Special Guests

We are fortunate to have the presence of many formidable local and regional artists, activists and storytellers who will be sharing their experience and insight at events throughout the festival.

Eileen Baca
Native American Artist

Eileen Baca, a Native American artist from Flagstaff has been working with love, paint, and markers for 6 years and has been an artist for 15. By combining her love for self, nature, and spirit she creates a familiar and unique visual experience.

Lyncia Begay

Lyncia Begay lives just southeast of the sacred Dook’oo’s?ííd, in the colonial border town of Flagstaff, AZ and has undertaken the slow and painstaking art of language to better apprehend colonialism to better inform, educate, and empower on the topic of indigenous identity—particularly through the cipher of indigenous feminism.

Tim Bell
Director of Community Engagement for the Cosanti Foundation and Arcosanti, and Chief Cultural Officer for the Arcosanti Convergence

Tim Bell currently serves as the Director of Community Engagement for the Cosanti Foundation and Arcosanti. He is also the Chief Cultural Officer for the Arcosanti Convergence, a conference festival hybrid event that seeks to build community in the Southwest and beyond through engaging in global thought and taking local action. He is passionate about leveraging his privilege to build bridges between people and ideas in pursuit of a more equitable and collaborative world.

Klee Benally
Diné (Navajo) anarchist, musician, traditional dancer, artist, & filmmaker

Klee Benally is a Diné (Navajo) anarchist, musician, traditional dancer, artist, & filmmaker. Klee is originally from Black Mesa and has worked nearly all of his life at the front lines in struggles to protect Indigenous sacred lands. Klee is the national coordinator for Clean Up The Mines!, a campaign to clean up abandoned uranium mines, and a coordinator with Haul No!, an effort to stop transport of uranium through Northern Arizona.

Margeaux Bestard

Photographer Margeaux Bestard presents The Evisceration Series at the Museum of Contemporary Art Flagstaff for the month February. Her photographs will be shown as part of a dreamlike installation that viscerally explores love and grief’s transformative power and the connection between the two. Originally from Los Angeles California, Bestard has made Flagstaff her home for the last 15 years. In addition to her work as a photographer, she serves as a guide for Arizona Raft Adventures, works with Grand Canyon Youth, and is current President of Grand Canyon River Guides. She has participated in hosting events with both Flagstaff Mountain Film Fest and Museum of Contemporary Art.

Craig Childs
Author and Spoken Word Artist

When he’s not penning Orion Award-winning books, author and spoken word artist Craig Childs has dazzled festival fans with his spoken word performances from Telluride, to Wild and Scenic, to Burning Man.

Colleen Cooley
Advocate, river guide and community organizer

Colleen grew up wandering the sandstones, mesas, and washes in Sháátóhí. Her curious mind and innate connection to the lands and waters led her to earning an M.S. in Climate Science & Solutions from Northern Arizona University in 2012. Colleen is an advocate and river guide on the San Juan River, a community organizer, a facilitator, a researcher, an amateur photographer, and working to create sustainable solutions on Navajo Nation and surrounding areas.

Brad Dimock
Boatman, Boatbuilder, Historian, and Storyteller

Brad Dimock has been a Grand Canyon boatman, boatbuilder, historian, and storyteller for forty-five years. He tells a story like only someone who has stood around a thousand campfires can.

Dapper Dre
Master of ceremonies, performance artist and community organizer

Dapper Dre is master of ceremonies, performance artist and community organizer dedicated to participation in the arts of Flagstaff. Dre was recently appointed board president of the Museum Of Contemporary Art Flagstaff (MOCAF) and nominated for a Viola Award 2020 in the category of Community Impact Individual.

Darcy Falk

The primary focus of Darcy Falk’s artwork since 2012 has been on so-called women’s issues; the Kevlar Kimono, a 7-foot tall metaphorical safe space for navigating reproductive decision-making was completed in 2014, Ultraviolet: Textile Art Revealing Women’s Issues was on exhibit in 2018, and she is currently working on Conversation Prints, with funding from the Arizona Commission on the Arts.

Jihan Gearon
Diné and Black social justice leader

Jihan Gearon is Diné and Black, a nationally recognized social justice leader, her vibrant paintings aim to bridge Indigenous worldview with contemporary experiences.

Alisa May Geiser
Writer and filmmaker

Alisa May Geiser is a writer and filmmaker based in Portland, Oregon. Through her work, she seeks to illuminate universal qualities found in unfamiliar subjects, with the ultimate goal of promoting positive growth in individuals and society.

Heaven aka Gal Gracious
Rising Indie Artist

Rising indie artist performing original, captivating melodic tunes with the intention of provoking deeper emotions from her listeners.

Nick Irvine
Flagstaff’s Freestyle Podcaster

Freestyle podcaster. If not in the editing cave working on video or audio projects, Nick can be found roaming around all the nooks and crannies of Grand Canyon.

Laura Kish
Artist and community organizer

Moving around and acquiring hands-on D.I.Y. skills and life experiences from managing a punk rock band, music editor for a women’s magazine, to accounting, Laura Kish moved backed Flagstaff in 1998 from stints in CA, OR and ID. This time she fell in love with the great Southwest outdoors and first worked in location catering for the film industry and easily flowed into river guiding and outfitting companies for many years focusing on food management and swamping. A constant in her life is surrounding herself and working with creatives and makers, mostly photographers and is currently tapping into her own creative vision through digital imagery along with volunteering as a board member for the She Wolf Project. She’s enjoying her newest exploration into VR and at the same time keeping the car loaded with a sleep kit, xskis or a paddle board for a grounding nature fix or impromptu adventurous road trip.

Ky J. Dio
Host and administrative director of the creative writing collective: Juniper House Readings

Ky J. Dio is the host and administrative director of the creative writing collective: Juniper House Readings. She has been performing spoken word for 8 years, and has been published 13 times for poetry and flash fiction- in American Writers Review 2019, Coalesce Zine, and The Nude Bruce Review vol 9 among others.

Amy Martin
Documentary Photographer

As a documentary photographer, Amy uses her camera’s lens to increase awareness, understanding, and compassion across physical and social barriers. Amy brings depth to her work from her diverse background as a former Peace Corps volunteer in the Dominican Republic, a Park Ranger at Grand Canyon, and a conservation biologist in the American Southwest. Amy pairs with conservation and humanitarian organizations, documenting their stories and raising awareness of endangered landscapes and social injustices to spark action.

Craig Childs
Author and Spoken Word Artist

When he’s not penning Orion Award-winning books, author and spoken word artist Craig Childs has dazzled festival fans with his spoken word performances from Telluride, to Wild and Scenic, to Burning Man.

James Q Martin
Photographer & Filmmaker

Flagstaff, Arizona-based photographer and filmmaker James ‘Q’ Martin was born in the Arizona desert and raised in the remote reaches of Alaska. In 1997, with a film camera in one hand and a climbing rope in the other, Q left for Central America in an exploration of its language and culture. It was here where he discovered his desire to actively pursue media and storytelling.

Chris Brashears and Peter McLaughlin
Musicians of The Sonoran Dogs

Singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Chris Brashear and National Flatpicking Guitar Champion Peter McLaughlin have performed and recorded together for over twenty years.

Aaron Mike
Diné (Navajo) rock climbing guide & athlete

Since his first rock climbing experience in 2003, Aaron has continued to expand his climbing resume with ascents of the Diamond on Longs Peak (14,000 ft.) and Hallet Peak (13,000 ft.) in Colorado’s Rocky Mountain National Park. Aside from various areas in Colorado, Aaron has climbed in many styles and locations including Yosemite, Bishop and Joshua Tree in California, Hueco Tanks in Texas, and many areas in Arizona. Aaron’s work in the rock climbing world also includes being a rock climbing athlete for NativesOutdoors and Native Lands Regional Coordinator for the Access Fund.

Douglas Miles
Founder and Owner Apache Skateboards

Douglas Miles is from the San Carlos Apache Nation in Arizona. Using street art forms, he creates work that simultaneously deconstructs stereotypes and emboldens Native people in the 21st century. His renegade ethos at work creates a new iconography in art, photos, and film. Miles’ work has been exhibited at Princeton University, Columbia University, the DeYoung Museum and the Museum of Contemporary Native Art in Santa Fe. He recently collaborated with actor and author Ethan Hawke and artist Greg Ruth on a New York Times best seller graphic novel, Indeh: A Story of the Apache Wars. He’s also an artist, designer, photographer, filmmaker, muralist, public speaker, and founder of Apache Skateboards, for over 15 years,  a fully functioning skateboard organization. His work encourages reflection on how art can foster community-building and promote pride and well-being, especially among young people.

Len Necefer, Ph.D.
Founder & CEO of NativesOutdoors

Len Necefer, Ph.D., is an assistant professor with joint appointments with the American Indian Studies program & the Udall Center for Public Policy. In addition, he is the founder & CEO of Colorado-based outdoor apparel company NativesOutdoors. His research focuses on the intersection of indigenous people and natural resource management policy. He recently co-directed the film “Welcome to Gwichyaa Zhee” about the Gwich’in fight to protect the Arctic Refuge. In his spare time, Len is an avid outdoor adventurer using rock/ice climbing, high altitude & ski mountaineering, and type 2 fun to convey stories focused on environmental activism & indigenous history. His work has appeared in the Alpinist, the Climbing Zine, Outside Magazine, Climbing, Patagonia’s Cleanest Line, the Telluride Mountain Film Festival.

Vanessa Nosie
Community organizer

A dedicated loving mother of 3 daughters. A matriarch in protection of her tribe’s ancestral home and sacred places. A community organizer. Vanessa works for the San Carlos Apache Historic Preservation Office and Archaeology Department as the Archaeology-Aide and the NAGPRA Project Director. Vanessa is active and present for her community and people, holding positions such as a Member of the Mountain of the Spirit Runners protecting Mt Graham and a founding member and youth advisor of Native Youth Unite. She is also an organizing member of Apache Stronghold. Vanessa has spoken before Congress and in a multitude of conference settings, Vanessa still humbly returns to the lands in which she was raised, to continue to honor and protect the place and culture of home. That home being where her grandmother was born and raised, by her example Vanessa continues to be of service.

Wendsler Nosie Sr.
Founder of the Apache Stronghold and Director of Gaan Bike Goz aa

Wendsler Nosie Sr. is a long distance runner and has participated in numerous marathons and half marathons over the years. He is dedicated to the preservation and protection of Native American culture, artifacts, history religion, and tradition. He the founder of the Apache Stronghold and Director of Gaan Bike Goz aa where he continues to advocate for indigenous religious and human rights and protecting the future for our next generations to come.

Elana Novali
Multimedia artist

Elana Novali is a multimedia artist focusing on large scale interactive installations for Burning Man, Canal Convergence, and other events around the country. She is the art curator for multiple events throughout the year at Arcosanti, where she has resided for the last 4 years.

Sandy Pirate
Visual distortion artist

The art of Sandy Pirate utilizes abstract line work to create perspective and visual distortion through different mediums including fine art, graphic design, motion graphics, and clothing. The art is gooey and wavy, taking you into space and visual environment designed to change and challenge your perspectives.

Reference Sine
Improvised music trio consisting of the three curators of the Interference Series in Flagstaff, Eugene Brosseau, Owen Davis and Rob Wallace

Reference Sine is an improvised music trio consisting of the three curators of the Interference Series in Flagstaff. Eugene Brosseau (guitar/synth/electronics), Owen Davis (drums/electronics) Rob Wallace (drums, toys, and electronics) create unique sonic happenings that explore samples, noise, and sound.

Eric Retterbush
Beauty hunter through the art of Tintype

Eric Retterbush is a beauty hunter. In 2017 he found a magical process to capture this beauty in silver and aluminum. This process is called wet plate collodion, one of the oldest and most fundamental forms of photography. The end product, a person’s shadows and detail encased in silver are called tintypes. Tintypes are made with a great deal of skill and luck and often yields results no one could imagine. Eric has made over 500 tintypes in the last two years and has only begun to scratch the surface of what this process is capable of. He enjoys the slow and meticulous process. As the image comes to life before your very eyes has the same excitement now as he did for his very first one.

Jill Sans
Owner and Artist of The HeArt Box

Aretha Shining Moon
Photographer “painting with light”

True to the definition of the word “Photography,” Aretha Shining Moon specializes in “painting with light,” often collaborating with her camera to bring the unseen glories of the Divine Feminine freshly into view. As a former Durango resident, Aretha has been forever shaped by the cultural-spiritual treasures shared with her by indigenous relatives of the High Desert, majestic mesas and sacred mountains of the Southwest. She considers her participation in this show to be a great honor. Aretha now lives on traditional Piscataway tribal homeland also known as the Washington D.C area. She is a member of The National Press Club.
More of Aretha’s work can be found at phmuseum.com/smoon

Jerrel Singer
Artist and Activist

Jerrel Singer is a Native artist who paints murals in northern Arizona and along Highway 89 outside of Gray Mountain. The murals reflect some of the issues faced by the Navajo people and others including uranium mining.

Morgan Sjogren
aka Running Bum. Author, public lands activist, and adventurer

Morgan Sjogren, aka Running Bum, will read from her latest books, Outlandish and The Best Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument Hikes. She will discuss the connection between hiking/running and conservation, specifically tied to Grand Staircase-Escalante and Bears Ears National Monuments. Join us for beer and stories, with special guests Grand Staircase Partners, to learn how you can help protect wild places.

Spectracolor Liquids
Full-spectrum, ephemeral, nostalgic and psychedelic light show

Full-spectrum, ephemeral, nostalgic, psychedelic light show. A synthesis of oil, dye, video feedback, and VHS/DVD mixing using repurposed electronics. Created live, straight from the heart to your cerebral cortex.

TamTaco (She/Her)
Queer diné DJ who helps organize Wrecking Ball

TamTaco (She/Her) is a queer diné DJ who helps organize Wrecking Ball, a monthly queer dance party that raises funds for mutual aid, such as Flagstaff’s bail and bond fund to keep our undocumented neighbors out of detention. Tamara and those who organize with Wrecking Ball believe that sharing art, music, dance, healing, resources, and pleasure are central to growing our movements, affirming each other’s existence, and envisioning and birthing new worlds without prisons, borders, and binaries.

Harlan Taney
Owner and Operator of 4 Corner Film Logistics

Harlan Taney is the owner and operator of 4 Corner Film Logistics, managing productions for National Geographic, Discovery, NBC and the BBC to name a few.

Monica Wapaha
Mixed media Artist

Monica Wapaha, White Mountain Apache & Tohono O’odham, from the Fort Apache Indian Reservation located in the north eastern part of Arizona is a multi-disciplined artist. She earned her AFA in 2011 and BFA in 2013 from the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Monica graduated with her MFA in 2019 from Arizona State University Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts in Printmaking. Her experience as an Indigenous woman can also be reflected in her artwork, these narratives are important. You can find Monica working in her community in the White Mountain Apache Tribe’s Division of Health Programs.

Seth Winslow
3D digital artist specializing in architectural rendering

Seth Winslow is a self-taught 3D digital artist who specializes in architectural rendering who currently resides at Arcosanti, Arizona. During his time in constructing residential homes, he was inspired to find a way to use both his artistic skills and conventional construction knowledge to explore better alternatives for our daily lives. With that, he went on to study architecture in his free time. Which then lead him to Arcosanti, allowing his curiosity for virtual reality to become a contemporary perspective for the viewer. His current project consists of creating virtual reality visualizations of the architectural designs that have been imagined at Arcosanti over the past 50 years. 

Venaya Yazzie
Member of the eastern Diné nation in NM and multimedia artist and poet

Venaya Yazzie is a member of the eastern Diné nation in NM, she is a multimedia artist and poet, and can be found at Yazzgrl.Art & BeMatriarch on Instagram (IG).