First of its Kind, Opened in 1995
The “House of Welcome” Longhouse Education and Cultural Center (Longhouse) opened in 1995 at The Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington. As a public service center of The Evergreen State College, the Longhouse’s mission is to promote indigenous arts and cultures through education, cultural preservation, creative expression, and economic development.
Indigenous Arts: Local, National & International
The Longhouse promotes indigenous arts and culture at a local, national, and international level. In 1996, the Longhouse began a partnership with six local tribes to administer a Native economic development arts initiative. Since then our services have expanded along with our geographical reach. We host native arts sales, exhibitions and performances. We provide marketing services to artists. Through residency programs with master artists, we inspire new artists to develop their abilities and established artists to expand their capacities.
Gatherings of Artists from North America and the Pacific Rim
We host convenings of indigenous artists and arts organizations from North America and around the Pacific Rim. We mentor other Native arts organizations and provide programs to give individual artists resources for artistic and professional growth. With support from the Ford Foundation, the Longhouse’s Native arts program expanded beyond the Northwest region into a national grant-making program for American Indian, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian artists. During the same time frame, the Longhouse established an international indigenous residency program with the New Zealand government’s Ministry of Culture.
All of the Longhouse’s programs are intertribal and intergenerational, although the majority of the participants are practicing adult artists. We also provide numerous public opportunities to engage with the art and the artists through art markets and exhibitions.