Marcie R. Rendon
Marcie R. Rendon is an enrolled member of the White Earth Nation, author, playwright, poet, and freelance writer. Also a community arts activist, Rendon supports other native artists / writers / creators to pursue their art, and is a speaker for colleges and community groups on Native issues, leadership, writing.
She is an award-winning author of a fresh new murder mystery series, and also has an extensive body of fiction and nonfiction works.
The creative mind behind Raving Native Theater, Rendon has also curated community created performances such as Art Is… Creative Native Resilience, featuring three Anishinaabe performance artists, which premiered on TPT (Twin Cities Public Television), June 2019.
Rendon was recognized as a 50 over 50 Change-maker by MN AARP and POLLEN in 2018. Rendon and Diego Vazquez received a 2017 Loft Spoken Word Immersion Fellowship for their work with women incarcerated in county jails.
Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters
2020 McKnight Distinguished Artist Award
The Distinguished Artist Award was created to honor a Minnesota artist who has made significant contributions to the state’s cultural life.
"The Distinguished Artist Award recognizes artists who have chosen to make their lives and careers in Minnesota, thereby making our state a more culturally rich place. Although they had the talent and the opportunity to pursue their work elsewhere, these artists chose to stay—and by staying, they have made a difference. They have founded and strengthened arts organizations, inspired younger artists, and attracted audiences and patrons. Best of all, they have made wonderful, thought-provoking art. The goal of McKnight’s arts funding is to support working artists who create and contribute to vibrant communities. The Foundation’s Arts program is founded on the belief that Minnesota thrives when its artists thrive. The Distinguished Artist Award goes to one Minnesota artist each year... Rendon is the first Native American woman to receive the Distinguished Artist Award, first given in 1996." - McKnight Foundation
“Marcie brings a strong and necessary voice to so many genres,” said Pamela Wheelock, McKnight’s interim president. “She has created a tremendous body of work, including poetry, plays, lyrics, and award-winning crime novels, all while raising up other Native voices in our community. Her commitment to making art in community embodies what a distinguished artist means to Minnesota and to McKnight.”
We are kept in their mindset as “vanished peoples.” Or as workers, not creators… What does this erasing of individual identity do to us? Can you believe you exist if you look in a mirror and see no reflection? What happens when one group controls the mirror market?
As Native people, we have known that in order to survive we had to create, re-create, produce, re-produce. The effect of the denial of our existence is that many of us have become invisible…the systematic disruption of our families by the removal of our children was effective for silencing our voices.
However, not (everyone) can still that desire, that up-welling inside that says sing, write, draw, move, be… we can sing our hearts out, tell our stories, paint our visions…we are in a position to create a more human reality…in order to live we have to make our own mirrors.