Museum of Northern Arizona reschedules all heritage festivals
Hopi, Navajo and Zuni Fest will take place in September
FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. — The Museum of Northern Arizona announced its summer heritage festivals will be rescheduled and combined into one event that will take place Sept.12-13 this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Those are the Zuni Festival, the Hopi Festival and the Navajo Festival.
Amelia George, public programs manager for the museum, said safety for the artists, staff and the public are the primary concern right now — and the museum did not want to cancel the festivals without a plan for something else.
“One of the reasons MNA has continued to do these festivals for so long is because it is an important economic opportunity for the artists who participate,” George said. “If we canceled the festivals than that is a serious loss to hundreds of people who
[already have hard economic situations].”
George said that there is not much commerce that happens at Zuni, and the same is true for the Hopi and the Navajo Nation — unemployment is high for all those tribes.
“Our Zuni Festival is a huge annual event that provides significant amounts of income to families all over the Zuni Reservation,” George said. “By rescheduling, it allows us the opportunity to still support those artists and give them a chance.”
George points out that everyone will be hurting after the economic hit that all communities across the United States and the world face, but for those communities, like indigenous communities, that were already hard pressed to begin with, the result will be even worse.
“The impact on the Native art community is at the forefront of our minds,” George said. “We’re not just canceling, we’re rescheduling, so we can give those artists an opportunity to still support their families and continue their way of life.”
The Hopi Show is in its 86th year, this year.
“The first one started in the 30s and that was right in the middle of the Great Depression, so this isn’t the first time we’ve been in a global economic crisis where the museum is still putting an emphasis on the importance of buying Native art and supporting Native artists,” George said. “It’s the same situation, we don’t want people to forget that there are communities that still need our support.”
More information about how the museum will support the artists will be included in a story next week in the Navajo-Hopi Observer.
More information for artists who have questions about what the festival will look like and what the set up will be is available from George at firstname.lastname@example.org.