Nadema Agard is a writer, editor and published author in addition to being an artist, curator, educator, museum professional and consultant in Repatriation and Multicultural/Native American arts and cultures. Since 1990 she has been Director of what is known today as, Red Earth Studio Consulting/Productions.
Ms. Agard was born, raised and educated in New York City. In 1970, she graduated from New York University with a Bachelors of Science Degree in Art Education. In 1973 she received a Masters Degree in Art and Education from Teacher's College, Columbia University. As a Native American (Cherokee-Lakota-Powhatan) who has been educated and traveled internationally, she has been a bridge between urban and traditional cultures.
In New York City, Nadema has worked in publishing
and with software technology as a Multicultural Consultant and Editor
for Scholastic Inc. Instructional Publishing Group (1994 - 5) and
as a Freelance Consultant, Writer and Illustrator for Scholastic Inc.-
New Media Division (1995). She has also been a Freelance Consultant
and Writer for the American Indian College Fund (1997), the Smithsonian
Institution's National Museum of the American Indian (2002)
and for the Secretariat of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues
at the United Nations (2003).
Agard's published works include:
• An article, PROFESSIONAL DEVEOPMENT: Earth Day Environment Activities, Teacher's Edition of LET'S FIND OUT, Scholastic, Inc. 2003
• A children's publication, SELU AND KANA' TI: CHEROKEE CORN MOTHER AND LUCKY HUNTER, Mondo Publishing, New York, 1997
• An essay, "Art as a Vehicle for Empowerment" published in VOICES OF COLOR: ART AND SOCIETY IN THE AMERICAS edited by Phoebe Farris DuFrene for Humanities Press International, Inc. of Atlantic Highlands, New Jersey, 1997
• A publication, SOUTHEASTERN NATIVE ARTS DIRECTORY, Bemidji State University, 1993
• An educational outreach project, OJIBWE AND LAKOTA, A CULTURAL COMPARISON, Native American Suitcase of Plains Art Museum,1992
• An article, "Southeastern Native Artists" for ARTS & ACTIVITIES, an art educator's magazine Spring 1991
• A book review for CRAFT INTERNATIONAL MAGAZINE, May 1987
• An article written for Council on Interracial Books for Children publication, ART AS A MEDIUM FOR COUNTERING RACE STEREOTYPES, Bulletin Volume 11, Number 8, 1980
The following is an excerpt from:
Native New Yorker For Real
By Nadema Agard Winyan Luta/Red Woman © 2004
My Cherokee maternal grandmother and her sister had very different ways than most of their neighbors because they did not allow us to interact much with other children in the neighborhood and they kept to themselves. It wasn't until I went to a number of reservations including Qualla Boundary in Cherokee, North Carolina years later that I realized, other than the fact that we were living in New York City, that apartment resembled many of the typical reservation homes. In other words their sense of design had a 'rez' aesthetics of practicality, economy and simplicity.
These Cherokee sisters, circled in the aroma of tobacco, smoked corncob pipes and fed us a steady diet of hominy with their other daily specialties. In their world, spiritual visitations were as real as the next door neighbors and it seemed these spirits visited more than the people next store who remained a mystery of conversations in Spanish. I tried to mimic conversational Spanish when we cousins played "our neighbors" by speaking gibberish as fast as I could. I later learned to speak it fluently.
My maternal grandmother, affectionately called "Wawi"* by my younger brother, lived with the simplicity of a monk. The only thing I remember about her bedroom was that the walls were plain, her bed was covered with a chenille bedspread and her dresser had nothing on it except one midnight-blue bottle of cologne called " Evening in Paris". It was this grandmother who always emphasized the beauty and power of long hair so when my mother got an Italian boy haircut in the mid '50s, I thought the world would come to an end. "Wawi" was really upset - She believed that long hair was woman's glory and in the protective power of long hair, which once cut off might render that person vulnerable and lack lustre. I guess words couldn't describe how upset she was that day my mother walked in with her new hairdo.