American Indian Arts Fest

The 2016 American Indian Arts (and Music) Festival was lots of fun

This festive event celebrated the connection and continuity of prehistoric and current American Indian cultures through music and other arts. Visitors experienced a blend of prehistoric and modern Native American instrumentation, music and dance; they also observed American Indian crafters and artisans engaged in the production of traditional and contemporary cultural items (available for purchase). Authentic American Indian foods provided a tasty accompaniment to the rhythms of the past and the present.

The Arts Fest was Saturday, November 19, 2016. PDF of the day's schedule (197K), so you can see what you missed.

A few changes to the Festival include:
-2016 Fest was fee free! No entrance fee charged at the park that day.
-Pets were NOT invited to the Festival. The amount of people attending as well as the already stressed park resources had led to this request.
-The 2016 Fest was in November rather than past year's offerings in February.
-The 2016 Fest was one day only, not an entire weekend.

American Indian basket dancers pose in traditional dress

The Hashan-kehk Traditional Dancers & Singers have been together for more than twelve years and travel extensively through the Gila River area and Arizona. The dancers and singers are from the Gila River Indian Reservation. Each dance and song is a blessing to everyone who hears the songs and sees the dances. The Hashan-Kehk Traditional Dancers and Singers are honored to be a part of the American Indian Arts Fest and ask that each and everyone take the blessings of the songs and dances with them and within their hearts.

performer Eric Ray playing the flute

The music of Gvwi will satisfy the traditional as well as the modern. The Journey began over 20 years ago. Gvwi brings the Journey to you with the Native American Flute, a variety of other instruments, and an outstanding group of professional musicians. Eric Ray is featured on the flute. He brings forth an enticing essence of this ancient musical instrument that will keep listeners wondering just what will be next. Gvwi has been honored by Cherokees of Northern Central Valley for continued music contributions to Cherokee Nation events.

musician Mark Holland

Autumn’s Child is described as Global Chamber Music; a hybrid of world, jazz, classical and folk styles. Mark Holland is the leader and founder of the group. Through Autumn’s Child, Holland showcases the versatility of the Native American Flute, creating a new acoustic instrumental fusion, an eclectic sound that is truly one of a kind. He is known for his skillful technique yet soulful playing from the heart. He won an Indian Summer Music Award for the Native Spirit category. This is the second award this year along with his album Flute Flight that won a ZMR award for Best Relaxation / Meditation album.

Loren Russell holding his Native American flute

Loren Russell has performed as a storyteller and a musician at Casa Grande Ruins National Monument for several years. Currently, he is a Storyteller/Fluteplayer at the Sheraton Wild Horse Pass Resort. As a member of the National Storytelling Network, he has performed at the Swapping Grounds at the International Storytelling Festival in Jonesborough, Tennessee and as a featured Storyteller at the Mable Springs Storytelling Festival (a sanctioned Dogwood Arts Festival Event) in Knoxville. He is Akimel O’odham (Pima) of the Gila River Indian Community. Mr. Russell is well acquainted with the traditions of the Akimel O’odham and many other American Indian tribes. He is a member of the Arizona Flute Circle in Phoenix and is the grandson of Arizona Women’s Hall of Fame member, Anna Moore Shaw.

Performer Jack Gladstone

Jack Gladstone is a native “PoetSinger” and lecturer from the Blackfeet Indian Nation of Montana. He is a nationally respected cultural interpreter who delivers programs on American Indian myth, legend and history. Gladstone has produced fifteen critically acclaimed CD’s during his 26-year career. Since 1985 Jack has been a featured presenter in Glacier National Parks “Native America Speaks” lecture series.


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Mailing Address:

1100 W. Ruins Drive
Coolidge, AZ 85128


(520) 723-3172
General park contact number includes a phone tree for finding the employee you wish to contact. Callers may dial zero for the phone attendant. Voicemail is available for many of the extensions.

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