Community invited to two-day cultural celebration
The Mid-America All-Indian Center will host its 3rd Annual American Indian Festival July 13-14 at Century II Expo Hall. Activities include a Contest Powwow, Indian Fine Art Market, interactive youth activities, film contest and vendor booths and food court with Indian tacos. Doors open at 10 a.m. both days. Admission is $5 for adults, $4 for elders and active military and $3 for youth between the ages of 6-16 (under 6 admitted free). Tickets may be purchased in advance at WichitaTIX.com or by calling 316-219-4849. Tickets will also be sold at the door. Century II is located at 225 W. Douglas.
“The American Indian Festival is a unique cultural celebration that preserves time-honored traditions and puts a spotlight on American Indian artisans,” said Indian Center Director April Scott. “The activities that take place during the American Indian Festival enlighten and educate visitors about a heritage we all share, no matter what our age or background.”
The Contest Powwow will take place from 1-10 p.m. on Saturday and 1-6 p.m. on Sunday. American Indian dancers representing tribes from across the country will compete for honor and prize money just as warriors used to compete for honor and pride. Through interaction with dancers, visitors will have the opportunity to learn the stories behind their elaborate regalia (clothing) and the purpose of the dances.
Education will take place outside of the powwow arena as well with presentations about American Indians’ connection to animals in nature, art demonstrations and storytelling. Hands-on craft projects will give youth the chance to work with tools and materials once used by Plains Indian families.
Both days will include visits by these special guests:
• Saturday, noon-1 p.m.: Painted pony demonstration featuring Old Cowtown Museum’s Percheron horses Tim and Barney.
• Saturday, 1:30-2:30 p.m.: Meet-and-greet with Kneehigh the miniature horse.
• Sunday, 11 a.m.-noon: Ken Lockwood and his feathered friends from the Eagle Valley Raptor Center.
For the first time, a film contest with a $500 first place cash prize is being held in conjunction with the festival. Filmmakers of all ages may enter and create a documentary-style film that best captures the spirit and excitement of the American Indian Festival. Entries will be judged by local American Indian filmmaker Rod Pocowatchit, Nick Pope, co-director of programming for the Tallgrass Film Association and representatives from the Indian Center. Entry forms are posted online at TheIndianCenter.org. All filming must take place at the festival. The Tallgrass Filmmakers Lab is the media partner for the contest.
For more details about the American Indian Festival, go to TheIndianCenter.org or call 316-350-3340.