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Culture & Cuisine

Explore a range of experiences in the indigenous arts, from food and plant preparation and use to beadwork, drummaking, flutemaking and more.

2020 Online Workshops
= Native American Arts

Chef Freddie’s Kitchen

Freddie Bitsoie
May 23 – June 13 
Four 2-hour sessions, one each Saturday

Join us for four Saturday mornings, starting May 23, at 9:30 am PDT for a 2-hour dive into culinary fun with the Executive Chef at the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington DC., Chef Freddie Bitsoie (Diné)

Each Saturday, Chef Freddie will teach you an easy-to-make meal that will feed the body and soul. Most recipes call for items you may already have at home! When you register you will receive an ingredients list and recipe (PDF) to help you follow along during your workshop. 

These online workshops will be offered to enrolled students on ZOOM, where you will have the chance to interact with Freddie LIVE!

It gets better! After your class, you will receive a recipe booklet curated by Chef Freddie to keep in your kitchen!

Limited spots are available, so register quickly to reserve your spot.

Skill level: All levels
Tuition: $50 per class or $160 for all four
Enrollment limited to 20 students.

What You Will Need:

  • Good internet connection 
  • Any electronic device that has access to the internet (phone, tablet, computer, iPod, etc.) 
  • Make sure your device is charged before class begins

Class Schedule:

  • First Saturday, 5/23/20 – Appetizing Fusions! 
  • Second Saturday, 5/30/20The Main Course 
  • Third Saturday, 6/6/20 – Desserts – Did Someone Say Chocolate?
  • Fourth Saturday, 6/13/20Comfort Foods 

Class schedule and recipes are subject to change.

Freddie J. Bitsoie (Diné), is executive chef, Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI) Mitsitam Café in Washington, DC. He also owns FJBits Concepts, which specializes in Native American foodways. He travels widely, presenting for organizations including Kraft Foods, College of the Holy Cross, Yale University, and the Heard Museum. Freddie hosts the public TV show Rezervations Not Required, and has appeared in and contributes to many publications. He won the Native Chef Competition at the NMAI in 2013. Freddie studied cultural anthropology and art history at Arizona State University before attending culinary school. 

Instagram: @fjbits
Facebook: Chef Freddie J. Bitsoie

Drawstring Bead and Quill Medicine Pouch

Melanie Tallmadge Sainz
July 6-10 
One-week session

For thousands of years, indigenous peoples of North America have created special pouches made from natural local fibers to store their most prized possessions. In this online workshop, you will explore and practice using porcupine quills, hand-tanned deerskin, and glass beads to create your own special pouch. 

Not sure where to find porcupine quills? Don’t worry – you will receive all the materials necessary to execute your project.

Instructor Melanie Tallmadge Sainz will introduce you to both traditional and contemporary tools used in quill and bead art. You will learn a variety of quill and bead methods including basic running stitch, banding, and edging. The geometric and organic designs will be applied on to hand-tanned deerskin using glass seed beads. Melanie will teach you how to process and combine natural porcupine quills along with glass beads to create fringes as you complete your own unique, deeply personal drawstring pouch. 

Online guided sessions are scheduled for Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Tuesday and Thursday will be online office hours, providing dedicated time to work directly with Melanie to troubleshoot and share creative ideas.

Skill level: All levels
Tuition: $575
Lab fee: $45 (Includes Beading needles, thread, beeswax, 1 hank of size 11 seed beads in 4 colors, a quarter ounce of porcupine quills, PDFss for instructions on how to execute banding and zigzag method stitches, deer skin hide.)
Enrollment limited to 12 students.

What You Will Need:

  • Good internet connection 
  • Device to access the internet (phone, tablet, computer, iPad, etc.) 
  • Make sure your device is charged before class begins
  • One pair of scissors (suitable for cutting cloth)
  • One small cube (1″ X 1″ X 1″) of styrofoam
  • One pair of scissors
  • Ruler
  • Needle nose pliers
  • Well lit work space
  • Access to a printer to print out class PDFs

If you have never used Zoom, here is a quick tutorial: Zoom tutorial video link.

You will be required to bring additional materials to your workshop.

Melanie Tallmadge Sainz is a member of the Ho-Chunk Nation of Wisconsin. As a cultural arts educator and artist her life is devoted to building bridges through the arts. Her art career is a blend of creating, exhibiting, and teaching art with her role as founding Director of Little Eagle Arts Foundation. She credits her uncle Chief Michael Winneshiek and mother Bernadine Tallmadge for her passion for porcupine quill art. Traditional and adapted techniques and materials have been discovered, collected, and integrated into her work.

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