo artist from Yelamu ("San Francisco") in unceded Ramaytush Ohlone lands. She is a second-generation Yelamu resident, as her father was born in Yelamu.
The Ngäbe are the largest indigenous group in Panamá, with over 270,000 members, and they own the largest comarca (reservation). Their ancestral homeland crosses federal republic borders into Costa Rica. Ngäbe are descended from the Cacique (Chieftain) Urracá, who was never conquered by the Spanish conquistadors. Their language is Ngäbere and it never died. Ximena is honored to work locally with the Ramaytush and Mutsun Ohlone from Yelamu and Hollister, as well as the Coast Miwok and Mono Lake Paiute from Marin County and Yosemite areas of California.
Ni Ngäbe Nũnandi Köre. El pueblo Ngäbe vivirá para siempre. The Ngäbe village will live forever."
Yoli is a xicanx, 2-legged nagual (aka shapeshifter), and re-indigenzing cornstalk with roots along the border and so-called central mexico. Their creation, ritual, and body practices are devoted to liberating from colonial disembodiment and rooting in belonging as a "hije perdido" (lost child) finding their way home to the Earth and queer'ed ancestral ways of "being". They use play, performance, improvisation, personas, ritual-ceremony, and deep listening to explore the intersections between queer intimacy, earth-based sentience, curanderx medicine ways, and indigenous mythology. Along with performance, they share what they learn through film, photography, sculpture, installation, writing, teaching, friendship, medicine making, "being", and other emergent forms.
Existing BAAITS Two Spirit Artist Mini-grant 2023-24 Recipients
Aunty Bb Anuhea / Aunty Brown Sugar Boba / Unko Bb / Unko Boto Bangaz
Aunty Bb Anuhea sometimes, Aunty Brown Sugar Boba and more recently Unko Bb / Unko Boto Bangaz is a shape shifting Māhū story teller, dancer , poet and performance artist. She was born and raised on the islands of O’ahu and Big Island where her Japanese ancestors immigrated to. With love making and
combating colonization, this mixed race Māhū Two Spirit Asian Icon was born. Her work combines written spoken word, eco erotica, food erotica , song, dance and pule(Hawaiian prayer) and punani. After her performances you will be left sticky, wet and questioning why you want to decolonize your P all of a sudden.
My name is Nenu Cruz, pronouns: they, them, elle. I am an undocu-Indigequeer forest school educator born and raised in Tenochtitlan also known as México City. I currently reside in Muwekma Ohlone territory also known as San José, California. Long Beach (Tongva territory) has a special place in my heart. In 2019, I founded Rayitos de Sol in LBC, an escuelita bosque, rooted in ancestral ways for children to build relationships with nature in an urban setting.
Sara Ceiba Flores
As a Queer, Non-binary, Two-Spirit cultural worker and Midwife I believe that there is an alchemy that occurs when we have visual representations of our divine Queer and Trans selves. A legacy of shame, grief, othering, and hurt has the potential to be transformed into self worth, love, care,and respect when our images are treated with the dignity that we deserve. I also believe that systems of oppression/repression must be dismantled so that we can have access to the resources we need to access the liberated lives that these transformative visual representations can mirror for us. As a mixed-medium artist I draw inspiration from my daughter, my beloved chosen family and family of origin who create wonders with their hands, bodies, words, and actions, my path as a midwife, and the abundant Queer and Trans natural world that we are all an integral part of.
Silver Galleto is a Southern Pomo and Coast Miwok basket weaver that has been passionately revitalizing weaving back into their tribal community. Silver has been highly involved with his tribal community and has served as Vice Chairman for the Cloverdale Rancheria's council consecutively for the last 19 years. Additionally, Silver has been devoted to Sonoma County Indian Health Project for the last 20 years serving as the Chief Operations Officer. Within the tribal community Silver has balanced the traditional, governmental, and healthcare fields and loves serving his community.
In terms of formal education Silver received his diploma from Healdsburg High School, then received his AA degree from Santa Rosa Junior College, then BA degree from Sonoma State University and finally his master’s degree from Cal Poly Humboldt. Although formal degrees may assist in career paths, his most valued education came from his grandparents, family, and extended tribal community of the Southern Pomo and Coast Miwok People. Silver identifies as a Two-Spirit community leader who wants to give back to his community. Seeing many adolescents having difficulty with their sexual and cultural identity he wanted to share his and other gay basket weaver’s experiences. Living in two worlds contemporary and traditional is a balance. Sharing the success of Native Two-Spirit male weavers within Northern California and showing their significant respected roles will empower others that are questioning
their identity and provide hope and security.
Loa Niumeitolu is a Tongan poet, community organizer, educator and farmer. She was a co-founder of OLO, One Love Oceania, a Pasifika queer women's activist and art performance group who worked to dismantle the portrayals of Pasifika people/culture during the Prop 8 campaign as inherently homophobic. Her work is published in anthologies like Whetu Moana I, Yellow Medicine Review, Muliwai Hawai'i Review and performs her poetry widely, including at San Mateo Pride 2022, BBC Scotland, Oxford Farm Conference in England, and Mataliki Tongan Writers in Nuku'alofa.
Tiśina Ta-till-ium Parker
Tiśina Ta-till-ium Parker/Native One (she/her/they) is a California Indigenous cis-fem, filmmaker, textile designer, community cultural art activist. Tiśina is the grandchild of Ralph and Julia F. Parker, child of Louis and Patricia Parker. Their people are Yosemite Southern Sierra Miwuk/Kutzadika’a Mono Lake Paiute from their Grandfather’s lineage and Kashia Pomo from their Grandmother’s lineage. Tiśina was born and raised in their sacred tribal homeland of Yosemite/Mariposa. Born into a strong Indigenous lineage, Tiśina has practiced ceremony with their Southern Sierra Miwuk Nation (SSMN) tribal community since birth and has worked as a cultural artist within the inter-tribal Bay Area Native community for over 15 years. Tiśina descends from a powerful matriarchy of notable California basketmakers including their Grandfather’s Grandmother, Lucy Telles and their Grandmother Julia Parker.
Tiśina holds a BA in Community Studies from UC Santa Cruz with an emphasis in Art Education and a BFA in Sustainable Fashion/Textile Design from California College of the Arts in San Francisco where they graduated with honors as “Emerging Talent.” They are an active member of Southern Sierra Miwuk Nation, frequently attending tribal meetings, ceremonies and gatherings. In 2018 Tiśina represented SSMN, alongside tribal leaders, in Washington D.C. to petition for Federal Recognition, an ongoing 30+ year battle with the U.S. government for tribal sovereignty. Tiśina designs, creates and collaborates with diverse communities and artists to illuminate issues of social/environmental justice and works deeply within regenerative design practices to create cultural art and traditional regalia that is in balance with Indigenous ways of being. Tiśina’s life work is dedicated to community building, storytelling and Indigenous cultural regeneration through the mediums of film, traditional regalia making, textiles, and community cultural arts activism. Tiśina’s current work focuses on re-skilling ancestral craft of regalia making practices and creating design which transcends the gender binary while honoring the sacred tradition and practices of her California tribal people.
J. Andrea Amezcua Porras / yAyA
J. Andrea Amezcua Porras / yAyA; is a IndigiQueer, TwoSpirit Coahuiltecan /Chicana, Mother, Culture Bearer, Intersectional Artist/ practitioner, curator and producer with over 25 years of experience in performance, organizing, facilitation, grant making/reviewing, and philanthropy. They currently freelance with artists on independent projects including Curatorial, Indigiqueer Film and Performance art and Theatre making. They also CoVision as an Arts & Culture mentor and development strategy consultant with The Buena Vista MeWuk Rancheria. Porras respectfully migrates /resides between Yelamu and Nisenan Territories (San Francisco /Sacramento CA.) They received a B.A. in Theatre /Dance with a focus on Cultural Anthropology & Ethnic studies from The California State University at Sacramento. They also represented CSUS recruiting hundreds of first generation students from area high schools, and was a Peer Teaching Mentor in Ethnic, Theatre, Cultural Anthropology and Dance through the Education Opportunity Program /EOP. Porras has also studied, taught and performed as an Afro- Modern and Danza Mexika traditional dancer, predominantly co creating in ceremonia and performance spaces alike across California, and later in Mexico, Cuba, Africa and NY. Porras recently transitioned out of their 5 tenure as Grants Art Specialist for the California Arts Council, where they managed a portfolio totaling approximately $7 million in funding year after year. They co-founded both Movimiento Molcajete (1997) Contemporary Indigenous Teatro & MA Series Arts (2018), a 501c3 non-profit which serves as an incubator platform for BIPOC artists — prioritizing women, Queers of color and Trans Familia.
Littlebear Sanchez is a Two-Spirited Lipan Apache/Mexican filmmaker and the founder of Wild Butterfly Productions. In 2022, they were awarded a fellowship from Vision Makers Media. With experience producing short films, documentaries, and experimental works, Littlebear is committed to crafting meaningful stories with diverse casts and crews that showcase LGBTQ and Indigenous representation.