Playwright, director, filmmaker and theater founder Rhiana Yazzie (above, photo provided by the Bush Foundation) is one of the winners of the prestigious leadership fellowship from St Paul’s Bush Foundation, it has been announced. (See the rest of the winners here.)

Yazzie, a Navajo originally from New Mexico, moved to the Twin Cities from California in 2006. She started New Native Theatre three years later. The company has been cultivating talent and audiences for Native American stories, including through its annual ten-minute play festival.

Yazzie is one of 24 winners of fellowship this year. She will use proceeds from the $100,000 purse to research how first nations in Canada, Australia and New Zealand structure their performing arts companies and how they relate to mainstream institutions, according to the foundation.

Her company’s next show, “Native Woman The Musical,” will play May 9-13 at Park Square Theatre. 

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