Upcoming Events:

Join us for monthly 1st Friday Open mic including feature acts and open stage for music, poetry, comedy, stories and more 7pm @ The People’s Cafe’, 64 Purchase St. Newburyport! Sign up in person. Info: www.imaginestudios.org, kristine@imaginestudios.org, 978-834-0367,

May 5 Feature: Markus Belanger, singer-songwriter and activist. Listen to a pre-releases of two new songs on his third album: A thousand clover leaves; Not a sound. For more on the last optimist: http://www.lastoptimist.com

Please join us for a special performance of Terezin, Children of the Holocaust, by acclaimed Playwright, Director and Humanitarian, Anna Smulowitz.

Monday, May 15th at 7:00PM at the Firehouse Center for the Arts in Newburyport, MA. Tickets $20 adults, $12 Seniors & Students: www.firehouse.org, 978-462-7336. More Information: www.terezin.org

Following the performance join the director, and cast for a community discussion addressing the rise in anti-Semitism, hate speech and crimes.

Terezin, depicts a day in the life of six children imprisoned in Camp Theresienstadt (also known as Terezin) in the Czech Republic. The camp imprisoned many thousands of European Jews, including over 15,000 children during the Nazi era. Each of the six characters is a symbolic representation of the six million Jews who perished during the Holocaust.

The play takes place during the Holocaust, but it also explores the contemporary consequences of hate, the vital power of every individual voice, and the need for a stronger sense of social responsibility in our lives. It is a portrait of the irrepressible power of hope and the triumph of spirit in the heart of a child.

The play has toured schools, colleges, churches, synagogues, and theaters as a stage play throughout the United States and internationally continuously for more than fifty years, and has been translated into several languages. Terezin has also been performed off Broadway, at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Scotland, in Cuba, Panama, Germany, as well as at the Terezin concentration camp in the Czech Republic and at Auschwitz in Poland. Terezin received the 1984 Children’s Television Award and Edinburgh Fringe Festival – Outstanding Show Award, amongst others.

About the Playwright-

Anna Smulowitz, the daughter of survivors of Auschwitz & Buchenwald, was born in a displaced persons camp in Germany and, as a child, emigrated to the United States. For over 50 years, she has offered highly acclaimed theatrical productions, while encouraging young minds to explore their humanity and creativity through the art of drama.

Anna was recently conferred an honorary Doctorate in Humanitarianism from the Global International Alliance for her lifelong dedication to education through the arts. She received the 2008 Leadership Award from the North Shore Anti-Defamation League, and was named The Model People Award from the Timberland Corporation, and the Global Citizen’s Circle Inhabiting Hope: Artivism Our Universal Language – Featured “Artist as Meaning Maker.”


Thanks to all who made our Earth Day event a great success!

MAMADOU is a world-class Afro-Pop ensemble showcasing original music by Senegalese luminary Mamadou Diop. Mamadou introduced his signature rhythm guitar sound around the world, sharing the stage and playing with countless African greats including Baaba Maal, Mamadou Jimi Mbaye and Mbaye Dieye Faye in the Madison Band (formerly of Youssou Ndour), Thione Seck, Nicolas Menheim and Papa Seck in the band Africando, the Grand Soda Mama, and many more. His award-winning band performs original songs of peace, love, hope, family and friendship, bringing a positive vibe to our world!

Mamadou founded A3Dinc. nonprofit organization to address the economic, educational, environmental, and public health needs of African and other underserved culturally diverse populations and organizations in the Greater Boston and North Shore area and abroad.

Kenyan singer, writer, activist Wangari Fahari and Paul Thibeault are a dynamic duo that cascades through three languages taking you in and beyond African skies. Wangari has been featured on many world stages with mentors such as Miriam Makeba, Joan Baez and Remi Kabaka she has the effortless ability to bridge cultures and accompany transcendence through the art of song. We look forward to a soulful time with you!

Wangari loves making a difference in the world and has teamed up with philanthropic institutions such as The Global Peace Train, The American World Jewish Association, One World Children Fund and The Greenbelt movement. Raising funds and awareness for Child soldiers in Lira, Uganda as well as promoting Kenya’s wildlife conservation and Agro-forestry.

As director at Artists For Wildlife Conservation, she helped organize a fundraising concert featuring her music with Paul Simon’s bass player Bakithi Khumalo and Berklee College Of Music Professors Casey Scheuerell and Suzanne Dean in Brookline, MA. Raising thousands of dollars for endangered Rhino’s in Kenya and South Africa. For those who know Wangari they understand her big heart and undying love for nature and people.

​Opening act singer-songwriter-guitarist and musical activist Lucky Leroux will perform original songs from his recent release Tommyknockerz!

Also check out African Drum Classes with master Senegalese drummer Mamadou Diop- Sundays, 5:30pm @ the Dance Place, Tannery, Water St. Newburyport. These classes offer traditional African rhythms in a supportive learning community on a drop in basis, $15/class. Drums provided or bring your own.

Thank you to all the participants, volunteers, sponsors and supporters of Newburyport’s 2nd Indigenous Peoples Day! For more information, visit: Facebook. To get involved or contribute to next year’s event, Contact: kristine@imaginestudios.org, 978-834-0367.


Schedule of Events:

10-11 AM: Opening ceremonies and fire circle– led by Paul and Denise Pouliot (Head Speakers of the Cowasuck band of the Pennacook Abenaki); Onega Waya White Wolf (Tsalagi Cherokee) participatory community ceremony, song, dance, drumming; Red Dawn (Mi’kmaq) and intertribal Participants; Newburyport Mayor Sean Reardon; Rev. Rebecca Bryan (First Religious Society Unitarian Universalist).

11:00: Main Stage- Paul and Denise Pouliot– Paul W. and Denise K. Pouliot are the Sag8mo and Sag8moskwa (Male and Female Head Speakers) of the Cowasuck Band of the Pennacook-Abenaki People that is headquartered in Alton, NH. Paul is an Indigenous historian, lecturer is a founding member of the New Hampshire Commission on Native American Affairs where Denise currently serves as Vice Chair; and in her spare time Denise creates coil, bark or woven baskets and produces traditional ceremonial clothing.  Together they serve as Federal Religious Advisors, Affiliate Faculty members of the UNH Native American and Indigenous Studies Minor, are founding members of the Indigenous New Hampshire Collaborative Collective, and recipients of the UNH Platinum Sustainability Award for community building and also named as one of The Nature Conservancy’s (TNC) 60 individuals and organizations that have positively impacted the natural world in honor of TNC’s 60 years of conservation in New Hampshire.

In addition to their Tribal responsibilities, they serve the greater community on several state and regional alliances that deal with race, equality, food insecurity, sustainability, education, climate change, social services, and justice related to marginalized and BIPOC communities. Paul and Denise helped to found the Indigenous NH Collaborative Collective.

In February 2022, Denise and Paul Pouliot collaborated with filmmaker Catherine Stewart to create Swimming Upstream: Indigenous Environmental Justice for Our Waterways. The short film featured historic and scientific information relating to the Great Bay Estuary, located on the seacoast of New Hampshire.

11:30: Onega Waya White Wolf- (Tsalagi Cherokee) Drummer, dancer, storyteller, artist, and educator will be leading participatory community ceremony and cultural activities. Bring your drums to participate!

White Wolf was VP of the “Red Road Foundation”, from 2005 through 2008, which was an educational non profit organization in NH that provided programs in schools throughout New England. He taught pre-American history, cultural history, and provided programs in grade levels from grammar school through college, as well as public venues and retirement homes.

White Wolf is Lakota taught for decades, having grown up out west. He also was a member of the Keetoowah Society in NYC, a tribally recognized Cherokee group who performed traditional ceremonies in upstate NY. He was also a member of Hayna Second Sons Powwow Drum group who performed throughout NYC and was host drum for Queen’s Farm Powwow in Forrest Hills, Queen’s NY. He is a Pipe Carrier in both Lakota and Cherokee traditions.

White Wolf is a Northern Plains Traditional Dancer in the realm of the Powwow community. This choice came from his years of immersion in the Plains traditions. As Fire keeper for the Inipi (Sweat Lodge) and pipe carrier. 

12:00: Seth J. Willey– (Cherokee) Storyteller and drummer lives in Amesbury, MA where he facilitates drum circles to bring mother earth’s heartbeat to the community. He shares traditional stories and songs for all ages so they will not be forgotten.

12:15: Elementary student speakers- from River Valley Charter School reflect on Indigenous Peoples Day.

12:30: David Detmold– Speaker on Indigenous Peoples Day and MA State Seal initiatives

12:45: Hawk Henries (Chaubunagungamaug band of Nipmuc)- is an artist, composer, and flute musician. He expertly crafts Eastern Woodlands flutes through ancestral and contemporary techniques. His transformative performances create contemplative spaces for unity and meaningful reflection on how we each have the capacity to make change in the world. Through music, discussion, and a note of humor, he weaves a calm, engaging, and thought-provoking experience.

Hawk has had the honor of presenting at venues such as The Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian, the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, Harvard Medical School Graduation, and in the U.K. with the London Mozart Players. He also enjoys educational settings from kindergarten to university and small venues where he can engage the audience in dialogue. As a seasoned flute maker, Hawk has flutes all over the world and in several museums. He has three original CD’s; First Flight, Keeping the Fire and Voices. He is also featured on the compilation CD Tribal Winds. His music has been used in a variety of films and documentaries, some of which won or were nominated for Emmy awards. To learn more about Hawk visit his website or on Facebook Hawk Henries Flute Maker/Musician

1:30: Claudia Fox Tree– Board Member MA Center for Native American Awareness. Professional educator and social justice activist Claudia Fox Tree, M.Ed. Facilitates courses and workshops on having difficult conversations about diversity and anti-racism. In decolonizing equity conversations, she centers present Indigenous experiences and inclusive history in what is now known as North and South America. Her presentations center on marginalized Native American identities and missing contributions while dismantling stereotypes and historical inaccuracies. She asks allies and co-conspirators to come on the journey with her. Claudia will address assumptions that perpetuate stereotypes and myths, expand ideas about “American history,” and explore the role of language. The journey of developing a counter narrative to missing information and misinformation about the First Nations people of this land begins with un-erasing Indigenous voices, learning what we were not taught, and continuing to have those conversations with families and friends.

Since 2000, Claudia has been on the Massachusetts Center for Native American Awareness board. MCNAA’s mission is to preserve Native American cultural traditions; to assist Native American residents with basic needs and educational expenses; to advance public knowledge and understanding, to dispel inaccurate information about Native People, and work towards racial equality by addressing racial issues inequities across the region.

Since 1998, Claudia has been a Massachusetts liaison for the United Confederation of Taino People, headquartered in New York. UCTP (http://uctp.blogspot.com/) spans the Greater and Lesser Antilles and the United States and beyond. The UCTP is dedicated to promoting and protecting the human rights, cultural heritage, and spiritual traditions of the Taíno and other Caribbean Indigenous Peoples for present and future generations and endeavors to assist its citizens in their social, economic, and educational, cultural, and spiritual development. Claudia is a tribal member of the Iukaieke Guainia Taino-Arawak Tribal Community.

In 2022, Claudia was awarded a Citation from The Massachusetts House of Representatives for “scholarship, activism, and tireless work to give voice to the experiences of Indigenous and Native American People.” In 2022, Claudia was honored by Ad Club for creating a more equitable Boston as a “Mentoring Champion” on their Equity Project Honor Roll. Website: Arawak Design (Crafting Business) Blogs: First Nations’ People (FNP) Resources and Multicultural Resources Social Media: Facebook

1:45: Mihku Paul– is a Wolastoqey writer and visual artist who grew up on a wild Maine river.  Her family is from Kingsclear First Nations. She created a one-woman exhibit at the Abbe Museum while a grad student; Look Twice: The Waponaki in Image & Verse, and is the author of 20th Century PowWow Playland.  Mihku is a Fellow this year with the first inaugural Maine Literary Festival and recent work can be seen on the Atlantic Vernacular online exhibit of art/poetry, N.B. Canada.  And Littoral Books anthologies Wait: Poems from the Pandemic and Enough! Poem of Protest and Resistance. Mihku lives and works in Portland, Maine. https://atlanticvernacular.ca/portfolio-item/meagan-musseau-mihku-paul/; https://www.nhpr.org/nh-news/2022-07-13/plymouth-exhibition-features-artwork-how-nh-seasons-are-changing; https://siwarmayu.com/mikhu-paul-three-poems-from-20th-century-powwow-playland/.

2:00: Chris Newell and The Iron River Singers-  Chris Newell was born and raised in Motahkmikuhk (Indian Township, ME) and a proud citizen of the Passamaquoddy Tribe at Indian Township. For over two decades, Chris devoted much of his time travelling all over the US and Canada singing at community pow wows and spending time in those communities learning various Native musics. He currently performs with the Iron River Singers. The Iron River Singers are an intertribal group of Abena. Northern style powwow singers from New England, formed in 1988.

Chris served for six years as the Education Supervisor for the Mashantucket Pequot Museum and Research Center. Out of the museum, Chris and his museum colleagues co-founded the Akomawt Educational Initiative as a response to observations of the public school system and the lack of representation of Native history and social studies. Chris combines his music and education disciplines together and often makes presentations that educate, but also entertain.

Chris was the Senior Advisor for the Emmy-award winning documentary Dawnland and participant in the upcoming short documentary Weckuwapok: The Approaching Dawn chronicling a historic sunrise concert collaboration in 2021 with Wabanaki musicians/storytellers and 18-time Grammy-winning cellist Yo-Yo Ma. From 2020 –2021, Chris served as the first Wabanaki Executive Director for the Abbe Museum, Maine’s only Smithsonian affiliate. He and the team at the Abbe led the effort to create Digital AMIM in 2020 in response to the global pandemic which earned Chris and the entire Abbe staff a 2020 NEMA Excellence Award. Most recently Chris authored the award winning children’s history book: If You Lived During the Plimouth Thanksgiving.

Chris Newell and the Iron River Singers
Hawk Henries

Don’t miss a special exhibition of sculpture by Joseph Gray, who has been working with stone for four decades, creating pieces using the ancient, hands-on technique of hammer and chisel. As part Abenaki, Gray believes his Native American background plays a key role in his art. “It connects me with the earth and nature… When I am carving an ancestor or spirit animal, I do not know what I am carving when I start. I can feel my ancestors guiding me. It is a spiritual experience for me and I lose myself in every sculpture.” “I believe I will make an impact on the world with my stone sculpture. A smile and a warming of one’s soul is my goal as a sculptor.” – Joseph Gray

See photos of Gray’s sculpture below, including, “Harboring Thoughts,” carved for the city of Newburyport, designed to be placed along the Merrimack river, on the clipper city heritage trail. The mother seal and the baby seal represent the Newburyport community, family, and our connection to nature, along the Merrimack. Gray will also be displaying “Fragmented World” and other works at the Waterfront Park October 8. For a complete catalogue of his collection: https://www.josephgraysculpture.com/

Fragmented World by Joseph Gray

Stay tuned for new fall dates for Imagine Studios community open mics, drum circles, performing arts and cultural events! For more info: 978-834-0367. Info: Facebook

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Join us Friday April 22, 1-5pm, for a free, outdoor, Earth Day Climate Justice Rally and multicultural event, featuring drumming, theater, speakers, family activities and mainstage music performances by Lucky Leroux, Meg Rayne, John Hyde and friends @ 2pm, Mamadou @ 4pm. Thanks to Ganesh Imports, Sarah Oleson Yoga and Janco Publishing for sponsoring the music.

Rally Poster April 1 V5 Mamadou

Other ongoing events-

Imagine’s monthly community open mic Begins again, Friday May 6 (1st Fridays Monthly)! Proceeds Benefit Ukraine

Musicians and poets of all ages, genres and abilities are welcome!  Refreshments provided by “People’s Café”. Donations to benefit Ukraine.


You are also cordially invited to these ongoing drum classes:

African Drum Classes with master Senegalese drummer Mamadou Diop- Sundays, 5-6 pm at the Dance Place, Tannery, Water St. Newburyport. These classes offer song and traditional African rhythms in a joyful, supportive learning community on a drop in basis, $15/class.



Stay tuned information about these and other collaborative community events at the People’s United Methodist Church, 64 Purchase st. Newburyport, in collaboration with Khora Collective =A network of conversation and resource sharing focused on transforming our communities for the common good- Discerning Goodness, Creating Beauty, Living Truth, and the People’s Cafe’ = Creating a space and building community where all people are welcome.

recent events-

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The public is invited for a free hybrid in person and online screening of the Upstander Project film, Dawnland, a film about cultural survival and stolen children- WINNER of the EMMY® AWARD FOR OUTSTANDING RESEARCH. Wednesday, March 30, 7-9pm.

The screening will be followed by a live Q&A with panelists Chris Newell (Passamaquoddy) senior advisor for Dawnland, Director of Education at the Akomawt Educational Initiative and author of the recent book “If You Lived During the Plimoth Thanksgiving”; Dawn Neptune Adams (Penobscot) a featured participant in Dawnland and the Maine Truth and Reconciliation Process, is a filmmaker, co-director of the short documentary Bounty journalist and environmental activist. Mishy Lesser, Ed.D. is an Emmy® award-winning researcher and the learning director for the Upstander Project and Education Fellow at the Dodd Human Rights Impact at the University of Connecticut. She is co-director of the Upstander Academy.

This screening is free, but donations are encouraged to support the work of Maine Wabanaki REACH and The Upstander Project.

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