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Idyllwild Arts Land Acknowledgement

Idyllwild Arts respectfully acknowledges the Qawishpa Cahuillangnah (also known as Cahuilla Band of Indians) and all nine sovereign Bands of Cahuilla people who have stewarded this land throughout the generations and continue to steward this land for all future generations.

Native American Arts at Idyllwild Arts

Summer | Academy | Public Programs | Webinar Series | Masterclasses | Scholarships | Community Outreach

Native American Arts Program at Idyllwild Arts aspires to be a leader in advancing, teaching and promoting Indigenous Arts at Idyllwild Arts Academy and Summer Program. Building on our historic engagement with Native American artists and scholars, we are excited by the new opportunity to grow and expand year-round opportunities in learning for all. Indigenous teaching artists, traditional knowledge bearers, and scholars have the opportunity to cross-pollinate their creative talents and develop their craft, thus identifying new ways to contribute to a global art community through education. The spirit of this work now lives year-round and is at the heart of the truly unique experience of shaping global citizen artists at Idyllwild Arts.

The Native American Arts Program serves the Summer Program through organizing Native American Arts Summer Workshops and curating, each year, a week of Native American Arts Programs (Festival Week) that bring together distinguished artists, scholars, and cultural specialists who present performances, demonstrations, films, and the Michael Kabotie Lecture Series. The spirit of the yearly festival remains, in bringing together the scientific, intuitive, and trickster voices for a balanced and provocative learning experience. It is designed to enhance and add depth to the workshop experience.

Winter Auxiliary Workshops 2023

Registration Open Now | January 3-5, 2023

The premiere of “One World. One Idyllwild. The Series” features Native American Chef Freddie Bitsoie. Chef Bitsoie is one of a few Native American chefs at the forefront of preparing, presenting, and educating about foods indigenous to the Americas. This conversation features commentary by Idyllwild Arts’ Director of Native American Arts Program and a live culinary presentation of select recipes from Bitsoie’s new book, “New Native Kitchen: Celebrating Modern Recipes of the American Indian.”

Native American Arts Summer Workshops and Festival Week – 2022 Recap

Native American Arts Summer Workshops and Festival Week – 2023

Past onsite offerings for Native American Arts have included:

  • Art of Fire: Introduction to Glassblowing
  • The Beaded Cuff
  • Big Stories in Small-Scale & Wearable Art Casting
  • Cahuilla Basketry
  • Cahuilla-Style Pottery
  • California Native Plants: Contemporary
    & Traditional Medicinal Uses
  • Central California Coast Shell Jewelry & Figurines
  • Finding Form: Encaustic in the Third Dimension
  • Ho-Chunk Porcupine Embroidery

FAQ’s

Due to the increased cost of running programs during the pandemic, we will not be offering marketing-based discounts like Bring a Friend and Pay In Full Today.  Scholarships are still available for Native American students and Inland Empire teachers and graduate students.

“Thank You! Drawstring Bead & Quill Medicine Pouch was a new experience, my first time taking an online class. I also have never worked with porcupine quills; I was happy for this new understanding. Navajo Loom Beading/Cuff with Jennifer Ben was just as interesting, intricate and fascinating.

I have come away with a very beautiful Beaded Cuff and a very memorable experience. The real perk — taking the classes with my two granddaughters, 14- and 16-years-old.”

Yolanda Hart Stevens
Gila River Indian Community

“This fall I was able to take a Navajo embroidered beading class with Jen Ben. In this class we learned how to use all of the tools and techniques to create our own necklace medallion. Once the basic skills were learned, Jen worked with each of us on how we could take our ideas and translate them into this art form. I worked on making an anatomical heart medallion that was made into a necklace. We work through concept, possible issues with design, how I could create the appropriate edging and creating the necklace. All of these steps were broken down into steps that were doable and repeatable. Jen worked with the group each week but also met for individual consultations to address issues that were specific to our personal projects. It was amazing the variety of works that were created through this workshop and that we were all given the power to feel like we could do it on our own! I have since made several necklaces and a bracelet, with plans to continue on my beading journey. It was such a great community that Jen and Shay were able to create within this class! Thank you very much for making this possible!”


- Rachel  Welch
(IA Visual Arts Faculty)
[Beaded Medallion Testimonial]

Idyllwild Arts
2021-04-06T14:20:00+00:00

- Rachel  Welch
(IA Visual Arts Faculty)
[Beaded Medallion Testimonial]

“This fall I was able to take a Navajo embroidered beading class with Jen Ben. In this class we learned how to use all of the tools and techniques to create our own necklace medallion. Once the basic skills were learned, Jen worked with each of us on how we could take our ideas and translate them into this art form. I worked on making an anatomical heart medallion that was made into a necklace. We work through concept, possible issues with design, how I could create the appropriate edging and creating the necklace. All of these steps were broken down into steps that were doable and repeatable. Jen worked with the group each week but also met for individual consultations to address issues that were specific to our personal projects. It was amazing the variety of works that were created through this workshop and that we were all given the power to feel like we could do it on our own! I have since made several necklaces and a bracelet, with plans to continue on my beading journey. It was such a great community that Jen and Shay were able to create within this class! Thank you very much for making this possible!”

“Jen Ben is extremely talented both as an artist and a teacher. My life has been changed as far as growing as an artist because of her influence. The quality and variety of techniques that I’ve learned from the Navajo Embroidery Bead class have raised my artwork to greater heights. I look forward to taking more Idyllwild Arts Academy and Summer Program Classes. Thank you for such a wonderful opportunity to develop more skills. I can’t wait to see what’s next!”


- Erin Dutton
(Artist, Library Assistant, Idyllwild Arts)

Idyllwild Arts
2021-04-06T14:10:43+00:00

- Erin Dutton
(Artist, Library Assistant, Idyllwild Arts)

“Jen Ben is extremely talented both as an artist and a teacher. My life has been changed as far as growing as an artist because of her influence. The quality and variety of techniques that I’ve learned from the Navajo Embroidery Bead class have raised my artwork to greater heights. I look forward to taking more Idyllwild Arts Academy and Summer Program Classes. Thank you for such a wonderful opportunity to develop more skills. I can’t wait to see what’s next!”

“I really enjoyed the beading class! The techniques we were taught was something I found really helpful as well as just the sense of community and the friendliness of the environment. I never thought I would be into beading but this class gave me the creative freedom to experiment as well as the support to make the pieces I want to make happen. And now I want to bead even more. :) Here are some of the pieces I've been working on. I haven't been able to finish them yet. Still trying to color match some of the beads to the ones in stores!”


- MC Payen
(Senior, Visual Arts)

Idyllwild Arts
2021-04-06T14:25:51+00:00

- MC Payen
(Senior, Visual Arts)

“I really enjoyed the beading class! The techniques we were taught was something I found really helpful as well as just the sense of community and the friendliness of the environment. I never thought I would be into beading but this class gave me the creative freedom to experiment as well as the support to make the pieces I want to make happen. And now I want to bead even more. :) Here are some of the pieces I've been working on. I haven't been able to finish them yet. Still trying to color match some of the beads to the ones in stores!”
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Idyllwild Arts

Special thanks to the following benefactors, whose generous support makes our Native American Arts Program and Festival possible: Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians, Cahuilla Band of Indians, Chickasaw Nation, Morongo Band of Mission Indians, San Manuel Band of Serrano Mission Indians, San Pasqual Band of Mission Indians, Soboba Foundation/Soboba Band of Luiseño Indians, Tribal Alliance of Sovereign Indian Nations, and an Anonymous Foundation.

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