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Festival of Native Arts celebration

Submitted by Minnie Goodblanket
Phone: (907) 474-6889

02/24/05

A young dancer. The students and faculty of the University of Alaska Fairbanks will sponsor the 32nd Annual Festival of Native Arts March 3-5, 2005. This year's festival, Guidance from our Past, Vision of Our Future, is dedicated to the late Chief Peter John, the traditional Chief of Tanana Chiefs Conference.

Events will take place at the Charles W. Davis Concert Hall and the Wood Center. Festivities begin at 6 p.m. each evening and continue until midnight. More than 20 Native dance groups and more than three dozen Native artisans are expected to participate this year.

Alaska Native students at UAF established the Fairbanks Festival of Native Arts in the mid-1970s as an attempt to preserve Native cultural expression. Originally, it focused each night on a specific Alaska Native culture. Today, the festival has grown in depth and focus, including dance groups from distant locations around the state.

A traditional pow wow will take place Saturday, March 5 in the Wood Center Ballroom, from noon-4 p.m.

Events are coordinated by student and community volunteers, in cooperation with local, federal and state organizations. Most participants of the festival are self-supporting and raise funds in their own communities for the opportunity to represent their respective cultures. Contributions are welcome and needed, as are volunteers.

Audience members should arrive early to attend dance events in the auditorium, as seating is limited. As always, the festival is free and open to the public.

CONTACT: Minnie Goodblanket, fsmpg3@uaf.edu, at (907) 474-6889, or the Alaska native studies office at geocities.com/festivalofnativearts or (907) 474-7181.