The Virginia G. Piper
Center for Creative Writing

Ken Duncan

NEA Big Read Partner 2021

About Ken Duncan

Enrolled member of the San Carlos Apache Tribe, an accomplished cultural teacher, singer, flute player, artist, and storyteller. He is a graduate of the Institute of American Indian Arts, Santa Fe, NM. Mr. Duncan is the founder/director of a family business, YELLOW BIRD PRODUCTIONS. Recently Ken was accepted into the 2020-21 ASU Teaching Artist Program.

Among his many accomplishments, Ken has lectured on American Indian cultures across the Unites States and throughout the world including the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland; the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and The Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian in New York AND in Washington DC.

Ken has served as a Native American consultant to the US State Department and the Department of Defense on numerous Foreign Goodwill tours to US Embassies and Consulates in Central Asia, Eastern Europe, the Middle East, Central and South America. Ken was named Culture Keeper of Arizona by Arizona’s Governor’s office in 2004 and was also recognized with the Arizona Native American Business of the Year Award in 2015.

He has performed across the United States and throughout the world including: the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, England, the World Alpine Ski Finals in Bormio, Italy and the UNESCO International Culture Fest in Uzbekistan.

About NEA Big Read

NEA Big Read is a program of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest. This event is presented as part the NEA Big Read: Phoenix, celebrating Indigenous literary arts and culture in the Valley with over 25 talks, workshops, performances, book clubs, art exhibits other virtual events inspired by The Round House by Louise Erdrich. NEA Big Read: Phoenix is presented by the Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing at Arizona State University with additional support from Arizona Humanities, Phoenix Public Library, and the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Humanities Division at ASU. Find events, meet our partners, and start reading today at

Support Indigenous Communities

The Phoenix Indian Center is the oldest American Indian non-profit organization of its kind in the United States, providing workforce development, cultural enrichment, and other vital services to Indigenous communities throughout the Valley for over 70 years. To support their work, visit their website at, click the donate button, enter an amount, and enter "NEA Big Read" in the description. Please consider making a gift to the Phoenix Indian Center today.

Make your gift