Navajo-Hopi Nations,Flagstaff & Winslow News
Sat, May 08

Museum of Northern Arizona looks for artists for Summer Heritage Festival in July
Artists can reserve booth space now; festival will take place the four weekends in July

The Summer Heritage Festival will take place four weekends in July. Above: Dancers perform at the Museum of Northern Arizona in a previous year. (Photo courtesy of the Museum of Northern Arizona)

The Summer Heritage Festival will take place four weekends in July. Above: Dancers perform at the Museum of Northern Arizona in a previous year. (Photo courtesy of the Museum of Northern Arizona)

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. — After a year in which it had to cancel or rearrange events because of COVID-19, the Museum of Northern Arizona said it is looking for artists to reserve booth space now for its Summer Heritage Festival.

With a different group of artists each weekend, the museum said the rotating roster will allow more artists to be represented.

“This year, it’s more inclusive so it is open to any Native person from the Colorado Plateau region,” said Hailey Hutchins, intern for the marketing department at MNA.

The event will take place Friday through Sunday with artists on the grounds, and events going on from the museum throughout the week on Facebook.

The festival will be a combination of indoor and outdoor activity — most artist booths will be outside. There will be some booths in the auditorium inside, but more spread out than in previous years.

“We can’t fit quite as many artists in that inside space [because of COVID-19],” said Marketing Director Kristan Hutchison.

Artists can apply for booth or vendor space until June 1 and applications are available on the museum’s website at www.musnaz.org or by email at ddescheny@musnaz.org.

Hutchison said the museum has looked at the event with the pandemic in mind and broken down the events into what areas could go online if needed. She said there are three main components of the heritage festival at the museum — the performances/dances, the talks/presentations and the artist market.

“Two of those components we can livestream and do no matter what,” Hutchison said. “Even if things were suddenly worse, we could still have the dancers come and perform and we would livestream online.”

The same is true for the presentations.

“Those things we can move forward with confidence — we want to have live audiences for them but even if we had to make a change, we could still go forward with it,” Hutchison said.

The artist market is a different calculation.

“We really have to have people there in person,” Hutchison said. “Because of that we’re holding off on accepting booth fees. We’re asking people to apply but not to give us their money. We will start to collect the booth fees near the end of May. The delay is just in case we have to say [that] some variant of COVID has become so much worse that we can't go forward.”

Hutchison said she doesn’t believe that will be the case, but wants to get in front of refunding money to the artists in case the museum has to cancel the artist market.

“The reason we’re having the festival over four weekends is we’re having fewer artists each weekend and we’re going to limit the number of people coming in to attend it,” Hutchison said.

Prior events could have at least 3,000 people coming over two days for any of the festivals the museum put on.

This time, the museum anticipates 1,000 people over three days because of the limitations it is putting on people attending.

“That will allow it to be a smaller safer event. That makes it so we feel more confident that we will be able to do it no matter what,” Hutchison said.

The museum’s winter market, which was smaller with artists in separate cabins, was a test case.

“And that worked alright, the idea of spreading it out over space and time so that artists can have the opportunity and the community can have the opportunity, but we can keep people safely distanced,” Hutchison said.

More information about applying for booth space at the event can be found at https://musnaz.org/heritage-2/festival-artists/.

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