Ashland’s multi-talented Chava Florendo is Rewarded for Influencing Creative Change

ASHLAND, Ore. — Oregon’s multi-talented Chava Florendo, who has done much to influence the Ashland creative landscape, has been recognized for creating change through cultural expression and creativity. She is the recipient of the Fields Artist Fellowship worth $150,000 and was one of about 300 eager applicants.

There are four recipients of the Fellowship awarded every two years. They each receive $150,000 over two years. The Fellowship began in 2019 to promote access, impact, and visibility to artists based in Oregon.


Chava Florendo Is a Creative Junkie

Chava Florendo jokingly admits that she is a creative ‘junkie’ who loves sharing her skills and know-how, particularly with the youth. Multi-talented Chava is an artist, educator, facilitator, performer, and photographer. She is one of four recipients of the 2024 Fields Artist Fellowship announced by the Oregon Humanities and the Oregon Community Foundation.

As a proud Ashland resident, Chava Florendo has contributed much to Oregon’s creative and cultural community. Born into a talented family and drawing on the teachings of her revered grandmother, Chava facilitates artistic and cultural opportunities for indigenous artists and the youth throughout Oregon and the states.

Chava graduated from Southern Oregon University and is now a member of its faculty, working as a facilitator for the community and indigenous youth at Konaway Nika Tillicum, translated as All My Relations” in Chinook. Students spend eight days on the SOU campus with tribal leaders and elders.

Apart from her work at SOU, Chava sang for ‘How Can You Own the Sky?’, a symphony created by poet Tiziana Del la Rovere and composer Ethan Gans-Morse. The program explores the legacy of Southern Oregon Native Americans. She also performed in Distant Thunder, a Native American musical.

Chava is also responsible for creating the Indigenous Youth Digital Collective, supports the Indigenous Writers Collaborative, and was a curator for the annual Oregon Shakespeare Festival. Among her passions is using power tools when creating large-scale artworks and traditional beadwork.


Fellowship Winners Have Free Rein on Cash Award Spending

The Fields Artist Fellowship is a partnership between the Oregon Community Foundation (OCF) and Oregon Humanities (OH). OCF spokesman Jerry Tischleder says artists can use their cash awards any way they wish. Tischleder says spending the Fellowship cash awards is flexible. Recipients can use the cash to buy materials, commission projects or artists, or to sustain themselves. Recognizing the contributions made to communities, the Fellowship aims to further assist the artists with funds for additional resources and working spaces.


The other three recipients of $150,000 awards are:

  • Myles de Bastion from Portland is a disability rights advocate and technical artist who creates sensory-substitution and immersive installations;
  • Scott Kalama from Warm Springs is a member of Oregon’s Confederated Tribes and a Nammy award–winning musician, performing as Blue Flamez;
  • Eduardo Melendrez from Ontario, Oregon, a Mexican American artist.


Eight other finalists each received a one-off award of $10,000 to promote their community visibility impact.


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