Weaving the Park

Alongside For Submersion by Sarah Rosalena Brady, is Weaving the Park, a series of arts workshops for inter-tribal Indigenous youth made possible by our partnership with The Chapter House, an Indigenous-led art organization, and Rosalena Brady. These arts workshops focus on the intergenerational exchange of Indigenous knowledge and culture by combining traditional Native craft with digital technology.

Meet the workshop facilitators and learn more about the workshop they each hosted below.

Weaving the Park Workshop 1


The first workshop will introduce students to the LA State Historic Park site and Sarah Rosalena Brady’s artwork, For Submersion. The session will encourage students to imagine the land in both past and future. Students will start off with a walking tour of the park by Luis Rincon, the park’s Community Engagement Coordinator, and learn the native plants along the original riverbed of Paayme Paxaayt (Tongva name for the Los Angeles River). Samantha Morales Johnson of the Tongva tribe and plant herbalist and educator Thanh Mai will lead a Native plant identification and drawing workshop followed by a tea tasting derived from Native plants.

Workshop Facilitators

Thanh Mai
is a Native plant herbalist and mental health advocate who grows, dries, and prepares blends of medicinal teas. All of the plants that they work with are from their ancestral homelands (Vietnam, Chumash territory), as well as home gardens and plots across Tongva territory. Thanh Mai distributes free native seeds and plant medicine to communities without regular access to land and is hoping to build a youth program that provides free herbal medicine and training.

Learn more about their work here.


Samantha Morales-Johnson (Tongva, she/her) is the Land Return Coordinator of the Tongva Taraxat Paxaavxa Land Conservancy (TTPC), a science illustrator, and an ethnobotanist. Alongside her mom, Kimberly Morales Johnson, she started the “Protect White Sage” digital campaign to protect Grandmother White Sage. In her work with TTPC, Morales Johnson has been adapting her ecological knowledge of Tongva ethnobotany to address advanced ecological problems with land return when reintroducing native species to land with non-native species. Samantha Morales Johnson has a BS in Marine Biology from CSU Puvungna.

Learn more about their work here.

Weaving the Park Workshop 2

The second arts workshop will be facilitated by fourth-generation Navajo weaver Melissa S. Cody that will introduce students to the Germantown Revival art movement and its histories, and the foundations of this weaving style on a loom and spindle. Students will have the opportunity to work with the materials, learn color theory and patterns, and become familiar with the intricacies of Navajo weaving. Cody will share the importance of learning and practicing traditional craft as a way of preserving the continuity of its history to build towards the futurity of Native culture into contemporary worlds.


Workshop Facilitator

Melissa S. Cody (Diné, she/hers) is an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation and a fourth-generation Navajo weaver. Cody’s intricate tapestries are often associated with the Germantown Revival, a stylistic movement named after the government wool from Germantown in Pennsylvania supplied to the Navajo during the Long Walk in 1864. Working on a traditional Navajo loom, she recombines traditional patterns into sophisticated geometric overlays and haptic color schemes. Cody recently exhibited at the National Gallery of Canada (2019–2020, Ottawa). Her works are featured in several museum collections, including those of the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Minnesota, and the Stark Museum of Art, Texas. Cody received a BA in Museum Studies from the College of Contemporary Native Arts, Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Learn more about their work here.

Weaving the Park Workshop 3

In our final workshop, participants are invited to bring an heirloom that connects them to place, land, and kin and learn from Rosalena on how to 3D scan their object into a digital file. Artist and poet Solange Aguilar will guide participants to articulate narratives around their heirloom in a poetry and prose workshop. These activities are aimed to situate participants as future ancestors, and reflect on what objects and stories they would like to preserve for future generations.

Workshop Facilitator

Solange Aguilar (They/Ze) is a queer Indigenous (Mescalero Apache & Yo’eme) and Filipinx (Kalinga & Kapampangan) multimedia artist and poet based in Qenepstin, Chumash Territory (Santa Barbara, CA). Their visual work mostly focuses on different aspects of Indigeneity, ranging from language revitalization to different expressions of joy to land defense, and their poetry tends to theme around intimacy, vulnerability, and beauty.
Aguilar authored various zines, including Alternatives to White Sage, Palo Santo, Cedar, Sweetgrass, and Copal; which discusses non-appropriative usages of herbs and plant medicine; and Skoden: The Ultimate Indigenous Road Trip Guide; which highlights brick-and-mortar Indigenous businesses across the country. They have illustrated three book covers and received the 2021 Artist2Artist fellowship from the Art Matters Foundation and first place in the Santa Barbara Poetry Slam.

Learn more about their work here.