In the five years they have been in existence, We Are the Seeds has successfully spotlighted the undertold, underrepresented, yet essential stories of Indigenous people.
We Are the Seeds began as an Indigenous arts festival in New Mexico with three days of music, food, and fun. Seeds director and East Coast native, Tailinh Agoyo (Narragansett), saw the need to grow the organization specifically on the East Coast in order to tell the necessary stories of Indigenous people that are not currently being integrated into the history that is told of our city.
“When people think Native American they often think “over there”, while really we are also here on the East Coast living, thriving and practicing our cultures and not necessarily fitting into the stereotype of who people think Native people are.”
Seeds’ mission lies directly in lifting up Indigenous artists and allowing them a space to share their truth and tell their stories in their own voices. Unlike some other organizations that place importance on shaping themselves based on factors like the preference of donors or art collectors - We are the Seeds is focused on programming that is enjoyable, uplifting, and celebratory of the truths and the beauty of Indigenous people.
“I saw a need in Philly for education about Indigenous peoples. Not just about the land and the histories - but who we are as we exist today”.
So much of what Seeds does is about connection and celebration as a community - so COVID-19 posed an issue for what felt true to their mission. Instead of forcing a fully virtual existence, Seeds began producing interactive artist-led workshops online in November of 2020. This style of connection allowed for a more genuine experience that rang true to what Seeds is really all about: Own Stories, Own Voices. These programs not only uplift the artists themselves but immerse the community in the magic of each individual artist. This allowed people from all over the world to participate and be a part of the beautiful and fulfilling experience.
Being a part of the CultureWorks family since its conception in 2016 has created a rare sense of support, community, and understanding for We Are the Seeds as an organization.
“We found CultureWorks when we first started the organization and were immediately swept away by the sense of community they fostered. Going into the office and having everyone embrace you and the work you were doing was so different. The way they understood our mission and were willing to support us was incredible”.
What is next for We Are the Seeds? Follow along to stay up to date on their upcoming events, including the release of never before seen archives, the opening of their new studio space at Cherry Street Pier, and listen to their Rise and Thrive podcast that tells the stories of Indigenous people in the arts and culture space. Learn more by clicking here.