Litchfield hosting arts festival

Glenn Gullickson's picture

The Gathering changes locations, drops entrance fee for 25th anniversary

The 25th anniversary of The Litchfield Park Gathering: Native American Fine Arts Festival is being observed with a change of venue.When it’s staged Saturday and Sunday, the festival featuring the work of about 100 Native American artists will be in the center of town.

WHAT: The Gathering, 25th annual Litchfield Park Native American Fine Arts Festival.
WHEN: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday
WHERE: Old Litchfield Road south of Wigwam Boulevard and on the lawn of the Litchfield Park Branch Library, 101 W. Wigwam Blvd., Litchfield Park

We thought the 25th year would be an appropriate time to give it a bigger venue,” Tricia Kramer, the city’s special events assistant, said about the decision to move it from the lawn of Litchfield Elementary School.

We’re hoping by moving it, it creates a bigger atmosphere and draws more people to come and really try to learn about the Native American culture and art form,” Kramer said.

The decision to eliminate the festival’s gate fee this year should also help draw a crowd that Kramer expects to number 6,000 or more during the event.

Those attending will find artists from Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, California and Washington showing and selling work, including paintings, pottery, kachina carvings, jewelry, weaving and clothing, Kramer said.

Artists, who have to be members of Native American tribes, submitted applications and photos of their work before being selected by the festival committee, she said.

The event will include a mix of new and returning artists, Kramer said.

The featured artist is Amado Pena of Santa Fe, N.M., a member of the Pasqua Yaqui tribe, whose work won a competition to become the festival’s commemorative poster.

A limited edition of 100 copies of Pena’s “Mestizo Series: Tesoros del Pueblo” will be available for $25 each.

The image features five Native American women seated near a mission, one weaving a basket and others with traditional pottery.

About a dozen artists will demonstrate their work during the festival.

Entertainers will include guitarists, flute players, drum players and storytellers, along with performances by Moontee Sinquah, a two-time world champion hoop dancer, and his sons, Sampson and Scott.

Miss Indian Arizona, Shaandiin Parish of the Navajo tribe, will make an appearance at 1:30 p.m. Saturday.

At a children’s pavilion, youngsters will assemble free “make and take” crafts, such as clay pots and dolls, Kramer said.

It’s a fun area for kids to play and learn a little,” she said.

Food at the event will include a mix of festival and Native American fare, including fry bread and kettle corn.

The event will kick off with a pre-festival reception and concert at 7 p.m. Friday at the Wigwam, with a performance by the Grammy Award-winning R. Carlos Nakai Quartet.

The pre-festival event will also feature a display of winning artwork from the festival’s juried art competition.

Tickets to the reception and concert are $25 and available through or at the Litchfield Park Recreation Center, 100 S. Old Litchfield Road, Litchfield Park.


Glenn Gullickson can be reached at

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