Louis Mofsie on behalf of Thunderbird American Indian Dancers
Young Audiences Arts for Learning — Arts Education Award
Louis Mofsie is the director of the Thunderbird American Indian Dance company, his father is from the Hopi tribe of Arizona and his mother is from the Winnebago tribe of Nebraska. Louis retired from teaching after 35 years in 1993 and has devoted his full time to managing the dance company. The Thunderbirds have performed at all the leading colleges and universities in the northeast including: NYU, Columbia, Princeton, Yale, Dartmouth and Harvard to mention a few. They have also performed at many cultural institutions including: The Museum of Natural History, Metropolitan Museum of Art, National Museum of the American Indian, Museum of the City of New York and many others. They have also been on tour in Israel and Japan. The mission of the dance company is to preserve and perpetuate the traditional songs and dances of the Native American people; bringing to the general public a greater understanding and appreciation of the Native American culture. Louis has received many awards for his leadership and work. Most recently in 2018 a Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Dance Guild, 2019 Bessies Award for his contribution to the world of dance and he was the Grand Marshall of the 2019 Dance Parade in NYC. NJYA Statement: The Thunderbird American Indian Dancers have always put a great emphasis on reaching out to young audiences. They have performed and given dance workshops at numerous schools in the NY and NJ area. The arts are vital to the development of children and live performances are not only entertaining but also educational. Understanding and comprehension through a one on one experience Is often overlooked. We are confident that such experiences leave a lasting impression on the children. We are grateful to New Jersey Young Audiences for giving us the opportunity to meet and perform for so many children. We are doubly honored to be receiving this recognition for our efforts from the Governors Award in Arts Education.