Before Los Angeles’ name was first written on a map, there was Tovaangar: a gathering place and nurturing home to the Tongva people. Co-curated by Kenny Ramos, Jessa Calderon, and Kelly Caballero, Tovaangar Today is a virtual celebration of the Native artists and cultural creators who still thrive in the region working as poets, actors, emcees, multimedia artists, and advocates. While centering on the Tongva and other California Nations, the festival will also feature artists from the local intertribal urban Native diaspora and highlight the connections between art, activism, identity, and tribal sovereignty.
Music and Performances
Kelly Caballero, a Tongva singer-songwriter, performer, poet, and jeweler uses her voice to highlight the multifaceted and complex lives of Indigenous peoples born and raised in urban settings. She performs original songs with her ukulele from The Ford’s Edison Plaza.
Singer, songwriter, emcee (rapper), poet, and author Jessa Calderon is of the Chumash and Tongva Nations of Southern California and found her voice in hip-hop. Calderon fills The Ford’s stage with her poignant hooks, rhymes, and lyrics.
Indigenous Alternative R&B artist PJ Vegas is known for his sultry vocals and gritty content, winning a 2017 MTV VMA for “Best Video with a Message.”
The Tewa is an Indigenous (Cherokee and Purhepecha) Artist and Producer based out of Southern California. He performs his distinct blend of jazz, soul, and indie music at The Ford’s Edison Plaza.
Featuring Mia Lopez, Tina Calderon, and Jessa Calderon, the Šmuwič Singers (Chumash Singers) share stories through song.
Artists in Focus
Explore the powerful voice of artist and poet Solange Aguilar in a video feature
Isaiah Mendoza and Annie Mendoza
Share a portion of The Aqueduct Between Us, that offers Native oral histories about water in Los Angeles
Tazbah Rose Chavez
The performance poet turned director and television writer reads her multimedia poem “When did you forget?”
Tommy “Teebs” Pico
The poet, podcaster, author, and TV writer reads selections from his book Nature Poem
Working to Protect Water, Environmental Justice, Sacredness of Water
Moderated by Kenny Ramos, the panel looks at environmental justice and protecting fragile water resources for tribal communities.
Angela Mooney D'Arcy
Founder and Executive Director of Sacred Places Institute
Coastal protection activist
Director, Indigenous Waters Program Sacred Places Institute, PhD Candidate in Urban Planning
Pukúu Cultural Community Services works to invest in, improve opportunities for, and celebrate diverse tribal nations striving for the betterment of all American Indian people living in Los Angeles County.
Support these local vendors during Tovaangar Today!
The O.I.T. Mission is to build awareness and showcase Indigenous Culture with the utmost respect to communities through fashion and to educate and learn from one another, whether it's from Tribe-to-Tribe or Tribal-to-Non-Tribal.
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The founder of Unitary Apparel is making his dream come true by starting this clothing company. With a passion for creating Native designed streetwear, the goal of a startup is complete. Cody's Native background inspires the design, but he also finds inspirations from everything and everyone in our environment. If the theme is cool, Unitary will use it and make it fashionable. Unitary fuses pop culture with classic Native iconography themes, and parodies to create apparel that is legit!
Tongva Land – Gemstone, Jewelry, Tattoo, Energy worker, Numerology, Dreamer, Poet, Toltec Path, Red Road Warrior, Caxcán, Wixárika, Swiss ”TIJAX”
Kimberly Robertson (Mvskoke) is an artivist, scholar, teacher, and mother who works diligently to employ Native feminist theories, practices, and methodologies in her hustle to fulfill the dreams of her ancestors and to build a world in which her daughters can thrive. She was born in Bakersfield, CA, and currently lives on unceded Tongva lands.
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