Sandstone

Our Staff

 
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Sophie Schwartz

Policy Advisor

Sophie Schwartz, born and raised in South Dakota, is Mnicoujou Lakota and a citizen of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe. Sophie currently resides in Washington D.C., where she works as an Analyst for the Emerson Collective's Political and Campaigns team and is an Emerson Collective Community Solutions Scholar. A graduate from Fort Lewis College (FLC) with BAs in Philosophy and Political Science, Sophie previously worked as the Program Developer for FLC’s Engagement Collaborative where her areas of focus included building out inclusive civic engagement programming, creating student-centered infrastructure within the Collaborative, and conducting research on deliberative democracy to inform best practices. She has also worked with the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian, collaborating with Cultural Interpreters to lead virtual school field trips for students and curating programming that provides accurate messaging and storytelling around Indigenous history and experiences. In her spare time, Sophie enjoys playing golf and spending time at her local pool hall.

Moonoka Begay

Creative Director

Moonoka Begay is a White Mountain Apache and Navajo multimedia artist from the Bay Area,
California. She is Dartmouth ‘23 and is double majoring in Studio Art and Native American and
Indigenous Studies. Moonoka is passionate about the cultural revitalization and political
empowerment of Indigenous communities, and her studies center around traditional and
contemporary Native American Art. In her own practice she explores and interrogates themes of
Indigenous identity, romance, states of wilderness, queer love, rebellion, and the body. Moonoka
believes in the power of art as a medium to facilitate cultural healing as well as personal and
political empowerment.
In the Spring of 2022 Moonoka was presented with an Outstanding Student Achievement in
Contemporary Sculpture Award, granted by the International Sculpture Center, and publisher of
Sculpture Magazine. This award honors Moonoka’s sculpture entitled break my bones and hang
them out to dry which pays homage to the 1990 Native American Graves and Repatriation Act,
and the bones of Indigenous bodies that have fallen victim to archaeological and anthropological
studies. In the Fall of 2021 Moonoka received a grant from the Dickey International Center at
Dartmouth College to travel to London where she conducted research on the impacts of British
imperialism on Native North American Art, while interning at London-based gallery, Seventeen.
In the Fall of 2021 she also received funding from the Hopkins Center at Dartmouth College to
produce and display her own sculptural exhibit entitled Semi Precious. Semi Precious examines
and illuminates the line between glamor and grit in an attempt to identify under what conditions
Indigenous American art and expression turns from “primitive” to “precious.” This exhibit will
be on display at Dartmouth College’s Nearburg Gallery in October of 2022. As a culmination of
her studies thus far, Moonoka is also excited to start her position as Intern of Native American
Art at the Hood Museum of Dartmouth, starting in September of 2022.

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