National Museum of the American Indian Presents the Fifth Annual Indian Summer Showcase

April 29, 2010
News Release

The Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian announces the 2010 schedule for its fifth annual concert series promoting Native musicians, films, performers and traditional arts from throughout the Americas. Indian Summer Showcase 2010: 5 Years and Still Hot! will feature several artists during concerts at the museum on the National Mall. This year the museum will join the embassies of Argentina, Bolivia, Mexico and Peru to present multi-day cultural festivals throughout the summer to celebrate the music, culture, food and art of Native groups from these countries, as well as Hawai’i.

The summer series has gained in popularity since it started in 2006. And the addition of these cultural festivals is sure to make this the most successful showcase yet. “We are thrilled to combine our summer concert series with this exciting lineup of cultural festivals” said Kevin Gover (Pawnee), director of the museum. “What a great opportunity to celebrate the culture, art and food of Native people throughout the Western Hemisphere.”

Kicking off this year’s program is the three-day cultural festival: Celebrate Hawai’i: Hula, Saturday, May 29, through Monday, May 31. This festival is the museum’s fourth annual celebration of Hawaiian arts and culture and coincides with Asian Pacific American Heritage Month. During the festival visitors can hear about the hula and learn the native dance, take in a Hawaiian cooking demonstration by Mitsitam Native Foods Cafe Executive Chef Richard Hetzler, as well as watch short films and attend a discussion about Native botany.

Next is the three-day Ibero-American Guitar Festival, Friday, June 4, through Sunday, June 6, which brings outstanding guitarists and other plucked-string players from Spain, Portugal and Latin America for a series of concerts, discussions and master classes. Several programs will honor the legacy of Mexican composer Manuel M. Ponce (1882-1948). Among the performers are Brazilian classical guitarist Carlos Barbosa-Lima, Bolivian charango master Jose Mendoza (Aymara/Quechua), Mexico’s Quarteto Ponce and Argentine folk master Carlos Moscarini. The museum’s Mitsitam Native Foods Cafe will serve a special menu until 6:30 p.m. each evening, with weekend music provided by mariachi and bolero ensembles.

The lineup continues with an event sponsored by the 40th anniversary of the Inter-American Foundation featuring the Arts and Artisans from Bolivia and the Peruvian Island of Taquile, Friday, June 11, through Sunday, June 20. The indigenous presenters and participants of this 10-day festival are the Chiquitanos, Guarayos, Icocenos and Ayoreos from the eastern lowlands of Bolivia. They will demonstrate and sell a wide array of products and crafts, including weavings, embroidery, pottery, sculptures and paintings. A dance group from the island of Taquile in Lake Titicaca will also perform.

Country of the Clouds: Indigenous Artists of the Oaxaca-Mixtec Region is a five-day festival scheduled from Tuesday, June 22, through Saturday, June 26. This weeklong celebration of the arts and culture of the Oaxaca-Mixtec region of Mexico features films, a symposium and an exhibition of contemporary art that includes paintings, ceramics, textiles and photography.

The six-day MAKIYKUMANTA-Peru: Arts and Cultural Legacy festival will feature more than 20 indigenous artisans who present daily exhibitions and demonstrations of Peruvian arts, Tuesday, July 13, through Sunday, July 18. Visitors will be able to purchase ceramics, silver jewelry, textiles, wood and stone carvings and paintings, as well as enjoy music, dance, films, lectures and food demonstrations.

The All Hands on Design! Native Designers from Argentina festival¸ Saturday, July 31, through Sunday, Aug. 1, features hands-on activities for adults and children with displays featuring the work of indigenous Argentine designers from Argentina’s national design program Identidades Productivas. Visiting designers include Fidelia Levicoy (Mapuche) from Patagonia weaving textiles on a vertical loom; Daniel Ramos (Omaguaca), a potter and musician from Jujuy, making ancient, flute-like ocarinas and animal figurines; and María Toribio (Wichi), a textile artist from Formosa, making bracelets and bookmarks from natural fibers. Visitors are invited to come talk to the designers and try their hands at some traditional native designs from Argentina that will be taken home as a souvenir. This program is part of the series “Argentina at the Smithsonian 2010.”

The final festival is the three-day Living Earth Festival, in which the museum acknowledges Native contributions to managing the environment and sustaining their lifeways and foodways.

Activities include a symposium highlighting a discussion on water, wind and salmon; a marketplace where visitors can buy local produce and buy from Native vendors; hands-on family activities, including building “paper” pottery or spinning a piece of cotton yarn; and watching an Iron Chef-like competition or a film about Native cooking.

Other concerts and events include: Pasatono Orquesta (Mixtec band from Oaxaca, Mexico), presenting works from their new album, La Tiricia, Música e Historias para curar la tristeza, Friday, June 25; Derek Miller (Mohawk), blues and rock concert, Friday, July 2; a piano recital with Lisa Thomas (Cherokee descent) featuring music of Native American composers and composers from the “Indianist School” and composers of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Friday, July 23; Coral Cantigas: Tribute Concert for Mercedes Sosa, Saturday, July 31, and Sunday, Aug. 1; and the popular New Orleans funk band Dumpstaphunk (in conjunction with the Living Earth Festival), Saturday, Aug. 7.

In addition to the festivals and concerts, various Native films will screen in the museum’s Rasmuson Theater. The schedule includes Espiral/Spiral, Saturday, June 26, by director Jorge Perez Solano (Mixtec); Free Land, Saturday, July 3, and Sunday, July 4, by director Minda Martin; Argentina at the Smithsonian: selected works by Jorge Prelorán will include showings of Chucalezna and Señalada en Juella, Saturday, July 31, and Cochengo Miranda, Sunday, Aug. 1; Seasoned With Spirit: A Native American Cultural and Culinary Experience—Return of the Buffalo (in conjunction with the Living Earth Festival), Friday, Aug. 6, through Sunday, Aug. 8; and A Gente Luta mas Come Fruta/We Struggle but We Eat Fruit (in conjunction with the Living Earth Festival), Friday, Aug. 6, through Sunday, Aug. 8, by directors Bebito Piãko (Ashaninka) and Isaac Piãko (Ashaninka); and Waterlife, Friday, Aug. 6, and Sunday, Aug. 8, by director Kevin McMahon.

Visit our website at to learn more about Indian Summer Showcase 2010: 5 Years and Still Hot! and get a daily schedule of all of these programs. Add events to your personal calendar, forward programs and events to friends or send program information to your inbox with the National Museum of the American Indian's online calendar.

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Eileen Maxwell

(202) 633-6615