Navajo Festival of Arts & Culture Saturday and Sunday

Brother and sister Jeneda and Clayson Benally of Síhasin perform at the Navajo Festival of Arts & Culture. Submitted photo

Brother and sister Jeneda and Clayson Benally of Síhasin perform at the Navajo Festival of Arts & Culture. Submitted photo

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. - More than 80 award-winning artists and presenters will travel across the Navajo Nation to the Museum of Northern Arizona (MNA) for a weekend of cultural immersion at the 67th annual Navajo Festival of Arts & Culture, Aug. 6-7.

The museum is located at 3101 N. Fort Valley Road in Flagstaff and the festival takes places 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days.

"Reaching the 67-year mark for the Navajo Festival of Arts & Culture is an incredible milestone on many levels," said Museum Director and CEO Carrie M. Heinonen. "The festival is a place where culture, creativity and community come together, and reflects the long-standing relationship between MNA and the Navajo people."

The festival began in August 1949 through a collaboration of traders on the western portion of the Navajo Reservation when 15 trading posts submitted 10 of their best rugs to the museum to compete for prizes. The museum's goal was to align both weavers and traders in keeping alive the old styles of weaving and improving the quality of yarns, dyes and designs. Today, the weekend event draws thousands of visitors from across the region and around the world.

The Heritage Insights lecture series, presented by Arizona Humanities, will foster cross-cultural communication and understanding by presenting Diné history, personal experiences, family traditions and current issues facing the community.

"What is unique to this festival is the rare opportunity to meet and engage with so many talented artists," said Cristen Crujido, MNA director of marketing and public affairs. "Each of our Heritage Program festivals provides an in-depth look into the cultures and people of the Colorado Plateau and allows wonderful exchanges between artists and visitors."

The public will have the opportunity to purchase traditional and contemporary examples of silverwork, jewelry, painting, weaving, folk carving, sculpture and more directly from artist. The festival will also feature artist demonstrations, musical performances and the pageantry of Navajo social dances.

"Our main state entertainment includes some of the region's best performances," Crujido said. "Both traditional and contemporary entertainers will take the stage Saturday and Sunday, including local favorite Síhasin."

Ticket prices are $12 for adults and $8 for students (with ID), American Indians (10+ with tribal affiliation) and youth (10-17). Children under 10 are free. Weekend passes are $18 for adults and $12 for youth. The event is supported in part by the Arizona Commission on the Arts and the Flagstaff Arts Council with city of Flagstaff/BBB Revenues.

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