Announcing Bulbancha Residencies

June 2, 2022

We are pleased to announce the launch of Bulbancha Residencies, a new program designed to support Indigenous artists with a deep connection to Louisiana. Bulbancha, the original name for New Orleans, is a Choctaw word meaning “the place of other languages.” It refers to the historical and enduring nature of our area as a crossroads of waterways and a place of trade and cultural interaction between nations. Through this program, we aim to support the continuation of this legacy of cultural exchange and bolster the unique place of Indigenous Peoples in discussions of climate change and its aftermath. The residency was conceptualized in partnership with a steering committee composed of Indigenous leaders, scholars, artists, and former Studio residents including:

John Barbry – Language & Culture Revitalization Program, Tunica-Biloxi Tribe of Louisiana
Dr. Darryl G. Barthé PhD – Dartmouth College, Louisiana Creole
Hali Dardar – Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage, United Houma Nation
Jeffery U. Darensbourg – Artist, Atakapa-Ishak Nation of Southwest Louisiana
Elizabeth Ellis – New York University, Peoria Tribe of Indians of Oklahoma
Tammy Greer – University of Southern Mississippi, United Houma Nation
Margaret Pearce – Cartographer, Citizen Potawatomi Nation
Monique Verdin – Artist, United Houma Nation

This committee has nominated Ida Aronson to pilot the Bulbancha Residency series. Ida will be in residence for a total of six weeks during the 2022-2023 residency season. We will release an open call for applications in Spring 2023 for the 23-24 residency season, incorporating feedback from both Ida and committee members.

Ida Aronson (they/them) is an activist, theatre maker, herbalism student, cultural apprentice, and active member of the United Houma Nation. Their activism is informed by their multiple identities and first found form in the theatre, where they have worked to produce diverse, queer, and/or ‘radical’ theatrical productions for over 15 years. Ida is a cofounder of Bvlbancha Collective, founder of the short-lived Yakani Ekelanna Community Garden, and is currently involved with organizations including the Houma Language Project, Okla Hina Ikhish Holo, Power Shift Network, and Network of Ensemble Theaters. They have given talks and sat on panels at Tulane University, Linguistic Society of America, Neighborhood Story Project, Tunica-Biloxi Intertribal Basketry Summit, Northwest Indian Language Institute, and more. Ida lives in the Yakani Tcetu region (Houma area) with their partner and animals.

Photo by Fernando Lopez