Rod Ambrose, Storyteller – Glendale
Rod Ambrose originally from Chicago, Illinois has had a lifelong fascination and passionate involvement with Story Telling. Ambrose pulls from the oral traditions of West Africa, where storytellers shared values, legends, and news through song and story. Over 47 years Ambrose has studied, learned, developed, composed, written, acted in and directed plays in addition to storytelling in hundreds of elementary, middle & high schools, Universities and Community colleges throughout Arizona. His work now investigates the role of the “Black Urban Griot” in contemporary African-American culture.
Carmen Baron, Costume maker – Tucson
Carmen Baron, who has been sewing since she was a small child, learned Mexican folklórico dance and costumes from her experiences studying and teaching with the Insituto de Folklore Mexicano in Tucson. Today teaches dance and creates costumes for her students, ranging in age from 1 to 18. The award will support her in sharing her knowledge of traditional folklórico costumes and sewing with her first apprentice.
Kevin Lau, Chinese Lion Dancer – Phoenix
Performer Kevin Lau will teach the traditional Chinese Lion dance, an energetic dance performed traditionally during the Chinese New Year festival by two dancers accompanied by live percussionists. Drawing upon the Chinese martial art of gong fu (kung fu), the dance is said to bring good luck and fortune.
Gerald Lomaventema, Hopi Overlay Jeweler – Second Mesa
Gerald Lomaventema will share the tradition of Hopi overlay jewelry, which he observed his father create when he was young. He began a formal apprenticeship at age 19 through the Hopi Guild Co-op on Second Mesa, and later learned to create jewelry in 3D and with color.
Reuben Naranjo, Traditional Tohono O’odham Potter – Tucson
Reuben Naranjo first learned Tohono O’odham pottery from his grandmother, Mary Lewis. Later he studied with Alicia Bustamente of S-Gogosik, Sonora, Mexico, and Annie Manuel of Hickiwan, Arizona, to make utilitarian terracotta ollas and white clay friendship pots using colored clay slips and paints. Naranjo will pass on the tradition of these O’odham women to his students.
Peter Rolland, Old Time Fiddler – Phoenix
A professional fiddling entertainer and fiddle teacher for 43 years, Peter Rolland has taught hundreds of students, many of whom have gone on to win fiddle contests and become professional players and teachers. The SFA Award will help support him in teaching traditional, old-time fiddling through the “Roland Fiddle Camp,” a week-long immersion gathering for students and teachers.
Adolfo “Zarco” Guerrero, Wood Carver & Maskmaker – Phoenix
Adolfo “Zarco” Guerrero is a member of both the Acjachamen Tribe of Southwestern California and the Opata from Sonora. He began making masks in Mexico in 1975, and later served as an apprentice to Joshun Fukakusa, a master Noh mask carver in Kyoto, Japan. Guerrero studies Nahuatl language and works to disseminate ancient Mexican cultural artforms. He worked with apprentice Hector Moreno, a member of the fokloric dance troup, Ollin Yolitzli, to carve an ancient MesoAmerican drum called the “Huehuetl” and fabricate the traditional “Copilli” headdress, both used in Aztec dance performances and ceremony.
Mari Kaneta, Traditional Japanese Dancer – Tucson
Founder of the Tucson-based Traditional Japanese Dance group “Suzuyuki-Kai,” Kaneta received her degree and professional training in Tokyo. Kaneta has performed at multicultural events in Phoenix and Tucson for the past 25 years and internationally in Caracas, Venezuela and Nogales, Mexico. Traditional Japanese dance is taught orally, with direct instruction from the sensei and partnership with more experienced students. Mari worked with apprentice Suzu Igarashi, a classically training Japanese Dancer and member of her company, to teach traditional choreography and the history of the artform. Their goal is to make Suzu the sensai of the group by 2020.
Ron Carlos, Potter – Salt River
Ron Carlos is a member of the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community. He learned traditional paddle and anvil technique pottery in June 1994 from Phyllis Cerna and her daughter, Avis Pinion. Working with apprentice August Wood, Carlos shared his knowledge of collecting and processing natural clays and pigments, producing tools, creating pots using paddle and anvil technique, implementing native designs, and firing in open pit fires.
Felipe Molina, Oral historian/Storyteller – Tucson
Felipe Molina is a life-long resident of Yoem Pueblo (Marana) and member of the Pascua Yaqui Tribe. He is an oral historian, a teacher of Yaqui language and culture, an experienced and accomplished deer singer and practitioner of other arts of the pahko, and an author and mentor to young Yaquis. A sought-after ceremonial leader, he has performed at many public gatherings internationally. Molina will continue to work with a group of apprentices, teaching and learning traditional Yoeme foodways and cultural expressions.