Bemis Center For Contemporary Arts

Raven Chacon

Albuquerque, NM  

Raven Chacon is a composer, performer, and installation artist from Fort Defiance, Navajo Nation. As a solo artist, collaborator, or a member of the artist-group Postcommodity, Chacon has exhibited or performed in the Whitney Biennial, documenta 14, REDCAT, Musée d’art Contemporain de Montréal, San Francisco Electronic Music Festival, Chaco Canyon, Ende Tymes Festival, 18th Biennale of Sydney, and The Kennedy Center. Every year he teaches 20 students to write string quartets for the Native American Composer Apprenticeship Project (NACAP). He is the recipient of the United States Artists fellowship in Music, The Creative Capital award in Visual Arts, The Native Arts and Cultures Foundation artist fellowship, and the American Academy’s Berlin Prize for Music Composition.

As the inaugural artist in Bemis Center’s Sound Art + Experimental Music Program, Chacon will produce a new sound installation, along with musical scores and recordings during his fully-subsidized three-month live/work residency generously supported by the Harpo Foundation. The sound installation will be comprised of field recordings Chacon took at the 2016 Standing Rock gathering and texts exploring the role of sound at Standing Rock and other recent protest demonstrations. In addition, Chacon will complete a book of 15 musical scores based on Zitkála-Šá (1876–1938; a.k.a. Red Bird or Gertrude Simmons Bonnin), a Yankton Dakota who in the early 20th Century became known as a composer, writer, editor, teacher, and political activist.

In 2018, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation awarded Bemis Center a $500,000 grant to establish the Sound Art + Experimental Music Program. This funding will support the first three years of the specialized track within Bemis Center’s international Residency Program for artists pushing the boundaries of sound, composition, voice, and music of all genres. In addition to underwriting residencies for nine international artists working in this groundbreaking field, the grant also funds new audio equipment and the production and presentation of free live performances, open to the community.

Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts
724 South 12th Street
Omaha, NE 68102
Admission and Parking: FREE
Phone:: 402.341.7130