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.


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.


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.


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

NAAC lecture.


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:

NAAC area.

This Month

Native American Heritage Month

Check out our cultural programming on campus and online for Native American Heritage Month!

November 1, 2023

Ramson Lomatewama Artist Lecture

Join us for a very special artist lecture with renowned glass artist Ramson Lomatewama (Hopi). Ramson is the first and only full-time Hopi glassblower, as well as a traditional Katsina doll carver, jeweler, published poet, and consultant. He is also an educator on several levels, including a beloved faculty member for the Idyllwild Arts Summer Program and former Artist in Residence at Idyllwild Arts Academy.

Wednesdays in November

Michael Kabotie Virtual Lecture Series

If you didn’t catch the Michael Kabotie Lecture Series in person this past summer during the Native American Arts Center Festival Week, you’ll now have the opportunity to watch these inspiring lectures online as part of our Native American Heritage Month celebration. Catch the lecture premieres each Wednesday of the month on the Idyllwild Arts YouTube channel.


Hands-on Summer Program workshops


Over 120 adult learners


Over 1750 people reached in-person and online


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.

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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