Sedona AZ (November 18, 2013) – Sedona Arts Center offers an Immersion into Native American culture and more from November 18-22, 2013 at the West Sedona Middle School and Big Park Community School in the Village of Oak Creek. A special reception will be held at the Sedona Arts Center’s Special Exhibition Gallery at 15 Art Barn Road, Sedona, Arizona from 5-7 p.m. on Friday November 22, 2013.
The Sedona Arts Center has brought a cultural outreach program to the local West Sedona Middle School for many years. The programs are designed to give students a direct experience of another Time, Place or Culture through art. Libby Caldwell originally designed the ‘immersion’ curriculum model when she served as the Education Commissioner on the Arts and Culture Commission for the City of Sedona. Over the years, various grants have funded immersions focused on the experience of the 1960’s, the 1920’s, Pre-Columbian Culture and the 6 traits of good character, which was recently shared at the West Sedona Middle School.
This semester the Sedona Arts Center has coordinated through its School of the Arts, a Native American Immersion with special presenters from the Navajo and Yavapai Tribes. The Immersions are taking place at West Sedona Middle School November 1819 and at Big Park Community School in the Village of Oak Creek November 2021. Join us on Friday November 22 from 57 p.m. for a reception and presentation at Sedona Arts Center’s Special Exhibition Gallery, where each of the presenters will recap the work accomplished by the students during the Immersion. Come see the creations crafted by the students from each school at this special exhibition!
At the Immersion, students will work with Navajo Weaver Mae Peshlakai, a world-renowned Navajo weaver that has her work displayed in a permanent collection at the Smithsonian. Each student will begin weaving on a cardboard loom. Mae will bring her own loom and samples of her work for students to see as well. Then, Navajo Song and Dance’s Jim Peshlakai will teach the Navajo Butterfly Dance and Eagle Dance to the students as part of the Navajo creation story. Both Mae and Jim are wonderfully experienced presenters to all ages. Jim has taught educational programs and cultural sharing programs at NAU. Students immersed in art and dance will then experience Navajo Food by Char Kruger, who will present hands on production of corn mush using a traditional stone grinder, accompanied by traditional stories and ultimately a tasting. Char has worked at the Navajo Culture Museum in Window Rock.
On day one of the Immersion, Frieda Eswonia will guide the students through “Naming and Stories,” in which they will learn the Yavapai names and pronunciations for various rock formations in the area, including Montezuma Well, which is the ‘creation story’ birthplace of the Yavapai Tribe. On day two, Gertrude Smith and Reba will guide each student through the process of creating a medicine pouch. Gertie is the head cultural representative from the local Yavapai Tribe. Students will also learn to make cactus juice during this event!
The four stations over two days at each school will take place November 1819 at West Sedona Middle School and November 2021 at Big Park Community School. On Friday November 22, from 57 p.m. parents and students are invited to the Sedona Arts Center for a final gathering and exhibition in the Special Exhibition Gallery. The six presenters from the Navajo and Yavapai Tribes will discuss their process and what they taught the students during the week. This Immersion is funded through a grant from the City of Sedona, the Sedona Community Foundation, Sedona Kids Tax Credit and a donation from Target.