Performance event aims to inspire wellness through Native humor, art

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ANCHORAGE (KTUU) - Multiple performers are participating in an event Wednesday to promote healing through entertainment.

The 1491s indigenous comedy group will perform Wednesday to inspire wellness through Native humor, art and media.

Several Alaska Native artists will perform downtown for a good cause, along with an indigenous sketch comedy group known as The 1491s.

The 1491s have traveled across the country sharing their sense of humor.

Billy Wilson, a member of the group, says laughter is a method of healing not only for indigenous people, but for everyone.

"If you go out there and you say, 'Yeah, I'm a comedian,' people go, 'Oh, haha comedy,' and they immediately, they're ready to start laughing," Wilson said. "There's nothing like that when a joke really hits, there's just nothing to compare it to like, 'Oh man, I made these people laugh.'"

The 1491s are based in Minnesota and Oklahoma and got their start by posting a video on Youtube seven years ago.

Since then, the comedians have posted dozens more clips depicting indigenous satire, garnering more than 42,000 subscribers to their channel.

Alaska Native hip hop artist Edward Tate, known as "Tatertott," from Nome, will also perform Wednesday evening.

Tate said while laughter is a key piece of healing, music is another form of medicine he enjoys sharing with others.

"I've been told a couple times that my music helped people get through a tough time and that means more than making money off of music," Tate said.

All proceeds from Wednesday's "Thrive" event will go toward helping the Healthy Alaska Natives Foundation wellness fund.

Tickets are being sold both online at and at the door.

Performances will be held at the downtown Marriott hotel Wednesday, Nov. 29.

Doors open at 5:30 p.m. and the event runs from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

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