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23rd Annual Native American Fine Arts Festival Comes to Litchfield Park, Jan 10-11

The 23rd annual Native American Fine Arts Festival offers the chance to experience Native American culture at its best with more than 100 juried artists, entertainment, food demonstrations using traditional ingredients by Chef Nephi Craig and award-winning activities for children, Jan. 10 and 11.

The Festival runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day on the Litchfield Elementary School grounds, 225 East Wigwam Boulevard in Litchfield Park. Admission is $10 for adults and $5 for active military and students with ID. Kids under 12 are free.

The Festival recently was named the 2014 Outstanding Event of the Year, for less than 20,000 attendees, at the Arizona Talent in Event Concepts (AzTEC) Conference, which also awarded the Festival the 2014 Best Kids Element Award.

Artists accepted into the Festival are chosen through a selective jurying process. Artwork -- traditional and contemporary Native American jewelry, pottery, basketry, weaving, katsinas, painting, beadwork and more -- are original handcrafted creations using traditional materials. To be considered, each artist must provide proof of tribal affiliation and no commercially produced items are accepted.

"The Native American Fine Arts Festival is a cultural experience at every level," said Litchfield Park Assistant City Manager Sonny Culbreth, who also serves on the Festival Steering Committee. "We want our guests to walk away feeling as if they were immersed in tradition and heritage."

Scheduled entertainment includes:

• Two-time world champion hoop dancer Montee Sinquah (Hopi) and his sons, Scott and Sampson.

• Popular flute player Randy Kemp (Choctaw/Euchee Creek) and his group, Artificial Red.

• Drumming and hands-on experiences for the audience by Alex Maldonado (Pascua Yaqui) and his son Nick.

• Chef Nephi Craig (White Mountain Apache) will give cooking demonstrations incorporating Native American themes, ingredients and techniques.

• Free kids' make-and-take crafting with volunteers teaching kids to make cornhusk dolls, arrowhead necklaces clay figurines and miniature teepees.

Performers also will be involved in education events throughout the weekend.

A reception on Friday night, January 9, sponsored by Sun Health and The Wigwam, will include live music, a hoop dancing demonstration and a fashion show featuring the designs of Penny Singer (Navajo).

Winners of the Festival's juried artwork competition also will be announced.

The reception is free and open to the public, but is limited to the first 150 RSVPs. For information and questions, contact Tricia Kramer at the City of Litchfield Park, (623) 935-9040.

Also expected are appearances by Miss Indian Arizona Shasta Dazen (White Mountain Apache) and Miss Navajo Nation McKeon Dempsey.

For more information, visit www.litchfield-park.org.

Photo by Nikki Rowe.



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