Stealing Fire


Signal Fire’s 2017 programs look to the role of storytelling in understanding land. Naming and shaping places, building connection and claiming ownership, and writing the histories of contested landscapes depend on stories. This year’s trips will visit seven regions of the West, each one culturally and geographically distinct, and each one shaped by competing narratives.

We will bring together a range of voices shared through myths, folklore, testimony, and histories forgotten and suppressed. We will also consider those stories that seem to reveal a common humanity; the tale of a trickster “stealing fire” appears in myriad versions throughout the world. Our readings, guest presentations and creative responses will grapple with questions such as: How do stories shape our land stewardship and our part in the ecosystems we inhabit? How do stories inform a bias of who does or does not “belong” in a place? When is folklore perpetuating injustice and how can it facilitate liberation and redemption? Through contemporary myth making, whose stories and myths are being erased? How are the colonial and corporate myths created by the U.S. nation-builders used as weapons of oppression and cultural genocide?

Participants will be invited to share stories from their own lives and cultures and we will ask ourselves how artists, as storytellers, can contribute to a collective history of the land that acknowledges past injustice and contributes to a more equitable and resilient future.

Trips and Programs

Juried Artist Retreats

No retreats this year

Wide Open Studios

Tinderbox Residency

No tinderbox residencies this year


No outposts this year


No alumni gatherings this year

Indigenous Artist Retreats

No indigenous artist retreats this year

Projects and Publications


No exhibitions this year


No publications this year


No events this year

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