The Heart's Compass tells women's stories The Hearts Compass, a multidimensional presentation by Nebraska artists Deb Carpenter and Lyn DeNaeyer, will be performed on Friday, March 31, at 7:30 p.m. at the Washington Street Arts Center, 202 Washington, Vermillion.
Carpenter is a singer-songwriter who lives in rural northwestern Nebraska and teaches at Oglala Lakota College on the Pine Ridge Reservation and DeNaeyer is a freelance writer and third-generation rancher in the Nebraska Sandhills. Their collaboration and research have produced this program which tells the stories of pioneer women's journeys and their quest for identity, spirituality, and a sense of place. Through songs, stories, and poems, Carpenter and DeNaeyer, dressed in period garb, shared experiences about the women who traveled and settled in the western United States during the 1800s.
One song written by Carpenter was inspired by the story of Mennonite women who, unknown to their husbands, smuggled peony bulbs into their new homeland. When the men said, "Bring only what's needed � the fruit pits, the Turkish wheat seed," the women hid their prized possessions. "If our flowers survive so will we." DeNaeyer recalls memories of her Grandma Lizzie and the tales that she would tell of the wagon journey west and wishing she had listened better.
The performance is sponsored by the Vermillion Area Arts Council and is supported through the Nebraska Arts Council with funding in South Dakota through the South Dakota Humanities Council. The program is held in conjunction with The University of South Dakota's 28th annual Native American Awareness Week celebration which begins March 27 and concludes with a powwow on April 1 and 2.
Preceding the performance, a reception will be held at the Arts Center for artists Charles Aldrich, Gary Bigbear, and Gerald Cournoyer whose recent works are on display through April 2. The reception is from 5 to 7 p.m. Everyone is invited and welcome to attend. For more information, call 605-624-4342.