Forge Project, a new initiative based in Upstate New York on unceded, traditional and ancestral lands of the Muh-he-con-ne-ok, has launched a new program, the Forge Project Fellowship, supporting established and emerging Indigenous leaders in the land justice, education and cultural fields with financial support and a residency at Forge Project.
Based in a house designed by Chinese artist and activist Ai Weiwei (the only house he’s designed in the US), Forge Project encompasses four main elements: the fellowship program, a farming and ecological education program in partnership with Sky High Farms, a lending art collection of work by Indigenous and Hudson Valley artists, and a program of direct financial support for community organizations.
The inaugural Forge Project Fellows are architect and studio:indigenous founder Chris T Cornelius (Oneida), artist and filmmaker Sky Hopinka (Ho-Chunk Nation / Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians), ecologist and researcher Jasmine Neosh (Menominee), and language preservation activist and Mohican language teacher Brock Schreiber (Stockbridge-Munsee Band of Mohicans). Each will receive $25,000 and time and space to work at the Forge house.
The fellowship will run annually and successive classes past this inaugural cohort will be larger.
Forge’s work includes agricultural education and a teaching farm and kitchen; the growing art collection highlighting Indigenous artists from across the US and Canada that is available for view on request and for loan; and financial support for community organizations doing work on social justice, food sovereignty, and more.
Founded by Becky Gochman, Forge is led by Executive Director Candice Hopkins (Carcross / Tagish First Nation), Director of Education Heather Bruegl (Oneida / Stockbridge-Munsee), and Facilitator Zach Feuer.
About the Fellows
Chris T Cornelius (Oneida), is an architect, professor and founding principal of studio:indigenous, and designs spaces for Indigenous clients through the translation of Indigenous culture into architecture. His academic practice centers around the history of Indigenous design, visual thinking, and mapping.
Sky Hopinka (Ho-Chunk Nation/Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians), is a visual artist and filmmaker working across video, photo, and text-based works. His interdisciplinary body of work examines the relationships between the history of place, indigeneity, and colonialism. His latest works engage with the complexity of language and geography.
Jasmine Neosh (Menominee), is a writer, student researcher, and advocate for environmental justice, Indigenous sovereignty, climate change education and culturally-informed, place-based sustainability. She is currently working on a field guide to restore knowledge loss surrounding food systems and native plants.
Brock Schreiber (Stockbridge-Munsee Band of Mohicans), is a student and teacher of Mã’eekuneeweexthowãakun, as well as an author and Tribal Council Member. He is dedicated to reviving and restoring knowledge of the language through classes and potluck dinners, and is currently working to establish the next generation of teachers. He is the author of several children’s books, including three in the Mohican language. A Mohican language instructor, he is working to build speakers in the community.
About Forge Project
Launched in 2021, Forge Project is an initiative to support leaders in culture, education, food security, and land justice. Forge exists as a platform for people and organizations whose crucial work serves the social and cultural landscape of our shared communities through a fellowship program, a teaching farm developed in partnership with Sky High Farm, community support, and a lending art collection.