Thursday, February 27, 2020

A&E: Cherokee Nation unveils series of cultural events, and a Powwow breakdown

By Rich Tupica - February 27, 2020 at 09:28AM

Arvel Bird performs at the 17th Annual Thundering Spirit Family Pow Wow in Florida. (courtesy photo)

Welcome to Native News Online’s weekly column highlighting arts, entertainment and cultural events taking place all across Indian Country. Every Thursday morning, we’re delivering a round-up of festivities you might want to check out, if they’re happening in your area or if you’re traveling.

Today, we talk about a burst of cultural events happening in Oklahoma, and a quick breakdown of some upcoming Powwows.

Cherokee Nation Cultural Tourism announces museum programming
TAHLEQUAH, Oklahoma – Throughout March and April, Cherokee Nation is expanding its cultural and educational opportunities at their various museum locations. 

Cherokee Nation Cultural Tourism was created in 2007 to “preserve and promote the history and culture of the Cherokee people,” according to a release. Over the years, the Cherokee Nation has hosted award-winning cultural programming and has managed the operation of five Cherokee Nation museums, two Cherokee Nation welcome centers, and various Cherokee Nation retail operations.

The organization’s museum locations include the Cherokee National History Museum, located at 101 S. Muskogee Avenue; Cherokee, National Prison Museum, located at 124 E. Choctaw St., Cherokee, National Supreme Court Museum, located at 122 E. Keetoowah St., the John Ross Museum, located at 22366 S. 530 Rd in Park Hill, and Sequoyah’s Cabin Museum, located at 470288 Highway 101 in Sallisaw.

March’s upcoming special cultural events and programs include:

March 7: This event teaches attendees how to make traditional pucker-toe moccasins at the Cherokee National Prison Museum. The workshop, which runs from 10 a.m.-2 p.m., requires preregistration and costs $45. Register at

March 14: Cherokee National Treasure Lisa Rutherford hosts an artist discussion and demonstration on precontact clothing, deerskin moccasins and feather capes. The free event is open to the public and runs from 10 a.m.–4 p.m. at the Cherokee National History Museum.

March 19: This is a free, family friendly day that encourages everyone to spend spring break with Cherokee Nation. Plenty of family-friendly activities will be held at each museum from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and vary by location.

There are plenty more events happening throughout April, so be sure to visit Cherokee Nation Cultural Tourism at or call (877) 779-6977 to see what’s on the calendar.

17th Annual Thundering Spirit Family Pow Wow
Feb. 28-March 1
20651 U.S. Hwy 441, Mount Dora, FL
Mount Dora, Florida

Each year, the Thundering Spirit Family Pow Wow presents traditional Native American culture including drumming, dancing, crafts and food. This family friendly event. Don’t forget to bring chairs and/or blankets to sit on.

A long roster of performers are set to perform at the 17th annual event, including legendary violinist, flutist and storyteller Arvel Bird, aka “Lord of the Strings.” His unique fusion-fiddling style encompasses his Native American and Celtic heritage and spans many genres, including new age, Celtic, and folk, to jazz and blues.

Music aside, Bird’s expressive storytelling weaves together stories of Native American spirituality with haunting melodies to give vision to his music. According to his bio, “He speaks of Native American wisdom, the sacredness of Mother Earth, the environment and the sacred totems of the animals with whom we share this planet.”

Other performers include Grammy Award-winner Joanne Shenandoah. She has recorded more than 15 albums and won numerous awards, including a 2002 Honorary Doctorate of Music by Syracuse University. She received a Grammy Award for her part in the album Sacred Ground: A Tribute to Mother Earth (2005), a compilation album.

Rounding out the roster are Lowery Begay, Crystal Woman, Sicanni, among many other performers and attractions.

2nd Annual Arizona Two Spirit Pow Wow
Saturday, Feb. 29
Performing Arts Center Amphitheater
South Mountain Community College Campus
7050 S 24th St., Phoenix, Arizona
Noon-5 p.m.

Native PFLAG hosts the 2nd Annual Arizona Annual Two Spirit Powwow and welcomes everyone to join us as they support and celebrate the LGBTQ2S community. The contest Powwow, happening Saturday, is free and open to the public. All dancers are allowed and individuals can dance in the category of their choice.  The following categories will be showcased: Tiny Tots, Juniors, Teens & Adult, and a Two Spirit Special for all ages. Dance and drum registration starts at 11 a.m.

Editor’s Note: If you have an upcoming arts event or powwow you want share with Native News Online readers, please send information in advance to:

The post A&E: Cherokee Nation unveils series of cultural events, and a Powwow breakdown appeared first on Native News Online.

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