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July 29, 2003

The lovely Cinda HughesWE LOVE CINDA HUGHES!!

Cinda Hughes, a member of the Kiowa Tribe of Oklahoma, has become the FIRST EVER Native American to be named Ms. Wheelchair America. She competed for the title last weekend in Des Moines, Iowa and wowed the judges with her beauty, charisma and confidence.

Arigon met Cinda back in 1999 at the Native American Music Awards. Cinda works for the Oklahoma State Senate and is also a contributor to one of the coolest movie websites around, Ain't It Cool News? (If you want spoilers on upcoming blockbusters or your favorite TV shows, you'll find them here, posted by Hollywood insiders -- like Cinda!)

Arigon recently profiled Ms. Hughes in THE NATIVE VOICE. She spoke about entering the competition: "I decided to be in this pageant because this is not a beauty pageant. The purpose and mission of Miss Wheelchair America is to be a public advocate and to talk to decision and policy makers about the lives of people with disabilities. Three out of five American Indians live with a disability. We are the quiet majority. I wanted to bring awareness about the plight of most of Native America and what our lives are like with a disability. We need to retain affirmative action policies, anti-discrimination policies, the ADA and all that helps to better the lives of those that live with disabilities."

We are so dang proud of you Cinda. Thanks for being one of our favorite NDN Warriors!

Cover of Mountain Windsong novelMORE SHOWS COMING UP!

Be sure to check out the Live Dates Calendar for some brand NEW live shows. Arigon and Nick Peters will be traveling north to Portland, Oregon and the Northwest for two shows in Portland, plus stops in Yakama, Washington and Warm Springs, Oregon. Arigon will hit the road solo with an in-store appearance at Tower Records in Nashville, plus a stop in Tahlequah, Oklahoma during the Cherokee National Holiday. "Robert Conley and I are going to team up for a book reading/concert and I can hardly wait," said Arigon. As most of you know, Robert Conley is the author of the book, "Mountain Windsong," which is the basis of Arigon's song of the same name. "I hope to see some of you at the Stomp Dance this year," she said.

July 21, 2003


The rumors you heard were true. There WERE Arigon Starr sightings in Fresno, California during late June and early July. What the heck was going on in Fresno? The budding young actress was part of Cal State University's Summer Arts program in the Acting On- Camera class. "Yep, I was in a dorm, just like those college kids you hear tell about," laughed Arigon. Instructors Hugh O'Gorman, Randy Reinholz and the lovely Jean Bruce Scott had all of the students going through their paces, with mountains of experience and knowledge crammed into two short weeks. "My head hurt most evenings," said Arigon. "It was almost too much knowledge to process. In fact, I think my brain STILL hurts, and I've been home for a week." [That's Arigon with singer/guitaristTony Villenueva of The Derailers. It's a mutual appreciation society!] Arigon was part of the group of actors in a short scene called "Easy Money," which was filmed before a live studio audience. "Even though I have done many live audience shows, it was quite a difference to work in front of a camera," she said. "Plus, I made a bunch of new friends and contacts during the two weeks." When she gets her photos processed....we'll post wacky actor photos here.


Arigon will be participating in a movie project on Friday, July 25. The film is called "Indian Territory" and does not currently have a release date. More on that when we get more information.


Another cool acting project that will include Arigon is the upcoming Wells Fargo Radio Theater project, "The Indolent Boys." Written by Pulitzer Prize-winning Kiowa author N. Scott Momaday, the story concerns the grief and guilt of a community following the death of three boys who run away from an Indian Boarding School. Actor Michael Horse [that's Michael at the right in front on his art studio -- with radical vintage signage!] will co-direct the project with Lori Tubert. The show will feature live musicians, sound effects and an audience and will be recorded on September 13th at the Autry Museum of Western Heritage. Also appearing in the cast will be actors John Aniston (Jennifer Aniston's dad!), Michael Horse and Zahn MacLarnon. "I've been talking to my Kiowa friends up on Rainy Mountain (Cinda Hughes! We're talking about you!) about accents and traditional songs. I'm working on a special musical number for this show," said Arigon. Lots of folks have been waiting for Arigon to include more "traditional" Native music elements into her music -- and this might well be the first go at it! Exciting! The public is definitely invited and we'll have more information on tickets for you soon.


More congratulations go out to Nicholas Peters on his recent appointment to the Imperial Court of San Diego. He's now BARON Nicholas Peters and you better darn well treat him like royalty. [Nick is on the left with Gary Bennett's baseball glove and some toasty hot Sopapillas at the La Hacienda Restaurant in Albuquerque, New Mexico.] The Imperial Court is a very active Gay/Lesbian group in San Diego, dedicated to helping out community charitable organizations. The group's official coronation will take place in San Diego on Saturday, August 2nd. If you're in San Diego, be sure to check it out and cheer on the wonderful Nick! For those of you keeping score, Nick loves Sopapillas, which are a southwest treat as addictive as Frybread. We have more baseball glove pictures which need to be rounded up on their own page!


As most of you know, Arigon Starr is a Sherman Alexie fan. Even more of you know that Sherman Alexie is an Arigon Starr fan! "I have TWO copies of BACKFLIP," said Sherman. "You gave me one and someone sent me a copy in the mail with a note that said -- 'You have GOT to hear this lady's music!'," he laughed. Mr. Alexie was in town to promote his latest literary effort "Ten Little Indians" and the release of his film "The Business of Fancydancing" on DVD.

Fancydancing DVDSherman made two stops in Southern California. The first appearance was at the Central Library on Wednesday, June 25 in downtown Los Angeles, which was attended by quite a few members of the local Native community. Arigon saw Paula Starr (no relation!) and her husband Eugene (of the Southern California Indian Center), Randy Reinholz & Jean Bruce Scott of Native Voices at the Autry, David Burton of the Autry Museum, actress Lelani Teliaferro and her pals Aimee Vasquez (pictured with Arigon) and Kym Mathias. Arigon also saw actress Michelle St. John, who has appeared in the TV movie "Geronimo" and both of Sherman's movies "Smoke Signals" and "The Business of Fancydancing." "People have been buzzing about you," Michelle told Arigon. "You need to come up and do some theater with us up in Toronto!" Michelle is involved with "The Turtle Gals," along with Monique Mojica and Jani Lauzon. They have several theater productions going on -- and all ladies are extremely talented. "Man, that made me feel like Bob Dylan himself gave me the thumbs-up," said Arigon. Sherman also made an additional appearance in Riverside, CA on Thursday, June 26 at the local Barnes & Noble store. Arigon drove out with her pal Aimee and met new pals Lee St. John (no relation to Michelle!) and her son Clifford. Arigon stuck around to meet Sherman's in-laws and joke around with folks. "Sometimes people rail against big retailers like Barnes & Noble," said Sherman. "However, Barnes & Noble has brought a bigger selection of books to Riverside. I have no problem with THAT!"

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