Screening of the film “Sing Birds: Following the Path of Cahuilla Power” at the Palm Springs Public Library.

On Tuesday, September 21st, 2010 at 6:00 p.m. the Palm Springs Public Library and the Agua Caliente Cultural Museum will present a special screening of the film “Sing Birds: Following the Path of the Cahuilla Power”.  The film maker Sean Owen and the Executive Director of the Agua Caliente Cultural Museum, Michael Hammond Ph. D., will be on hand to introduce this film; in celebration of California’s Native American Day  (9/24).  The program is FREE and open to the public, but seating is limited.   

This film premiered in July 2009 and is described on the film maker’s web site as “…a thought-provoking 60 minute journey through the stories of individuals in the Cahuilla band of Indians that illustrates the strong currents of change in their culture. Bird songs are the traditional social songs that speak of the origins of the Cahuilla, mythic or real travels during ancient times, and describe the natural environment and its inhabitants.  The evolution of bird songs themselves and how they are sung depict and serve as a metaphor for the changes in Cahuilla culture.”

 Sean Owen was trained in still photography and film at the San Francisco Art Institute and Prescott College.  Following a move to Arizona and an apprenticeship with his father, John Waddell, a well-known Arizona sculptor and painter, he began his career as a photography and video production teacher in private boarding schools.  As part of his experience in boarding schools (Dean of Students for 30 of those years) he worked with an international and multicultural population. Realizing that dealing with such a diverse population demanded more psychological skill than he possessed Sean entered a graduate program in clinical psychology and received a Master’s degree.  Sean Owen has directed and produced several documentaries. 

Dr. Hammond became the Executive Director of the Agua Caliente Cultural Museum in Palm Springs in 1989.  Prior to coming to Palm Springs, he was the Executive Director of the Museum at Warm Springs in Oregon, another tribal museum.  He serves on the Board and Executive Committee of the Palm Springs Cultural Center.  He resides in Palm Springs with his wife and twin daughters.

Agua Caliente Cultural Museum, a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit institution, inspires people to learn about the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians and other Native cultures. It keeps the Native spirit alive through exhibitions, collections, research, and educational programs. In recognition of its role as a regional and national resource, Agua Caliente Cultural Museum is the first Native American museum to be part of the prestigious Smithsonian Institution Affiliations Program. This status provides opportunities to share resources in programming, collections, scholarship, and technical expertise – and entitles the Museum to bring world-acclaimed Smithsonian exhibitions to the Coachella Valley.

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