American Indian Arts Fest at Casa Grande Ruins National Monument

Monday, February 06 2012 07:36   Native Americans
Celebrate Native American culture at the fourth annual American Indian Arts Fest at Casa Grande Ruins National Monument in Arizona on Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 11-12, 2012.

Demonstrations, exhibits, and sales of a variety of artistic and cultural items will be open to the public from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day. Visitors will be able to admire and purchase musical instruments, paintings, jewelry and beadwork, pottery, baskets, katchinas, gourd art, and music CDs.

casagrandeNative American foods and other snacks and beverages will be available for purchase. So join us for a full weekend of music and culture,

The American Indian Music Fest will take place on the grounds of the Casa Grande Ruins National Monument, located at 1100 W. Ruins Drive, Coolidge, AZ 85128. Free shuttle buses will transport visitors to the monument from the Walmart and Safeway parking lots on the day of the festival.

An exceptional lineup of performers will be featured on stage from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day and a special evening concert will be held on Saturday evening from 5 to 7 p.m.

Returning favorites include Native American flute players Travis Terry, John Bear, and Loren Russell, and guitarist Gabriel Ayala. This year, they will be joined by Tim Blueflint, Aaron White and Anthony Wakeman, Rona Yellow Robe, and Ben Cunningham-Summerfield. Each day's performances will be opened by the River People Basket Dancers and the Hashan-Kehk Traditional Dancers.

Festival sponsor, Odell Borg of High Spirits Flutes, will sell the fine Native American flutes he is noted for and host a children's booth. Each child will receive a free flute, which they will decorate and begin to learn to play. The booth has been a big hit with both children and parents at past Music Fests. High Spirits will also sponsor two performers: Travis Terry, who also serves as Master of Ceremonies, and John Bear.

Another Music Fest sponsor is Canyon Records, a company which specializes in producing recordings of Native American music. Music Fest performers Aaron White and Anthony Wakeman record with Canyon Records and will be available to sign their new CD, Handprints of our People, after their performances each day.

gabrielayalaDesert Cloud Flute Circle is a new sponsor from southern Nevada, bringing to the Fest Tim Blueflint and Rona Yellow Robe. Rona will be a featured performer at Saturday's luminaria lit evening concert. Desert Cloud Flute Circle meetings are open to anyone interested in playing the Native American flute, learning about Native American culture or just listening to the music.

Gabriel Ayala, the 2011 Native American Music Awards (NAMMYs) "Performer of the Year" will be back performing at the Saturday evening concert as well. The Gabriel Ayala Trio, featuring Troy Gray on bass and Will Clipman on percussion, will perform on Sunday afternoon. The trio's original sound embraces the passion of flamenco, the improvisation of jazz and the heartbeat of contemporary world music.

Casa Grande Ruins National Monument protects the multi-story 'Great House' and the ruins of other ancient structures built by the people of the Sonoran Desert over 800 years ago. The site is sacred to a number of Arizona tribes as home to their ancestors.

The Casa Grande Ruins are still used today for ceremonies and special events by the O'odham people. The Casa Grande is a place to be visited with respect and reverence.

More information about the event is available on the web at or by calling (520) 723-3172.


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