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National Museum of the American Indian Summer Showcase 2013

Free Outdoor Concerts and Tribal Festivals


National Museum of the American Indian Summer Showcase 2013

Amy Hanaialii Gilliom

Photo Courtesy of NMAI
The Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian in Washington DC features a concert and festival series each summer promoting Native musicians, films, performers and artists from across the Western Hemisphere.

2013 Schedule of Events

  • May 25, 2013, 5 p.m. Amy Hanaiali`i Gilliom
    Outdoor Welcome Plaza (rain location the Potomac)
    Amy Hanaiali`i Gilliom is a five-time GRAMMY-nominated singer and one of Hawai’i's most respected and loved female vocalist, songwriter, composer and performer. She continues to be the top-selling female vocalist in Hawai’i. Opening act is The Aloha Boys.

  • June 8, 2013, 5 p.m. Ranferi Aguilar
    Outdoor Welcome Plaza
    Ranferi Aguilar, the Rain Maker and his band, hail from Guatemala. They perform ancestral Maya music fused with guitars, pre-Hispanic wind instruments and vocals. Aguilar was a co-founder of Guatemala’s most famous rock band, Alux Nahual, who went in search of his Mesoamerican Mayan roots, as well as authentic instruments which continue to inspire his musical career.

  • June 8–9, 2013, 10:30 a.m. – 4 p.m. Ceramica de los Ancestros: A Central American Pottery Festival
    Potomac Atrium, imagiNATIONS Activity Center, Firepit
    Learn more about Central America through food demonstrations by the museum’s Mitsitam Cafe. Take a closer look at the animals, flutes and pottery in the museum’s latest exhibition and create a clay medallion based on designs found in the museum’s collection. Learn how various pottery flutes are played, including one filled with water. Enjoy a Maya pottery-dance performance by Aval. Enjoy the creations of Carlos Chaclan, a Quiche Maya ceramicist from Guatemala who specializes in recreating pre-Hispanic musical wind instruments.

  • June 14–16, 2013, 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Akwatsire Storytelling Dance Troupe
    imagiNATIONS Activity Center
    Join artist and storyteller Natasha Smoke Santiago (Akwesasne Mohawk) and her akwatsire as they share traditional stories through dances such as the Alligator Dance. Seating is limited and first come, first served.

  • June 15, 2013. Dinner & A Movie: People of the Kattawapiskak River
    Dinner in Mitsitam Cafe from 5 – 6:30 p.m. Screening at 7 p.m. in Rasmuson Theater.
    Alanis Obomsawin’s documentary The People of the Kattawapiskak River exposes the housing crisis faced by 1,700 Cree in Northern Ontario, a situation that led Attawapiskat’s band chief, Theresa Spence, to ask the Canadian Red Cross for help. With the Idle No More movement making front page headlines, this film provides background and context for one aspect of the growing crisis.

  • June 21-22, 2013, 10:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Native Festival: Choctaw Days
    Potomac Atrium and various museum locations
    The Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma celebrates its tribal history and heritage with two days of food, workshops and performances, all in the theme of “Cultural Awakening.” Activities and demonstrations include Native dancers, singers, storytellers and booths showcasing beadwork, pottery, flutes, the Choctaw language and tribal cooking. Hands-on activities for kids and families along with being able to meet Choctaw Nation princesses of all ages will allow visitors to learn more about Choctaw culture.

  • July 19, 2013. Dinner & A Movie: Watershed
    Dinner in Mitsitam Cafe from 5 – 6:30 p.m. Screening at 7 p.m. in Rasmuson Theater
    Watershed: Exploring a New Water Ethic for the New West highlights Jeff Ehlert, a fly fishing guide in Rocky Mountain National Park and six others living and working in the Colorado River basin who reflect a compelling new water ethic as they share their stories and illuminate a path of coexistence with enough for all. It also asks the question, how do we balance the competing interests of cities, agriculture, recreation, wildlife and indigenous communities with rights to the water?

  • July 19–21, 2013 Living Earth Festival
    Friday: 1 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. Saturday & Sunday: 10 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
    Potomac Atrium and other museum locations
    This annual festival celebrates indigenous contributions to environmental sustainability, knowledge and activism. Tribally owned food cooperatives discuss sustainability and local farmers offer produce, meat and traditional American Indian foods in an outdoor farmers' market, while local and Native chefs compete in an Iron Chef-style cook-off. Attend a sculpting workshop led by Lisan Tiger Blair (Mvskoke Creek) in the imagiNATIONS Activity Center. Join Victoria Vazquez (Cherokee Nation) in a pottery demonstration. See amazing beadwork by Peggy Fontenot (Potawatomi). Enjoy a cooking demonstration by Patricia Alexander (Pawnee/Creek) or a cheese-making demonstration by Nancy Coonridge. The festival also includes a live concert featuring the talents of Quetzal Guerrero, She King and a performance by Grammy-award winning artists Ozomatli.

  • August 10, 2013, 5 p.m. Rita Coolidge
    Outdoor Welcome Plaza
    Multiple Grammy-award winning Cherokee singer Rita Coolidge performs some of her classic hits and new standards. During the 1970s and 1980s she charted hits on Billboard’s pop, country, adult contemporary and jazz charts. Coolidge was also a founding member of Walela, a Native American trio that included her sister and niece.

  • August 24, 2013. Dinner & A Movie: The Lesser Blessed
    Dinner in Mitsitam Cafe from 5 – 6:30 p.m. Screening at 7 p.m. in Rasmuson Theater
    Premiered to critical acclaim at the Toronto International Film Festival, and based on the celebrated novel by Tlicho author Richard Van Camp, The Lesser Blessed is an eye-opening depiction of what it's like to be a vulnerable teenager in today’s modern world. Through the eyes of Larry Sole, a First Nation teenager filled with bravado and angst, fragile and yet angry, comes the story of three unlikely friends isolated in a small rural town discovering what they can of life and love amid racial tensions and the recklessness of youth, in a world clouded by a dark mystery from his past. Featuring actors Benjamin Bratt and Kiowa Gordon, this film is an eye-opening depiction of what it is to be a young Native man in today’s modern world.

  • September 21, 2013, 5 p.m. C J Chenier and the Red Hot Louisiana Band
    Outdoor Welcome Plaza
    C. J. Chenier is the Creole son of the Grammy-award winning “King of Zydeco” Louisiana pioneer Clifton Chenier. Following in his father’s footsteps he now leads his father’s band as an accordion performer and singer of Zydeco, a blend of Cajun and Creole music. Zydeco is the music of Southwest Louisiana's Black Creoles, a group of people of mixed African, Afro-Caribbean, Native American and European descent. So put on your dancing shoes and join us for the museum’s 9th anniversary celebration!
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