The Cherokee Word for Water

Please join us on Wednesday for an interview we recorded in December of 2013 when the stars, producers and writers of the movie The Cherokee Word for Water were in town. This was a wonderful conversation, and we will broadcast it from 6-7pm Central Time on 91.7 FM You can stream it by clicking here.

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Listen to the Interview


(Cherokee, Colville, Salish-Kootenai) A native Oklahoman and graduate of UCLA, Kimberly enjoys a career in entertainment as an actor, writer and director and also works with tribal communities throughout North America teaching filmmaking as a creative tool promoting personal and community development. A few of her film and television credits include Longmire, Grey’s Anatomy, Hidalgoand The Sopranos though she is most often recognized as “Winona”, Jerry’s Native American girlfriend on Seinfeld. Having originated the role of “Johnna” in Steppenwolf’s Tony Award-winning play August: Osage County, Kimberly joined the ensemble performing in Chicago, on Broadway, at The National Theatre in London and most recently at the Sydney Theatre Company in Australia. Kimberly is married to Artist/Composer Johnny Guerrero and lives in Southern California.


Kristina Kiehl, Producer, has been an organizer in the women’s movement for more than three decades. She co-founded the Political Action Committee Voters for Choice along with author and feminist Gloria Steinem. Kristina created almost all of Wilma Mankiller’s ads during her campaigns for Chief and has helped develop ads and events for a number of other national political candidates, including Ann Richards, Nancy Pelosi, Al Gore and others. In 2004, Kristina partnered with Gloria Steinem to organize a 1,500 mile tour in support Democratic Party candidates in the mid-west, and in 2008, the same team traveled to Colorado and partnered with local organizations to plan nearly thirty events in nine days. As a skilled photographer, she has documented some of these historic campaign events with photographs and video productions. Her passion for The Cherokee Word for Water and dedication to Wilma’s vision has been one of the driving forces behind the movie since its inception and comes out of her decades of deep friendship with Wilma and Charlie.


Charlie Soap, Producer/Director, was Wilma Mankiller’s husband and community development partner for more than thirty years, and a leader in the Bell Waterline Project that inspired the film.

Charlie is a full-blood bilingual Cherokee, has a Bachelor’s Degree in Education from Northeastern State University. He served in the United States Navy from l965-l969, and received an honorable discharge. Mr. Soap has dedicated virtually his entire career working to strengthen the many Cherokee communities and currently serves as the Cherokee Nation Group Leader for Community Services. Since early 2002, Cherokee Nation Community Services has facilitated construction of 8 community buildings and numerous other critical self-help initiatives.

Due to his accomplishments and innovative approaches to community development in rural communities, Mr. Soap has received numerous awards, including the Common Cause Public Service Achievement Award, and two National Certificates of Merit from the Department of Housing and Development. Mr. Soap has lectured on community development at Cornell University, Arizona State University Law School, the University of Maryland, Tufts University, Indiana State University, Mayo Clinic, and numerous other places.

Mr. Soap also worked with business, education and political leaders to establish the Boys and Girls Club of Tahlequah and served as its founding Director. Under Mr. Soap’s leadership, the Club operated a comprehensive summer enrichment program and working with Tahlequah Public Schools developed the first after-school programs in the school system. The collaboration between the Boys and Girls Club and the Tahlequah Public Schools has served as a national model.

Mr. Soap served as Director of the Cherokee Nation Community Development Department and 7 years as the Oklahoma Area Director of the Christian Children’s Fund.

He is also a skilled photographer who is working on a book of photographs of indigenous people in the South American Amazon. Mr. Soap is a fancy war dancer, an avid golfer, fisherman and cyclist.


Ben Livingston, Curly, grew up in a small South Texas town. He was raised in an artistic and theatrical family. He enjoyed problem solving and “travel” by drawing his thoughts and desires out on paper in his room while listening to Houston’s progressive Pacifica radio. Inspired by culturally diverse broadcasts of song writers and poets like Kinky Friedman, Terry Allen, Charles Bukowski and many others, Livingston was unknowingly forming thoughts that would later serve him very well as an internationally known artist, critically acclaimed song writer and now actor for film and television.

“In a decade of journalism I have met no other artist with the charisma, determination, and buoyant delight in sharing knowledge and new perceptions of Ben Livingston.”

-Eve Kahn Freelance Writer for The New York Times, Wall Street Journal and New Yorker NY, NY