TAHLEQUAH — Cherokee Heritage Center, a cultural center for tribal history, culture and arts, will offer several art shows and exhibitions, educational programs and cultural classes this year.
“Our goal is to preserve, promote and teach Cherokee history and culture,” Barbara Girty, interim deputy executive director of the Cherokee Heritage Center, said in a media release. “This year, we are offering some special exhibits celebrating our 50th anniversary that make for a memorable experience.”
• Through April 14, J.B. Milam Exhibit — Jesse Bartley Milam was a model Cherokee leader and businessman. Find out more about the man, father, entrepreneur and chief who led the Cherokee Nation into a new century.
• April 4-5, Indian Territory Days — two days of hands-on activities, traditional Cherokee games and demonstrations for school-aged children, with a focus on the late 19th century.
• April 20-May 7, Trail of Tears Art Show and Sale — Native American art presented in one of Oklahoma’s oldest art shows.
• May 18, Gospel Sing — local Cherokee groups sing gospel songs in Cherokee and English. A free hog fry will be provided for guests and participants.
• June 14-15, Cherokee Ancestry Conference — a presentation of Cherokee history and culture as well as resources helpful in tracing Cherokee ancestry.
• June 1-Aug. 18, 50th anniversary exhibit — celebrate 50 years of the Cherokee National Historical Society’s history through memorabilia of the Ancient Village, Trail of Tears drama, Cherokee National Museum and other significant programs of the Cherokee Heritage Center during the past 50 years.
• Aug. 24-Sept. 15, Cherokee Homecoming Art Show and Sale — enjoy authentic traditional and contemporary Cherokee artwork.
• Aug. 30-Sept. 1, Cherokee National Homecoming Fair — an exposition during the Cherokee National Holiday, featuring Indian arts and crafts, food vendors, games and demonstrations.
• Sept. 1, First Families of the Cherokee Nation Reunion — a celebratory gathering of Cherokee descendants who can demonstrate legal residency prior to ratification of the 1839 Cherokee Constitution.
• Oct. 3-4, Ancient Cherokee Days — two days of hands-on activities, traditional Cherokee games and demonstrations for school-aged children, with a focus on the early 18th century.
• Oct. 19, 50th Anniversary SevenStar Gala — a banquet celebrating the Cherokee Heritage Center’s 50th anniversary, honoring all former and current CNHS board members.
• Sept. 23-Dec. 31, “Ani Tsalagi: The Cherokee People,” portraits by David Fitzgerald — the Cherokee story is brought to life through never-before-seen photography by internationally renowned photographer David Fitzgerald.
• First Saturday of each month, genealogy classes — learn about family history with experienced genealogists at the Cherokee Family Research Center. Classes are designed to teach Cherokee culture and history through the arts. Each class will feature a historical overview and art instruction. All materials are provided. Students leave with a project.
• March 9, flat reed basketry — the history and making of baskets from flat reeds will be studied, $40.
• April 13, advanced beadwork — learn the advanced elements and history of Cherokee beadwork, $65.
• June 1, advanced pottery — learn the history of Cherokee pottery and the techniques necessary to make ancient Cherokee pots, $40.
• July 13, children’s workshop — treat your child to a memorable crafts session where they can make and take home their own Cherokee pot and basket, $40.
• Sept. 21, blowgun and marble making — learn the ancient tradition of blowgun and marble making in this exciting course, $40.
• Oct. 26, round-reed basketry — explore the history of round-reed basketry, $40.
Cultural class registration is required because attendance is limited. Children must be at least 12, and an adult must accompany children ages 12-17.
Each class runs four hours, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. All classes will take place on Saturdays. Groups of 10 or more can request customized classes from a variety of Cherokee arts.
For registration or additional information, please call the Cherokee Heritage Center education department at (888) 999-6007 or send email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cherokee Heritage Center admission is $8.50 per adult, $7.50 per senior (55 and older) and students with proper identification, and $5 per child. Admission price includes all attractions. Entry to the grounds and museum store is free.
The Cherokee Heritage Center is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday to Saturday, from December through March. From April through November, the center is open every day from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Information: (888) 999-6007, email@example.com or www.CherokeeHeritage.org.