Perpich News

Missy Whiteman (Visual Arts 1995) Receives 2020 McKnight Fellowship for Media Artists

Missy Whiteman

Missy Whiteman

June 10, 2020

Missy Whiteman (Visual Arts 1995) has been named one of four Minnesota artists selected to receive the 2020 McKnight Fellowship for Media Artists. The other fellows are David J. Buchanan of Minneapolis, Cy Dodson of Minneapolis, and Karen Frank of Columbia Heights.

Missy Whiteman (Northern Arapaho and Kickapoo), is an Emmy-nominated writer, director, producer, and multimedia artist. Whiteman understands her work to be a voice for her ancestors and their untold stories of ancient knowledge. While based in part Indigenous traditional practices and perspectives, her work also addresses themes of historical genocide, loss of culture, language, and land in relation to colonization. Whiteman questions the connection of life, death spirit world, and the rebirth process of revitalizing DNA memory, spirit healing, and redefinition of cultural identity. Whiteman is an alumni of The Sundance Native Lab Fellowship and Jerome Fellowship for her short film project THE COYOTE WAY: GOING BACK HOME, which has transformed into THE COYOTE WAY X: EXPANDED CINEMA. This new multidimensional cinematic experience of THE COYOTE WAY: GOING BACK HOME short film is intertwined with performance, live score, 350/VR, and audience participation.

Rooted in the arts at an early age, Missy was raised in an artistic home and her biggest influence being her father Ernest Whiteman, who taught her how to envision the world as an artist. Missy Whiteman’s upbringing in Minneapolis, Minnesota gave her the opportunity to learn and grow in her artistic abilities because of her relationships with Native artists and filmmakers of various social and ethnic backgrounds. Missy continued her pursuit of the arts when she attended Perpich (then known as Minnesota Center for Arts Education) where her artistic and healing creative process were first developed. She later attended the Minneapolis College for Art and Design for Filmmaking and Photography where she continued to develop her skills as a media artist and filmmaker.

The McKnight Fellowships for Media Artists support mid-career artists residing in Minnesota whose work is of exceptional artistic merit. The $25,000 fellowships will enable these four artists to study, reflect, experiment, and explore over a twelve month period with support and assistance from FilmNorth and the McKnight Foundation. In addition to the cash award, the program supports its fellows by creating opportunities to meet with local and national art professionals, by organizing a year-end McKnight Retrospective featuring the fellows, by providing assistance to attend the annual Film Independent Forum in Los Angeles, and by offering special class and workshop opportunities through FilmNorth. The fellowships are funded by a generous grant from The McKnight Foundation and administered by FilmNorth.