Corine Pearce, Master Pomo Basketweaver, Wins Silver Anthem Award

Corine Pearce received a Silver Award for Community Engagement in the 2nd Annual Anthem Awards “Education, Arts and Culture” category. She joins fellow winners Amanda Gorman (poet), Quannah Chasinghorse (activist, fashion designer) and Gloria Steinem (feminist).

Corine’s work revitalizes and celebrates Pomo life cycle traditions through diverse community engagement and outreach programs. She is constantly teaching and encouraging new basketweavers throught in-person presentations, field classes, roundtable dialogues, and remote/recorded (audio, video webinar) talks by Pomo culture bearers in collaboration with over twenty Pomo tribes and tribal communities located in Mendocino, Lake, and Sonoma counties, and with regional learning centers, public radio stations, museums, and art galleries.

The Anthem Awards was launched in response to the prevalence social good has taken within the national conversation and cultural zeitgeist in recent years. The 2nd Annual competition received nearly 2,000 entries from 43 countries worldwide. By amplifying the voices that spark global change, the Anthem Awards are defining a new benchmark for impactful work that inspires others to take action in their communities. A portion of program revenue will fund a new grant program supporting emerging individuals and organizations working to advance the causes recognized in the 2nd Annual Anthem Awards.

Corine’s acceptance speech, shown above and linked here, is spoken in Northern Pomo. This is the first time that a national award speech in the United States has been made entirely in an original indigenous language that is being revived by the current generation.

“Since launching this platform in June of 2021, we have seen that social change has emerged as a dominant force in mainstream culture.” said Anthem Awards Managing Director Jessica Lauretti. “The sheer number, breadth and overall quality of the entries shared with us in the 2nd Annual Awards is a testament to the strength of this growing movement and demonstrates an enduring commitment to the work that is both humbling and inspiring to see. From the war in Ukraine, to protests in Iran and the ongoing battle for equality here at home in the States, the call for change not only perseveres but is a growing global chorus.

Anthem Winners are selected by the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences. Members include: Nicholas Thompson, CEO, The Atlantic, Christina Swarns, Executive Director, Innocence Project, Zarna Surti, Global Creative Director, Nike Purpose, Maurice Mitchell, National Director, Working Families Party, Lindsay Stein, Chief Purpose Office, Tombras, Jennifer Lotito, President & Chief Operating Officer, (RED), Lisa Sherman, President & CEO, The Ad Council, Emily Barfoot, Global Brand Director Dove, Unilever, Trovon Williams, Senior Vice President of Marketing and Communications, NAACP, Roma McCaig, Senior VP of Impact, Clif Bar, Michelle Egan, Chief Strategy Officer, NRDC, Dinah-Kareen Jean, Senior Manager, Social Innovation, Etsy, Sarah Kate Ellis, President & CEO, GLAAD, Jad Finck, Vice President of Innovation & Sustainability, Allbirds, Christopher Miller, Head of Global Activism Strategy, Ben & Jerry’s, Shayla Tait, Director of Philanthropy The Oprah Winfrey Charitable Foundation.

Winners for the 2nd Annual Anthem Awards will be celebrated at the Winners Celebration on February 27 in NYC. Fans will be able to hear from social impact leaders and their hallmark speeches at www.anthemawards.com.

Find The Anthem Awards Online:

Website: anthemawards.com

Facebook:  facebook.com/anthemawards


Instagram: @anthemawards

LinkedIn: The Anthem Awards

YouTube: wbby.co/anthem-youtube

About The Anthem Awards: Launched in 2021 by The Webby Awards, The Anthem Awards honors the purpose & mission-driven work of people, companies and organizations worldwide. By amplifying the voices that spark global change, we’re defining a new benchmark for impactful work that inspires others to take action in their own communities. The Anthem Awards honors work across seven core causes: Diversity; Equity & Inclusion; Education; Art & Culture; Health; Human & Civil Rights; Humanitarian Action & Services; Responsible Technology; and Sustainability, Environment & Climate. Founded in partnership with the Ad Council, Born This Way Foundation, Feeding America, Glaad, Mozilla, NAACP, NRDC, WWF, and XQ. 


Earth, Sky, and Everything In Between: First (ever) 100% Native Art Exhibit in Lake County

The Summer of 2022 saw the very first one-hundred-percent indigenous art exhibit at the Middletown Art Center in Lake County (California): an art exhibit curated by nationally renowned basketweaver and indigenous knowledge holder Corine Pearce, with artwork from the Native California tribal artists.

Weavers, painters, regalia-makers, printmakers, digital media experts, and jewelry makers from area tribes contributed their best works for the exhibit, which is on display for three months.

A video screen displayed rotating images of Meyo Marrufo’s “finger doodle” artwork, that she creates digitally on an iPad.

As reported by Art Center Director Lisa Kaplan, “the exhibit includes baskets, paintings, photos, digital media, and installations. Artwork on display celebrates traditional cultural arts and resilience while highlighting current, and long-time challenges and issues including ongoing colonialism, land access and place-based land management, (also known as Traditional Ecological Knowledge or TEK), intergenerational trauma, Missing and Murdered Indigenous women, identity, and blood quantum.”

“The Earth Sky and Everything in Between exhibit is a very exciting event for the small town of Middletown and Lake County,” said Millie Simon, Middletown Rancheria Tribal Elder. ‘Indian people honor the artwork of our ancestors. Our past, present, and future connect through the arts of basket and regalia making. Art is education, and cultural education is very important amongst the Tribes”.

Millie Simon, quoted in the Lake County Record Bee
Tule dolls, duck decoy, and miniature baskets.

(The following material is excerpted from the Middletown Art Center website, where you can view a 3D tour of the exhibit if you aren’t able to make it in person.)

July 11, 2022 — The Middletown Art Center in Lake County was packed on Saturday night. Visitors from several counties were there to look at work by 31 Native American artists, including traditional baskets, digital art and paintings, woodcut prints, bobbleheads, and a short film about the historical context of Jules Tavernier’s paintings. “Tonight, we are at the opening of Earth, Sky, and Everything in Between, which is actually the first time that a Native American has curated art by Native Americans. Ever,” said curator Corine Pearce, just as visitors began to arrive. She’s from the Little River Band of Pomo Indians in Redwood Valley, but she also claims ancestry from people indigenous to Lake County.

Corine Pearce stands before a wood cut by Jacob Meders (Mechoopda) entitled “Divided Lines” (2015)

Pearce said the show is a culmination of a year-long project that involved teaching basket-making to Native and non-Native people as a way to build cultural bridges. She emphasized the variety of styles and approaches on display. “While we were setting this up, the owner of the gallery, Lisa Kaplan, said she’d never had as many mediums in at one time. So we have acrylic on canvas, we have three-dimensional baskets of lots of kinds, including electrical cable…if you are alive, and you are Indigenous, no matter what art you’re making, it is contemporary art.”

That includes commemorating recent achievements and memorializing ongoing tragedy. In one small room, there are a pair of mannequins in a mix of modern and traditional regalia, and a haunting empty skirt covered with red handprints. One piece celebrates a young woman’s recent graduation, while the other is a reminder of how many Indigenous women are missing and murdered. According to statistics that are part of the installation, Indian women are murdered at a rate of ten times the national average, though only 2% of the known number are included in the Department of Justice database.

Walls displaying heart-breaking facts about Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women in the USA.

Many of the artists are displaying their work for the first time, from twelve-year-old Sarah Franklin, who made a small red basket, to 75-year-old Wanda Quitiquit, who created a special technique for burning designs onto gourds. But some of the artwork has been on tour. The video about Jules Tavernier’s paintings of the Elem people, which includes local experts discussing the mercury mining that began at that time, was recently at the De Young Museum in San Francisco. “It was actually at the Met first, and then it came to the De Young,” Pearce said. “When it came to the De Young Museum, they incorporated more representations of living artists. I happened to be one of those artists. So they had my baskets, they had baskets of Susan Billy, they had baskets of Clint McKay, and they had tule dolls made by Meyo Marruffo. That exhibit just ended, and they sent the stuff back to me, and then I brought that stuff here to exhibit here for a little while, and then it’s going to go to the Grace Hudson Museum (in Ukiah). So we have some really ‘fine art’ art here.”

Read More…

Corine and Women’s History Month in Ukiah

Mendocino County Pomo women featured speakers at Women’s History Gala Celebration

Buffie Schmidt
Buffie Schmidt (Contributed photos)


UPDATED: February 27, 2023 at 10:43 a.m.

The Mendocino Women’s Political Coalition (MWPC) with AAUW-Ukiah is launching the 39th Annual Women’s History Gala Celebration to be held on Sunday, March 5, at the Saturday Afternoon Clubhouse, 107 S. Oak St., Ukiah. Doors will open at noon for the Silent Auction and socializing, and the program will begin at 12:30 p.m.

In February 1980, President Jimmy Carter issued the first Presidential Proclamation declaring the Week of March 8 as National Women’s History Week, and U.S. presidents have followed by proclaiming March as Women’s History Month. The National Women’s History Alliance announced the theme for 2023: “Celebrating Women Who Tell Our Stories.” Our story-telling community women are essential in making our history visible, and MWPC recognizes particular women who have been active in many forms of storytelling

The three Mendocino County 2023 Honorees selected to represent diverse paths as women who have devoted their time and talents to producing art and news in pursuing truth and reflecting society are: Dot Brovarney, Fort Bragg, author, historian and curator; Sarah Reith, Ukiah, author, artist and journalist; and Ellen Weed, Ukiah, actor, director and teacher.

Ukiah Mayor Mari Rodin will serve as emcee. The program will be dedicated to poet Mary Norbert Korte (1934-2022). Ukiah Poet Laureate Emerita Linda Noel will be reading from Korte’s new book, “Jumping Into the American River: New and Selected Poems,” published by Argus Books/TKS.

Featured speakers will be Corine Pearce, Redwood Valley Little River Band of Pomo, and Buffie Schmidt, Sherwood Valley Rancheria, who both embody the 2023 theme as everything they do involves storytelling. Corine Pearce is a major force for revitalizing and celebrating the culture of her Pomo people, connecting indigenous people with each other, and bridging the gap between the Native and non-Native communities in Mendocino County and afar through her various means of storytelling.

Quilt artist Laura Fogg says, “I think the most important thing about Corine is that she is a ‘connector.’ When I asked if she might be interested in participating in an art show for Art Center Ukiah, she immediately said yes.” Pearce contacted people from a dozen Northeast tribes and collaborated for a year to depict their stories through the medium of art quilting which is now booked at four other art centers plus an international quilt show.

Corine Pearce
Corine Pearce

Corine Pearce just received a Silver Award for Community Engagement in the 2nd Annual Anthem Awards “Education, Arts and Culture” category. She joins fellow winners Amanda Gorman and Gloria Steinem, feminist. In 2020, along with winning the Jennifer Easton Lifetime Achievement Award, the youngest at age 44, Pearce was among the first cohort of 10 fellows receiving the Henry Luce Foundation $50,000 award to support indigenous knowledge holders and makers dedicated to creating positive community change. With more than 30 years’ experience making Pomo baskets Pearce says, “Basket weaving heals and restores both the land and the people.” Her book, “Pomo Cradle Baskets: An Introduction,” was published in 2018 by Beauty & Love Publishing.

Over her year-long fellowship period, which coincided with the Covid pandemic, Pearce launched a new apprenticeship program to increase the number of Pomo weavers. She also hosts a KZYX Radio show, “Good Ancestors and Local Treasures with Corine Pearce,” airing the first Monday of every month at 9 a.m.

Buffie Schmidt is a Pomo dancer, regalia maker, Pomo basket weaver, and wild indigenous food and medicine gatherer. Schmidt is a Northern Pomo woman enrolled with Sherwood Valley Rancheria, Willits, where she has served as the Vice Chairperson for three years.


“I am fourth generation of Pomo cradle basket weavers,” Schmidt explains, “I was first taught the tradition at age 13 by my mom, Christine Hamilton from Yokayo Rancheria. She was taught by Elsie Allen who was taught by her mother, Annie Burke. These wise and talented elders have since crossed over, but their legacy lives on in our traditions and our ‘old ways.’”

For two years, Schmidt has been teaching at Ukiah High School, revitalizing her Northern Pomo language with the help of a Northern Pomo linguist. “I feel it is my destiny to teach my culture, especially to the youth to keep my Pomo culture alive. I also share cultural knowledge with South Valley/Big Picture Learning School as well as other tribes including, of course, my own tribe.” Buffie Schmidt has been interviewed in “The Broken Promise” film, which is an official selection for the 2023 Montreal Independent Film Festival

To honor ancestors and to save old-growth trees, the Sinkyone Intertribal Council has become the steward to thousands of acres in California. Buffie Schmidt, who serves as the treasurer of the Council, with several other women were featured in National Geographic as part of the July 2022 issue. “We are Here,” the cover story, explores how Native Nations are reclaiming their sovereignty and building their cultures.

The Women’s History Planning Committee is particularly delighted this year to provide musical entertainment by the Real Sarahs. Americana rising stars Sarah Larkin and Sarah Ryan, harmony singers and songwriters, will share their special gift of vocal synergy that promises to enchant and uplift.

Everyone is invited to attend this Women’s History Gala to celebrate women, enjoy refreshments, and to be inspired by the speeches, music and poetry. Be prepared to bid in the Silent Auction, as the Annual Gala is MWPC’s only event to raise funds to support women candidates for elected office, provide candidate training, and to organize candidate nights. Ticket donation, $10 at the door. Information: mcclurelynda48@gmail.com

Our Safety, Our Sovereignty Art Exhibit travels to five more locations in Northern California

The “Our Safety Our Sovereignty” show, featuring a number of Native artists and curated by Corine and held at the Art Center Ukiah/Corner Gallery in November 2022, will be traveling to Middletown Arts Center in April-June 2023.

The show moves back to Mendocino County to appear at the Willits Arts Center in July 2023 before moving to the Pacific International Quilt Show in Santa Clara in mid-October 2023, the Sebastapol Center for the Arts in late October 2023 and then to the Healdsburg Center for the Arts in November 2023.

(The following article is copied from the Arts Mendocino website, a local organization which honored Corine last year. (The piece was also published in the Ukiah Daily Journal) )

Community Artists at Art Center Ukiah, Our Safety, Our Sovereignty

Article by Laura Fogg

Celebration is a word that encompasses the mood of the November show at Art Center Ukiah. Indigenous people from five counties have spent most of this past year coming together, telling their stories and using the medium of textile art to capture evocative images that they can share with others. The result is a collection of art that sings with color, pride and symbolism.

“Our Safety, Our Sovereignty” is the title chosen by the artists. Safety because of the horrible number of missing and murdered indigenous people in our northcoast area and the resulting level of grief and fear that never goes away. Sovereignty because Native people are actively reclaiming their stolen culture, land and languages after generations of being invisible. 

Some of the artists chose to depict missing and murdered individuals, while others created art quilts that feature an aspect of their own culture and history that they wanted to celebrate. Others focused on creating quilt squares that represent words from the Pomo and Kashaya languages. These squares were then pieced together to create two larger quilts, one for each language. The Wellness Center on the Pinoleville Rancheria has been the epicenter of most of the art activity since the beginning of this year. People from twelve tribes have been meeting regularly in the large and welcoming room full of fabric, scissors and cutting mats spread out on huge tables. Inspired by their tradition of coming together to sew ceremonial regalia, the artists shared ideas and supported each other as their projects developed. 

One of the artists, Eloisa Oropeza, described the dynamic…”We all put our love and suggestions and praises into everyone’s work. Each individual piece really belongs to all of us, and I love that.” Corine Pearce, a noted basket maker and teacher from the Little River band of Pomo Indians Redwood Valley, is the primary person who made the sewing gatherings happen. She reached out to the participants, purchased materials and showed up monthly… and then weekly… as the end of the project neared. After letting a tired sigh escape she smiled and admitted that she is very excited to see the whole project come together. “I made three individual quilts plus five language squares,” she said after a moment of mental calculating. “I have never done any quilting or fabric art before… I don’t even sew skirts! I’m excited to do more sewing and even more excited about my community’s response to this project. People have told me that they want to do more of this kind of storytelling through art quilts. A couple of tribes have asked if the quilting group would come to share the process with them.”As part of this project, Corine also created a quilt to honor her murdered relative Nono. In her words “It was really healing to do Nono’s quilt… the anniversary of his death is coming up this month and I was never able to get closure since he had a closed casket funeral. Recreating the image of his face has helped me find the closure that I needed.” 

Quilted artwork by Melody Williams

The list of people who worked on the project is long. They are Monique Sonoquie (Tongva and Chumash), Tanya Ruiz (Little River band of Pomo Indians Redwood Valley), Danger Brown (Cloverdale Rancheria), Melody Williams (Sherwood Valley Rancheria), Martina Morgan (Kashaya), Khaymeyanam Morgan (Kashaya), Corine Pearce (Little River band of Pomo Indians Redwood Valley), Meyo Maruffo (Robinson Rancheria), Jennifer Faber (Cloverdale Rancheria), Eloisa Oropeza (Kashia Pomo), Taylor Pennewell (Berry Creek Rancheria), Nicole Whipple (Round Valley), Trelasa Baratta (Middletown Rancheria), Sarah Franklin (Scotts Valley Rancheria), Patricia Franklin (Scotts Valley Rancheria), and Gabe Ray (Scotts Valley Rancheria).

In addition to the people who participated in the art quilting project, there are numerous other artists contributing to the show in other mediums. They are Bonnie Lockhart (Sherwood Valley Rancheria), Eric Wilder (Kashia), Jewlina Acosta (Yokayo Rancheria), Jacqueline Graumann (Little River Band of Pomo Indians Redwood Valley, Wanda Quitiquit (Robinson Rancheria), Kilak Malicay (Robinson Rancheria), Crystal Pagal (Round Valley), Tara Martinez (Little River band of Pomo Indians Redwood Valley). (full article in Ukiah Daily Journal, November 2nd. 2022.)

Exhibit runs November 4th – November 29th, 2022  201 South State Street Ukiah

Pomo Weavers Society-Corner Gallery front windows November 2022

Article by Laura Fogg

November is Native American Cultural Awareness Month, which is the perfect time for the Corner Gallery to feature the Pomo Weavers Society in their front windows. Silver Galleto, the founding member of the group, was very excited to have this opportunity for outreach with the public. He wanted to let people know that Pomo weavers are active and trying to reestablish many of their traditions, especially basket making, that haven’t been fully practiced for decades.

The show featured a wide variety of contemporary baskets made by Pomo artists from three counties: Mendocino, Lake and Sonoma. In addition, there will be other woven items such as a dowry bag, and photos of both the gathering process and PWS members who are restoring this part of their rich heritage.

Artists participating in the show: Robin Meely, Martina Morgan, Melody Williams, Katie Williams Elliott, Meyo Maruffo, Patricia Franklin, Buffie Schmidt, Silver Galleto and Corine Pearce. The First Friday opening celebration was on November 4 from 5-8pm at the Corner Gallery, 201 S State St in Ukiah. Live flute music was performed throughout the evening.

KZYX&Z Radio Show: Good Ancestors and Local Treasures with Corine Pearce!

Airing the first Monday of every month at 9:00AM Pacific Time on KZYX&Z, Mendocino County’s Public Broadcasting Station, Corine’s show “Good Ancestors and Local Treasures,” features interviews with local Native peoples, talking about everything under the sun.

Corine’s most recent show featured Eastern Pomo Artist Meyo Marrufo, educator, curator, and activist, discussing the recently opened exhibit “Gathering Time” Pomo Art During the Pandemic” at the Grace Hudson Museum in Ukiah. The exhibit represents the very first time – in the Museum’s 36-year history – to feature a collection entirely composed of contemporary Pomo art.

To hear a special ‘Tea Time with Auntie’ show from September 2022, where Corine discusses the new Pomo art exhibit that recently opened at the Grace Hudson museum which was curated by Meyo, as well as basket weaving, traditional food and the importance of true inclusion and representation of native culture, visit this link.

To listen to her July 2022 conversation with family wellness advocate Katie Ray, an enrolled member of the Round Valley Indian Tribes, along with Priest Martinez, tribal council member, community organizer, and cultural educator member of the Little River Band of Pomo Indians in Redwood Valley, visit this Spotify link.

To listen to her September 2021 interview discussing the Jules Tavernier and the Elem Pomo exhibit at the deYoung Art Museum in San Francisco, which featured the historical and contemporary baskets of Corine and other Lake and Mendocino County Pomo weavers, visit this link.

The exhibition, as its title suggests, will look not only at the work of French painter Tavernier but also the art, culture and regalia of the Elem Pomo peoples of Northern California who are depicted in Tavernier’s painting “Dance in a Subterranean Roundhouse at Clear Lake, California,” a centerpiece in the exhibition.

“‘Jules Tavernier and the Elem Pomo’ is part of the Fine Arts Museums’ ongoing efforts to partner with Indigenous communities, scholars and curators on exhibitions and permanent collection presentations that explore Indigenous cultures and works of art,” FAMSF Director Thomas Campbell told The Chronicle.

Excerpts from the SF Datebook article by Tony Bravo.

To listen to her October 2021 interview with Pomo basketmaker Silver Galleto and Singer Bernadette Antoinette Smith, visit this link.

Mendocino County Native Basketweaver Wins Two National Indigenous Awards

Master basketweaver and Redwood Valley resident Corine Pearce, recently featured in the PBS special Craft in America: California & Visionaries has won two prestigious national wards. In addition to being one of five 2020 Jennifer Easton Community Spirit awardees, an honor established by the South Dakota-based First Peoples Fund, Corine has been awarded a 2020 Luce Indigenous Knowledge Fellowship, a joint effort between the First Nations Development Institute and the Henry Luce Foundation.

The Jennifer Easton Community Spirit awards recognize Native artists who promote the creative practices and cultural values of their people. Honorees are people engaged in traditional or modern arts (or a combination of both) making a difference in their communities. A member of the Redwood Valley Rancheria Little River Band of Pomo, Corine keeps her culture alive by cultivating native basket and medicinal plants, weaving award-winning cradle, twine, and “fancy” baskets, teaching basketweaving classes at tribal offices and museums, and working with the Ukiah Unified School District to create new curriculum focusing on Native Pomo culture.

Corine Pearce at the California Indian Museum and Cultural Center, Santa Rosa, CA

The Luce Indigenous Fellowship was created in 2019 to honor and support intellectual leaders in Native communities who are actively working to generate, perpetuate and disseminate indigenous knowledge. “We are honored to partner with the Henry Luce Foundation to support this talented cohort of fellows who are working to advance Indigenous knowledge across Native communities,” said Michael E. Roberts, President and CEO of First Nations. “Historically, Indigenous knowledge systems were dismissed, devalued and attacked. This fellowship demonstrates that Indigenous people do possess valuable knowledge that can transform communities. These talented individuals demonstrate the ingenuity and genius present in Native communities.”

Sean T. Buffington, Vice President of the Luce Foundation, praised the newly-named fellows: “These knowledge makers and knowledge keepers are exemplary leaders, serving their communities by sharing their insight and understanding. The Luce Foundation is proud to support their work and to invest in the ongoing, millennia-old project of Indigenous knowledge-making.”

For the past twenty years, through her dedicated work, Corine has inspired Pomo families in Mendocino, Lake, and Sonoma counties to restore ancestral traditions and revitalize their cultural practices by working closely with tribal councils to offer weaving classes and maintain community basketry and medicine gardens. In addition to breathing new life into a cherished intergenerational tradition with her focus on Pomo cradle baskets, Corine [re]creates cultural landscapes by tending her own gathering sites and helping people restore native plants and ecological balance to areas impacted by the wildfires. Two print runs of her book Pomo Cradle Baskets: An Introduction (Beauty & Love Publishing 2018 have sold out: a new, expanded version is planned for 2020.

To hear more about Corine’s recent work, listen to the January 16, 2020 hour-long podcast on Native America Calling where Corine joins two other Community Spirit awardees, beader Roberta Joy Kirk (Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs) and sculptor Virgil “Smoker” Marchand (Arrow Lake Band, Colville Tribes).