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Project HOOP News: 2004

When Tornadoes ripped through the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota, leaving behind physical destruction and psychological trauma, community leaders asked for help from Project HOOP at Sinte Gleska University on the neighboring Rosebud Reservations.

Drawing from cultural legends about storms and thunder beings, Project HOOP worked with community youngster's to create a musical-dance-drama called After the Storm. It was "a living, performing, healing mechanism for themselves and their community, through which they understood the power of Nature," says Hanay Geiogamah, co-founder of Project HOOP and interim director of the American Indian Studies Center at UCLA.

"I was very affected by seeing it," he said. "This happened in a place where organized theater is not a normal cultural asset, but it tapped sources of creativity that were already in the community."

Project HOOP, a national, multidisciplinary initiative to advance Native American theater, recently received a two-year grant from the Ford Foundation.

(article from Graduate Quarterly, News & Information for UCLA Graduate Students, Winter 2004, Volume 13, Number 2)