2023 Harvest Pow Wow Special Guest
Frank Waln (Sicangu Lakota)
Multi-genre music artist, public speaker, curator
Representing the Lakota Nation, Frank Waln is a multi-genre music artist, public speaker, and curator from the Rosebud Reservation in South Dakota. He received a BA in Audio Arts & Acoustics from Columbia College Chicago where he was given the Mayor’s Award for Civic Engagement at graduation.
Frank Waln uses his platform and work to speak out on injustices in the US and colonization of Native land and communities. His music is a fusion of multiple genres expressed through Lakota instruments, language and electronic music production creating a unique sound rooted in a culture that is older than America itself. Frank Waln’s performance style is rooted in the Lakota tradition of storytelling which helped him carve out a unique space within Indian Country and the music industry at large.
Frank Waln has received several national awards, artist fellowships and residencies for his work including three Native American Music Awards, NDN Collective’s Radical Imagination Fellowship and the Native Arts and Cultures Foundation Artist Fellowship. Frank Waln has performed and presented in museums and art institutions around the world including the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian, the Linden Museum in Germany and the Kennedy Center. Frank Waln has appeared on radio and television for his work including MTV, ESPN, Al Jazeera, and NPR.
As a curator, Frank Waln designed a music interactive space in the new Native American Exhibition Hall at the Field Museum in Chicago. Through an artist residency, Frank Waln was recently commissioned by Harvard University's Committee on the Arts to curate a living memorial on campus to honor his great grandmother who was a survivor of Indian boarding schools. Frank Waln’s music is available on all streaming platforms.