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In the Spirit: Northwest Native Arts Market & Festival

8 Aug

Margaret Morris of the Northern Star dance group performs at the 2011 In the Spirit Festival. Photo courtesy of the Washington State Historical Society.

In the Spirit: Northwest Native Arts Market and Festival, the region’s largest Native American arts event, returns to the Washington State History Museum this weekend for its biggest celebration yet. This popular outdoor festival will feature a mix of performances by new and returning Native American artists, and for the first time, free museum admission.

Festival activities take place inside and adjacent to the museum. Through partnership with The Evergreen State College Longhouse Education & Cultural Center, Native American dancers, musicians and storytellers will perform in the museum’s outdoor amphitheater. In the plaza, adjacent to the amphitheater, some of the Pacific Northwest’s most talented artisans, including weavers, printmakers, carvers, and beaders, will gather to display and sell their exquisite works.

“Festival participants and families will have an opportunity to experience these cultural traditions, purchase fine art and jewelry, and support Pacific Northwest Native American artists,” said Jennifer Kilmer, Director of the Washington State Historical Society. “As we enter the final days of this year’s In the Spirit exhibit, closing August 26, the festival gives visitors a chance to celebrate the culture and artists in a vibrant, public forum.”

The day’s schedule is full of standout performances, including returning favorite Alaska Kuteeyaa Dancers and a group new to the festival, Scatter Their Own, from South Dakota. Visitors can also enjoy demonstrations inside the museum on basket weaving, carving and how to make a dream catcher. All artists participating in the events are skilled masters of their craft and offer adults and children alike an introduction to generations of knowledge and tradition. Continue reading

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