Elisa Harkins is a Native American (Cherokee/Muscogee) artist, singer, electronic music composer, and curator based in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Her work is concerned with translation, language preservation, and Indigenous musicology. Harkins uses the Cherokee and Mvskoke languages, electronic music, sculpture, and the body as her tools. She is the first person to sing in the Cherokee language in a contemporary song. Harkins received a BA from Columbia College, Chicago, and an MFA from CalArts. She has since continued her education at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. She has exhibited her work at Crystal Bridges, documenta 14, The Hammer Museum, The Heard Museum, and MoMA.
In 2020, she created the Indigenous concert series 6 Moons and published a CD of Muscogee/Seminole Hymns. She is also the DJ of Mvhayv Radio, an Indigenous radio show on 99.1FM in Indianapolis, IN, and streaming from OK#1 in Tulsa, OK. Radio III / ᎦᏬᏂᏍᎩ ᏦᎢ is a dance performance that features music and choreography by Harkins. With support from PICA and Western Front, songs from the performance have been collected into a double LP, which can be found on Harkins’ Bandcamp. Harkins resides on the Muscogee Reservation and is an enrolled member of the Muscogee Nation.
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