LEW-01516 Louis Mofsie Thunderbird Dancers
Louis Mofsie Thunderbird Dancers 2020 Winners
LEW-01516 Louis Mofsie Thunderbird Dancers

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.

The Governor’s Awards in Arts Education began in 1980 to promote awareness and appreciation of the arts, recognizing the creativity, talent and leadership of the award winners. Each year, awards are presented to approximately 20 educators and 80 students. National and statewide organizations select the students for their exemplary work in creative writing, speech, dance, music, theatre and visual arts and the leaders for their exceptional commitment and contribution to arts education. The program also recognizes arts educators and arts education advocates, whose leadership has helped nurture the development of students in the arts across the state.

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The Governor’s Awards event is a partnership of the Arts Ed NJ, the Department of Education, Art Pride New Jersey Foundation, the Department of State and the New Jersey State Council on the Arts. Additional support is provided by: the Afro-Academic, Cultural, Technological and Scientific Olympics; Art Educators of New Jersey; Art Administrators of New Jersey; Dance New Jersey; New Jersey Council of Teachers of English; New Jersey Speech and Debate League; New Jersey Music Educators Association; New Jersey Performing Arts Center; Writer's Theatre of New Jersey; Speech and Theatre Association of New Jersey; New Jersey Thespians and Young Audiences of New Jersey and Eastern Pennsylvania. The cooperating organizations, award sponsors and individual members of the planning council dedicate their time to make sure that excellence in the arts is rewarded, and work tirelessly throughout the year to plan this special event. The Governor's Awards in Arts Education ceremony are a major collaborative effort of the arts, education and state government.