Albuquerque American Indian Arts Festival & Balloon Fiesta Starts This Weekend
The fourth annual Albuquerque American Indian Arts Festival (AAIAF) will be hosted by the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center (IPCC) this coming Saturday and Sunday, October 1st and 2nd. Running concurrently with the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta® annually, the AAIAF is the start of a week-long celebration of Pueblo art and culture at the center including more than 40 traditional Native dances.
The Indian Pueblo Cultural Center stated in a press release that the AAIAF is the the only authentic, all–Native American art show in Albuquerque during the Balloon Fiesta. IPCC visitors will be able meet, speak to, and shop directly from 50 carefully selected Native artists. The festival showcases high-quality, handcrafted Indigenous crafts including jewelry, pottery, paintings, rugs, and sculptures.
The Indian Pueblo Cultural Center was founded by the 19 Pueblo Indian Tribes of New Mexico; their mission is to “to preserve and perpetuate Pueblo culture and to advance understanding by presenting with dignity and respect the accomplishments and evolving history of the Pueblo people of New Mexico”. 2016 also marks the 40th anniversary of the IPCC. This landmark occasion was celebrated this past April with the opening of the first permanent IPCC museum exhibit, “We Are of This Place: The Pueblo Story” Visitors are able to explore interactive galleries to learn about the history and living traditions of Pueblo people as told from their own Indigenous perspective.
“We’re excited to welcome guests in the spirit of Pueblo hospitality and share our traditions with everyone who comes,” IPCC Museum Director Monique Fragua (Jemez Pueblo) said in a press release. “Whether you’re a local resident hosting friends from out of town, a first-time visitor to New Mexico, or an international traveler, we invite you to experience the Pueblo story first-hand with us throughout this special week.”
Visitors to the IPCC during Balloon Fiesta will experience a full schedule of traditional Native dances in the mural-lined courtyard by a dozen different Pueblo and Hopi dance groups. Performers include the Olla Maidens of Zuni Pueblo, the Sun & Fire Dance Group of Jemez Pueblo, and the Hopi Tewa Sinom Dancers. Native artists will also offer their creations at vendor booths in the courtyard daily, and IPCC staff and docents will be available to assist with visitors’ self-guided tours in the museum.
Visitors can complement their IPCC Pueblo cultural activities with unique “Native Fusion” culinary delights for breakfast, lunch, and dinner at the on-site award-winning Pueblo Harvest Cafe, popular year-round for specialties including Blue Corn Piñon Pancakes, Tewa Tacos on fry bread, and the “New Mexico True Pueblo Feast” of traditional Pueblo dishes. The Feast’s iconic character has earned it the New Mexico Tourism Department’s official “New Mexico True” designation. The cafe’s Party on the Patio has live music and a buffet of unlimited fresh horno oven-baked pizza Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, September 29 –October 1. The Party is 6:00–9:30pm each night with a $10 cover charge.
The Indian Pueblo Cultural Center is located at 2401 12th St NW, Albuquerque, NM 87104. Admission to the 4th Annual Albuquerque American Indian Arts Festival and the week’s special cultural events are all included in the normal IPCC admission fee.
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