Two Recent College Graduates Create Native Festival to Reach Youth

Jourdan Bennett-Begaye and Allie Young

Jourdan Bennett-Begaye and Allie Young

FARMINGTON, NEW MEXICO  – Two recent college graduates, Jourdan Bennett-Begaye and Allie Young, created the Survival of the First Voices Festival focused on creating educational and creative opportunities for Native American and First Nations youth by providing them with the necessary resources and connections to reach for a higher education and to pursue their passions.

“SFVF is intended to encourage the youth to use art and media as mass communication tools to preserve our Native American and First Nations cultures, reclaim our histories, build a strong cultural foundation, increase indigenous presence in mainstream culture, and change the negative stereotypes of our People,” says Allie Young, Co-Founder of Survival of the First Voices.

Art gives Native youth the freedom of expression. It allows them to channel their energy into their work rather than drugs, alcohol, and the many health problems the Native American population is suffering from.

This free-to-the-public festival invited many successful Native American and First Nation artists in film/TV, music, fashion, fine arts, culinary arts, new media, performing arts, writing, and health media.

“Survival of the First Voices Festival is the first of its kind in Indian Country and we describe it as South by Southwest in Indian Country,” says Jourdan Bennett-Begaye, Co-Founder of Survival of the First Voices. “It’s all for the youth!”

The entire festival will consist of speakers, workshops, a round-table discussion, music and dance performances, film screenings, a fashion show, a comedy show, an open mic night, a book signing, traditional storytelling, and a banquet with an overall theme of social justice, reclaiming our histories, preserving our cultures, and increasing our presence in mainstream culture.

This free-to-the-public festival invited many successful Native American and First Nation artists in film/TV, music, fashion, fine arts, culinary arts, new media, performing arts, writing, and health media. “Survival of the First Voices Festival is the first of its kind in Indian Country and we describe it as South by Southwest in Indian Country,” says Jourdan Bennett-Begaye, Co-Founder of Survival of the First Voices.

“It’s all for the youth!” The entire festival will consist of speakers, workshops, a round-table discussion, music and dance performances, film screenings, a fashion show, a comedy show, an open mic night, a book signing, traditional storytelling, and a banquet with an overall theme of social justice, reclaiming our histories, preserving our cultures, and increasing our presence in mainstream culture.

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