Rumble & Gathering

April 14, 2020

Hello to all,

My name is Janet Carrus and I am the Founder and Artistic Director of the Hurleyville Performing Arts Centre.

Often I’m asked, How did HPAC come to be?

I usually respond, “You need a glass of wine and time, because it’s a story.”

Like most of my escapades and projects in life, it begins with a very strong feeling which when triggered, depending on the time, place, or circumstances, gets filed in my subconscious for a more appropriate time, opportunity and action. There have been numerous projects and adventures that have resulted from this. But to contribute to the HPAC’s blog I will make it relevant to HPAC’s goals and mission.

In 2017, one of the first documentaries to be shown at HPAC was “Rumble: The Indians Who Rocked the World”.
I was excited that we were screening it at the Arts Centre. It filled my need to use music as a lens into the Native American experience as well as an opportunity to highlight social justice through the Arts.

For me, it was one of the most impactful documentaries I had ever seen. Its historical journey was one I could relate to. It covered a generation’s timeline: the beginning of Rock and Roll, the Civil Rights movement, Vietnam and Standing Rock (which certainly was and is not the end of the Native American struggle for equality).

The visual of that time capsule, on the big screen, in an Arts Centre that I had contributed to was overwhelming. It took me by surprise, for I am not one you can easily bring to tears. I thought I was fine until the movie credits were over. Once in the lobby, someone asked me what I thought…. but I wasn’t thinking, I was feeling.

I was trying for the life of me to be cool but I was unraveling internally. What the hell was happening to me? My reaction wasn’t just the tears, I was borderline hysterical!

I wasn’t able to answer, I just stood there fluttering my hands in front of my face as if I was going to elevate.
Yikes! I had an audience…and all I could say was, “I was there, I was on the sidelines watching and didn’t or couldn’t do anything!”

But that was then, now is now.

My rational self, which is something I pride myself on, knew a well-made film was supposed to elicit a response.
And mission accomplished.

In the months and years following that reaction, we at HPAC were determined to highlight the Native American experience, their contributions to Mother Earth, society, preservation of natural resources and all their ancient wisdom. For as cultures, they span over 20,000 years.

In order to accomplish this goal, the Hurleyville Performing Arts Centre will be working closely with the Blackfeet Nation and Tribes from Canada to Mexico to help build social change, to bolster and share resources. The goal is to embody the principles of diversity, equality, inclusion, and justice. Inspiring social change and driving action through
The Arts.

With Hope and Health, we will celebrate our First Indigenous Event, “The Gathering of Nations” this coming October 2020.

We look forward to seeing you there.

– Janet Carrus