“Bittersweet Winds”

A Traveling Exhibit on Native American Imagery


Beginning at 4 pm Sunday, October 26 and running until Friday, October 31, 2008, “Bittersweet Winds” will be on display at the Harmony Cafe at 1660 West mason Street in Green Bay, WI. Richie Plass, Director of Education of Changing Winds Seminars, Inc. will be on-site during the week of the exhibit.

Assembled in 2006, “Bittersweet Winds” came into existence from a request by Randy Gunter, who owns and operates a graphic arts business in Verona, WI. Gunter has made a state-wide offer to any school in Wisconsin for all the graphic work needed if they make the change of their name and logo if it depicts a Native American name or image. As Gunter was doing his research, he came upon Plass and Changing Winds. He explained to Plass and Christine Rose, “If I could display a small exhibit right here in our lobby showing all aspects of Native American images, I believe this would help school administrators, teachers and the public in general the true process of the use and disrespect in this process.” Thus, the exhibit became a reality.

The exhibit began with two small boxes that carried various documents photos and some craft items. The exhibit now has over 200 items and continues to grow. Plass has had the exhibit in six different states, various college campus' and different communities. Plass says, “I call it the good, the bad and the ugly of how our image has been used since the Europeans landed on the eastern shores of the United States.” He also states how people can now see first-hand, and learn how and why many Native Americans feel no respect when these practices are followed.

An added feature of the exhibit is a questioner in relation to the exhibit. Students and teachers are given copies of the questioner and then they tour the exhibit. Once their time is up, discussion is held. Plass says, “Each item in the exhibit has its own story. Two or three people can view the same item and have totally different opinions about it. This creates great discussions and even some heated debates. My only involvement is to explain what the item is, where it came from and why its in the exhibit. Our main goal for the exhibit is education.”The exhibit is also able to be used as a training tool in diversity, stereotyping and racism.

The American Indian Center-Fox Valley in Appleton, WI. Is also assisting Plass in bringing the exhibit to Harmony Cafe. Plass is presently working part-time at the center as Cultural Liaison. “Part of what I do at the center is to make on-site presentations on Native American issues, culture heritage and history.  With the involvement and assistance from the center and Director of Education, Lisa Hurst, I am confident the week will be a huge success.”

Schools, community groups, college classes, church groups, any one at all are invited to come and view the exhibit. Plass will be holding two teacher sessions during the week's exhibition. They will be Tuesday and Wednesday evenings, October 28 and 29 beginning at 5 pm and ending at 7 pm. These sessions are open to all teachers from any grade and school and are intended to assist teachers in various aspects of classroom activities and the Native culture in Wisconsin.

For further information, you can e-mail Richie Plass at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . You are also invited to view their web site at: www.changingwinds.org “Bittersweet Winds”.

 

 

 

 

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