Penn State Fayette the Eberly Campus will soon be giving students and members of the public the chance to participate in a cultural learning performance.
The Piscataway Indian Nation Dancers will perform in the student center of the Williams Building on the campus at 12:15 p.m. Nov. 19 in celebration of National Native American Heritage Month.
Chad Long, events coordinator for the university, said there are 20 different Penn State campuses and they work with each other through block booking to bring cultural programs across the campuses.
“This way, we’re able to provide more opportunities through power buying,” he said. “The greater the number of campuses that we have participating, the more cultural programs we can bring in for a lower cost, which is our focus because it’s really important to all of the campuses to ensure diversity and inclusion.”
With this program, audiences will learn more about the American Indian heritage, culture and traditions through song and dance.
The Piscataway Nation, established nearly 15,000 years ago, was once a populous tribe spanning all of Maryland and parts of Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Ohio. The internationally recognized “living history” program will feature authentic Native American dance and music by performers from the Tayac territory in Maryland.
“Music is a way into our minds and souls and with the entertainment, the dancers will tell a little about their heritage and history about how the songs and the dances or movements came to be,” Long said.
“They’ll talk about how their garb and head wear came to be,” he added. “The feathers, the headpieces — they’re absolutely beautiful — and the story behind it is just so interesting.”
The event is being held in the student center area rather than in an auditorium because it seemed there would be more opportunities for the audience to interact with the performers in this setting.
Also, students typically have a break from 12:15 to 1:30 p.m. to allow them to engage in student activities or meetings or other programs.
The event is free and open to the public; no tickets are required.