Native American Arts Center

Since its founding in 1946, Idyllwild Arts has always been firmly rooted in respect for and reverence of Native American arts and culture. While the Summer Program has offered dynamic Native American Arts workshops and programming for over 70 years, the Native American Arts Center opened in 2022 to expand these offerings year-round, effectively establishing Idyllwild Arts as a leader in supporting Indigenous artistic expression and cultural affirmation. The center nurtures relationships with many Indigenous communities, provides access to arts education for Native students, and supports Indigenous artists’ professional development in a safe space to connect with nature and create new works through artist residencies.

A father and daughter working on ceramics at the NAAC festival.

Programs

The Native American Arts Center curates a robust calendar of workshops, performances, lectures, exhibitions, and other engaging community events led by Indigenous teaching artists, traditional knowledge bearers, and scholars in many fields who cross-pollinate their talents while providing valuable educational opportunities.

Native American musicians.

Workshops

Thought-provoking workshops stimulate conversations, empower creative contributions, and strengthen community.

Past onsite offerings for Native American Arts have included:
Introduction to Glassblowing | The Beaded Cuff | Small-Scale & Wearable Art Casting | Cahuilla Basketry | Cahuilla-Style Pottery | Contemporary & Traditional Medicinal Uses of California Native Plants | Central California Coast Shell Jewelry & Figurines | Encaustic in the Third Dimension | Ho-Chunk Porcupine Embroidery | …and many more!

NAAC workshop.

Festival Week

The Native American Arts Center produces and hosts the annual Native American Arts Festival Week, designed to enhance and add depth to the Summer Program workshop experience. The week-long festival provides a provocative learning experience by bringing together distinguished artists, scholars, and cultural specialists to present performances, demonstrations, films, exhibitions, showcases, and the popular Michael Kabotie Lecture Series.

Good Medicine Comedy showcase.

Lectures

Stimulating lectures by notable visiting guest artists regularly provide new perspectives, elevate discourse, and challenge traditional perspectives.

NAAC lecture.

Scholarships

Scholarships are available for Native American students and Inland Empire teachers and graduate students.

A student showing a painting.

NAAC Building

Working with Sander Architects, the NAAC has plans to build a new physical space for the year-round programming already underway. As part of the construction, the NAAC will also oversee the Meadows Restoration Project to protect a sacred Cahuilla archeological site on the Idyllwild Arts campus.

Are you interested in joining our Native American Arts Center Advisory committee? Please contact Olivia Webb, Native American Arts Center Assistant and Meadows Restoration Project Coordinator: owebb@idyllwildarts.org

NAAC area.

14

Hands-on Summer Program workshops

120+

Over 120 adult learners

1,750+

Over 1750 people reached in-person and online

33

Tribal communities represented in 2023 workshops and programs

Cahuilla Band of Indians seal.

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.

My vision for the Native American Arts Center (NAAC) celebrates and pays homage to the long history of Indigenous people on this land. The NAAC also facilitates the identification and expansion of new ways to contribute to a global art community through education.

The Native American Arts Center is conceived as an offering, a place of reflection, viewing, talking and discussing, and of listening, welcoming all interested people.

Indigenous Peoples Day

The Native American Arts Center is debuting a virtual lecture series on Indigenous Peoples Day, and will run weekly all through the month of October.

NAAC lecture.

October 9, 2023

Indigenous Peoples’ Day

Join the Idyllwild Arts Native American Arts Center for a day of programming dedicated to creatively and thoughtfully celebrating the many contributions Indigenous People make to humanity. Join us for a day full of food, music, performance, art, and activities! More information coming soon.

A native american musician performing on stage.

October 8, 2023

Indigenous Peoples’ Day Concert featuring Connor Chee

Join us at 3:00pm for a special guest concert featuring Connor Chee, a NAMMY Award-winning pianist and composer known for combining his classical piano training with his Diné (Navajo) heritage.

Connor Chee playing piano.

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 | Anonymous Foundation

Native American Arts sponsors.
A student modeling.

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Thank you for helping us change lives through the transformative power of art.