9/24/2013 4:15:00 PM Festival of American Indian Arts coming to Camp Verde
Tony Duncan will perform at the Canyon Records Recording Artist Showcase Saturday at 7 p.m. The concert is part of the Verde Valley Archaeology Centerís fifth annual Festival of American Indian Arts, Sept. 27-29. Courtesy photo.
CAMP VERDE - Five years ago, the Verde Valley chapter of the Arizona Archaeological Society held its first Festival of American Indian Arts to raise money for what eventually became the Verde Valley Archaeology Center.
From Friday through Sunday, the VVAC will host the fifth annual Festival of American Indian Arts, with a plethora of Native American art on display, a film festival and concert to showcase the most talented artists in the region.
The mission of the VVAC, said Ken Zoll, VVAC executive director, is of both prehistoric history and also Native American history to the present. The annual festival is one way for VVAC to share this history with the general public.
"To make people aware this is an area originally settled by Native Americans and that Native Americans still live in the Verde Valley," Zoll said. "And we always give the Yavapai-Apache Nation a double-booth to let people know about their cultural heritage in the Verde Valley."
Besides educating people on the Verde Valley's Native American culture, the annual festival has raised more than $20,000 since it began.
Friday's Native American Film Festival will be held at the Sedona Creative Life Center, 333 Schnebly Hill Road in Sedona. Short films Sousa on the Rez, Standing Bear's Footsteps and Lost Ceremonies of the Hopi Cliff Dwellers, will be showing. Tickets are $10 each.
According to Zoll, Lost Ceremonies of the Hopi Cliff Dwellers is an "interesting sociological study of how white people viewed Native Americans in the 1950s. The narrator says, 'you'll notice dancers wore feathered headdresses. But Hopi would never wear headdresses.'"
Zoll added that with the annual festival, VVAC is attempting to "highlight the arts that Native Americans are involved in. Each year, we try to find films made by Native Americans that we can show. They are usually short, so we can show a few films."
From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, the festival's Invitation Native American Art Show will be held at the Camp Verde Community Center, located on Main Street and Hollamon Street. Admission is free. The exhibition will feature artists from Arizona and New Mexico, as well as performances by the White Mountain Apache Crown Dancers.
"The Verde Valley Archaeology Center recognizes the American Indian heritage of the Verde Valley with an annual Festival of American Indian Art for artists from throughout Arizona and the Southwest," Zoll said. "The event promotes greater public appreciation and understanding of American Indian artistry, encourages artistic achievement in a variety of media and establishes a strong market for American Indian art."
At 7 p.m. Saturday, Canyon Records will co-host a Recording Artist Showcase at the Camp Verde Multi-Use Complex, featuring Canyon Records musicians and dancers including five-time world champion hoop dancer Tony Duncan with his wife Violet Duncan; musical group Estun-Bah; flute soloist Anthony Wakeman; and featured artist, 2012 Grammy-nominated Radmilla Cody.
"As an Indigenous woman of Dine' descent, it is an honor to participate in this festival taking place within the Yavapai people's homeland," Cody said. "This gives us the opportunity as Indigenous people to show and share with native and non-native people that our culture is still vibrant and important to us. It is very important for Indigenous people to unite because we all face similar issues within our communities. It is important to network and share solutions to these issues that we face."
The Camp Verde Multi-Use Complex is located at 370 Camp Lincoln Road.