After long consultations with Portland State University officials over the past week, we have decided to postpone the 2010 Jim Pepper Arts Festival to the summer of 2011.
Several reasons enter into our decision:
Since the passing of Jim’s mother Floy Pepper in June, to be honest, our hearts haven’t been in it like before.
Our momentum and our love for Jim and his music were carrying us forward, but Floy was our Honorary Chair and we haven’t held a Steering Committee meeting since she passed.
We recognize that the Pepper family remains in mourning and we will honor them and this period of private time by scheduling the Jim Pepper Arts Festival for a later, more appropriate date.
The most important other consideration is the fact that the Native American Studies Department and the Music Departments are both moving into different buildings just before our planned Festival dates and will not have the personnel to accomplish that and then register students, start classes and provide logistical support to the Festival at the same time. All staff levels are very thin.
These factors are all telling us that we must be patient.
We are grateful to Portland State University for its support. We have many allies and champions there, including College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Dean Marvin Kaiser and School of Fine and Performing Arts Dean Barbara Sestak, and Professor Cornel Pewewardy, Director of Native American Studies.
Our accomplishments for this season include:
Dean Sestak graciously offered five nights in Lincoln Hall to support the Jim Pepper Arts Festival, and we offer her our gratitude. This is the first stage of what will be a beautiful partnership as we move forward from here.
Dean Kaiser has taken the steps to create the Jim Pepper Remembrance Scholarship account and the Jim Pepper Arts Festival account, both to benefit the Native American Studies Department. The Jim Pepper Arts Festival account will support the endowment of the Jim Pepper Chair.
Contributions to either account can be made directly to the Development Office, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Portland State University, here:
Dean Kaiser has committed the University to stage the Jim Pepper Arts Festival at a more appropriate time. Planning for that event will begin in September. The Jim Pepper Arts Festival is postponed, not cancelled.
Perhaps most importantly, Dean Kaiser has made the commitment to create the Jim Pepper Hunga-Che-Ada Flying Eagle Chair, as called for in Senate Joint Resolution 31 (2005).
The Jim Pepper Chair will become one of the University’s major points of pride and sources of strength and inspiration, and a beacon for Native people everywhere.
Our work as a Steering Committee has brought these things to pass, and we have gained many friendships and formed many partnerships and alliances along the way.
This is the foundation upon which we will build, these are those with whom we will travel, this is the path we shall take.
I want to thank personally everyone who has granted me an audience and offered the gift of friendship. I am very grateful.