Local woman wins Lifetime Achievement Award


Clarissa Rizal Clarissa Rizal

By Shayla White Eagle McClure

Special to The PREVIEW

Clarissa Rizal, of Pagosa Springs and Juneau, Alaska, has received a Lifetime Achievement Award for her work.

Rizal attended and received an award from the National Endowment of the Arts in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 28. On Monday, Rizal was invited to the National Congress of American Indians Conference also followed by a reception, which President Barack Obama attended.

Rizal is of Tlingit tribal descent and has been a ceremonial regalia maker for 45 years. She has been a teacher and mentor to many students for nearly 30 years.

To watch the NEA awards, go to YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kDVckQQ-LtM, or go to her blog: www.clarissarizal.com/blog/.

Her work includes a bamboo sculpture in Tai Wan, ceremonial robes, hats, dance ensembles, and paintings, and sings with a well-known Native-inspired jazz funk band, known as Khu.eex.

She has been commissioned to weave ceremonial robes and ensembles for private collectors globally.

Rizal is currently in Tulsa, Okla., completing a one-year residency through the Tulsa Artists Residence program, a nonprofit organization through the George Kaiser Foundation.