March 27, 2010

Mescalero Apache/Yaqui actor and musician

Multi-ethnic upbringing guides Native American artist, musician

By Sean MangetHe now works as the director of strategic initiatives and media for the Alaska Native Heritage Center, where he has created programs designed to help Alaska Native youth retain their cultural traditions while also learning valuable skills for their future careers. He also helps create documentaries and short films for the center, all of which focus on Native American culture.

The funding for these programs comes thanks to a provision within the No Child Left Behind Act. Though securing this funding can be a challenge, Alvarez is confident Congress will continue to see its value to Alaska Natives and the community.

Alvarez has also acted in a number of theatrical productions, including the starring role in "Jesus Christ Superstar" and Che in "Evita."

He performs as a percussionist with the Anchorage Symphony Orchestra and a slew of other musical groups, including local band Medicine Dream.

Most recently, he starred in "Dancing in Pursuit of Dreams," a musical production that fuses contemporary music with music and dance from various Native cultures, in addition to western influences.
Comment:  For more on the subject, see Native Documentaries and News and Native Plays and Other Stage Shows.

Below:  "Steven Alvarez, director of strategic initiatives and media production at the Alaska Native Heritage Center, poses for a photo inside the center." (Michael Dinneen/For the Journal)

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