Working from Community:
American Indian Art and Literature in a Historical and Cultural Context

National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Institute
June 23-August 1, 2003

The Evergreen State College

General Information
NEH Instructions
Application Cover Sheet
Contact Information

Cultural and Recreational Resources

The Evergreen State College is in Olympia, Washington at the southern tip of Puget Sound. The college is on 1000 acres of mostly wooded land bordering Eld Inlet, and has a trail down to the college beach. It has a College Recreation Center (CRC) with an Olympic-sized swimming pool and diving well, indoor basketball, volleyball, and handball/racquetball courts, a weight room, dance studios, an exercise room and indoor and outdoor climbing walls. During the summer the CRC is open from noon to 6:00PM and costs $5.00 per day, $15.00 per week or $80 for summer quarter. We must make arrangements in advance if you wish to pay by the week or get the slightly less expensive summer pass.  There are four outside athletic fields and there are tennis courts, some under a covered pavilion.

Olympia is the state capital, and has a small museum with a collection of Native American baskets and clothing. We also have a fine Farmer’s Market with some of the best wild salmon, smoked salmon, and oysters in the world. If that interests you, you will be here for several of the most delicious runs. There are also several good restaurants that serve vegans, vegetarians, and omnivores. Olympia has a well-known “indie” music scene if that is to your taste. Bert Wilson, one of the great Jazz saxophonists and composers in the country lives here and sometimes holds concerts in town, and the Olympia Film Society shows international and independent films at the Capital Theatre.   

If you want to rent a car, or get together with other participants and rent a van, Olympia is an half hour south of Tacoma which is home of the Tacoma Art Museum, The Museum of Glass (Tacoma is the birthplace of Dale Chihuly), and the Washington State Historical Museum, which has an outstanding collection of American Indian baskets and interactive videos about indigenous cultures in Washington state. Seattle is an hour away, the home to numerous museums including the Seattle Art Museum and the Burke Museum, both of which have outstanding collections of Northwest Coast indigenous art. And there are galleries, indigenous artists, bookstores, reading series, music, dance, and great restaurants. We will take a field trip to Seattle.

The Pacific Ocean is a two-hour drive west for anyone who has never seen the sun set over the Pacific, and the Olympic Peninsula with its beautiful beaches, mountains and rainforest has numerous destinations that make a beautiful day or weekend drive. You will glimpse some of this on our drive to Neah Bay and back. I personally think that watching the sun set at Tsooyes Beach on the Makah Reservation is a joy.

Mt. Rainier State Park and the Cascades are a short drive east. Portland, Oregon with a nice Native American art collection at the Portland Art Museum, and access to all the waterfalls along the Columbia Gorge, is two hours to the South. 

So if you come prepared with your reading done, there will be too much to do and too many places to see to exhaust them on weekends. We can give you a list of places to see great indigenous art if you desire, and we’ll keep an eye on the local reading series to see who might be reading poems or a new novel somewhere in the area.