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On the Celebrity Trail: Thumbing through Renaissance Indian Magazine

HOLLYWOOD, Calif. - There are few American Indian magazines that come out of Hollywood. In fact before March of 2000, there were none published. Actor Harrison Lowe wanted to change that. Because information concerning Indians in entertainment came to him first hand, he had a vision of promoting their talent straight from Los Angeles. So during the 2001 First Americans in the Arts Awards (FAITA), Lowe launched the first print copy of his Renaissance Indian Magazine.

Lowe says that his magazine has reached beyond its main audience in the U.S. to Europe, India, and Africa. Lowe has since turned his hard copy into an online magazine (www.renaissanceindian.com) and featured a three-part interview with director John Woo of "Windtalkers" as well as pieces on actor Steve Reevis, "Last of the Dogmen" singer /actress Arigon Starr and in the most recent issue, a conversation with stunt man Rod Rondeaux from "Wild, Wild West."

Lowe says that his magazine has evolved creatively within the last three years. The online magazine now has contributing writers for a poetry section, Native book reviews, music reviews as well as numerous actor interviews. Actress Jackie Old Coyote even wrote a short story for the magazine. With a growing archive section, anyone can order back issues.

The magazine also features photos of actors and actresses Lowe has met on location and at the FAITA awards. This year Lowe felt that profiles of Native models in Hollywood might broaden his magazine audience. The first three models featured were Andrea Garcia, Michelle Rae and in the most recent issue, Cassie Melcher.

During the day, Lowe works for a management company called NBST in Beverly Hills where he serves as a mail runner for popular comedians Robin Williams and Billy Crystal. Lowe said he enjoys it almost as much as working to make his magazine better. He is now in semi-retirement as a performer even though he got his start on the stage in Oklahoma in the 1980s.

In 1989, Lowe moved to Los Angeles and landed a part in an unknown movie alongside Wes Studi and Steve Reevis as a New Guinea head hunter. Since then, he has landed roles in "Buffalo Soldiers" (PBS), "Geronimo" (TNT), a French film called "The Jaguar" and recently, "Skinwalkers" (PBS). Lowe feels that he's done well considering the lack of opportunities for Native actors. He even walked away with a FAITA award for his performance in "Buffalo Soldiers."

Lowe along with Bob Hicks and Dawn Jackson are the founding members of FAITA. He stated that the show began as just a small acknowledgement to Native actors, which has grown into a big budget award show. Lowe is very proud that FAITA has become an advocate for new Native talent with the scholarships they give out every year. He hopes that will continue long into the future.