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Press Releases from the Museum of Northern Arizona

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Press Release Contact: Michele Mountain, MNA Marketing Director 928-774-5211 x273

2007 Press Releases

December 19, 2007
The 2008 Sedona Lecture Series explores the far reaches of the Colorado Plateau, taking the audience from archaeology to geology, to fine art, and finally on to storytelling to explore the fabric and texture of this great region’s sciences and arts. The multifaceted experience of a longtime Southwestern archaeologist, a scientist who has been to Antarctica 30 times, a painter who has focused for 50 years on this area, and one of the Colorado Plateau’s best-known authors will fill these four evenings with extraordinarily unique thoughts and images. The series is presented by the Sedona Muses and the Museum of Northern Arizona in Flagstaff. All four lectures start at 7 p.m. at the Church of the Red Rocks in Sedona.

January 14
Pueblo Social History: Upstreaming into the Past
by Dr. John Ware, Southwestern archaeologist, Executive Director of the
Amerind Foundation, and author of Pueblo Culture: The Present as Key to the Past
The Pueblo Indians of the northern Southwest have shared more than a century of scrutiny by anthropologists, archaeologists, and historians attempting to sort out and explain their convergent histories. Ware explains upstreaming to trace the Pueblo people in the archaeological record.

February 11
Geologic Connections between Arizona and Antarctica
by Wayne Ranney, geologist, 30-time Antarctica visitor, and author of Carving Grand Canyon
Although Arizona and Antarctica might seem worlds apart today, geologists are coming to understand their geologic connection. The drifting continents have aligned themselves with seemingly far-flung neighbors at times in the past. Ranney gives an interesting account of the connections that exist between these two desert landscapes.

March 10
Dry Lakes and Dunes
by Joella Jean Mahoney, a 50-year painter of the Colorado Plateau
Mahoney explores themes in her Southwest landscape paintings and explains how motif occurs in a painter’s work. She talks about art process and the functions of art. Mahoney also gives recognition to the huge contribution by Mary Russell Farrell Colton and Mary Elizabeth Colter to what we understand as Southwestern aesthetic.

April 14
The Incredible Canyon
by Scott Thybony, author of soon-to-be-published Incredible Grand Canyon
A light take on the hard facts, Thybony tells bits of lore which have slipped through the cracks and classic stories covering canyon characters, tall tales trimmed down to size, a few scandals, a little romance, some grand schemes gone awry, and a few cliffhangers thrown in. Geared for both canyon junkies and first-timers.

All lectures are held at the Church of the Red Rocks, 54 Bowstring Drive in Sedona. Proceeds from the Sedona Lecture Series benefit the Museum of Northern Arizona. Tickets for each lecture are $6 for Museum and Muses members and $7 for nonmembers, or $20 members and $25 nonmembers for the four-lecture series. Tickets are available the night of the lecture at the door. Advance tickets can be obtained at 928/774-5213 from the Museum of Northern Arizona or in Sedona at 928/282-8437.


December 10, 2007
A 32-Year Traditional of Learning, Community Building, Sharing
The Museum of Northern Arizona is recruiting for the 2008 Docent Training Program. MNA is seeking enthusiastic individuals who would like to learn and teach about the human and natural history of the Colorado Plateau. Docents are volunteer educators who lead group tours and workshops throughout the year for school-age children and adults. Docent trainees must enjoy working with children and be willing to give a minimum of sixty hours per year in the form of tour leadership.

The 2008 Docent training class will meet on Tuesdays from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. from January 22 through May 27, 2008. The class consists of expert speakers on ecology, history, geology, paleontology, anthropology, archaeology, and fine arts. Training on effective interpretative techniques and educational content gives docents confidence in working with the public and leading gallery tours.

The Docent Training Program is an excellent way to give back to your community through teaching, while learning more about the land and people of northern Arizona. Docent tours range from puppet shows for preschoolers to adult gallery tours on multiple topics. Throughout the year there are many opportunities for docents to interact with the public and work toward their commitment of sixty hours of service per year.

MNA’s Docent Program includes many social activities with the opportunity to meet people with similar interests. You will partake in an in-depth course on the history, cultures, and geology of the Colorado Plateau. In return, you share your knowledge and enthusiasm with Museum visitors.

If you are interested in interviewing to become a Museum of Northern Arizona docent, please contact Docent/Volunteer Programs Manager Dianna Van Sanford at or 928/774-5213, ext. 206.


November 21, 2007
At this year’s Trappings of the American West, the Dry Creek Arts Fellowship and the Museum of Northern Arizona are honoring the work of 78 artists from 14 Western states, Hawaii, and Canada, who have been chosen for their outstanding skills of artistic mastery.

Trappings is a contemporary exhibition that combines fine and functional art of the American cowboy and continues through January 6, 2008.

This year’s exhibition also acknowledges the cultural diversity found within worldwide horse cultures. From ancient times to the present, the unified bond of man and horse has allowed civilization to flourish and prosper. The horse is a manifestation of the movement of mankind across the globe over centuries of time. Initially a means of transportation, man on horseback also provided a new freedom that allowed for the expansion of commerce.

Upcoming Programs (included with Museum admission)

Saturday, December 1, noon–2 p.m Riding the Rim
The 7th Annual Cowboy Poetry Gathering will feature some of the region’s finest poets to stir up the air—as only cowboys can—with poetry, song, and open range entertainment by Mary Abbott, Sally Bates, Jim Dunham, Phil Ellsworth, Audrey Hankins, Suzie Killman, Nika Norbrock, Frank Rodrigues, and Tom Weathers.

Saturday, December 29, 1–2:30 p.m. Equestrian Culture of the Colorado Plateau
ASU Professor Peter Iverson and MNA Collections Manager Elaine Hughes present an interpretive forum to discuss the use of Navajo, Hopi, and Apache folk toys, saddles, bridles, leather items, and jewelry from MNA’s collections. From a silver and turquoise embellished saddle ridden by former Navajo Chairman Peter Macdonald to hand-braided quirts, these toys and tools of the trade provide insight into the horse culture of northern Arizona.

Saturday, January 5, 1–2:30 p.m. History of the Hashknife Colt
Billy Cordasco from Flagstaff’s Babbitt Ranches shares what it takes to be a successful horse breeder in the twenty-first century and tells the story of the Hashknife Colt’s development. Sought after around the world as an award-winning, sturdy, sure-footed companion, the Hashknife Colt’s solid bloodlines are recognized by the American Quarter Horse Association.


November 7, 2007
Two Southwestern trading companies from Santa Fe, New Mexico and Bluff, Utah will spice up the holidays at the Museum of Northern Arizona’s Museum Shop during its yearly Holiday Sale. For this holiday season, what could be more special than a gift from the Colorado Plateau?

On Saturday, December 1 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., staff from Silver Sun on Santa Fe’s Canyon Road will present Arizona Turquoise. Staff experts will share information about Bisbee, Morenci, and Kingman, Arizona turquoise mines. Visitors will learn how Arizona sky stones are mined and processed into beautiful Native handmade jewelry by some of the best artisans in the Southwest.

On Saturday, December 8 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Steve and Georgiana Simpson from Twin Rocks Trading in Bluff will present At the Crossroads of Diné Tradition and Innovation, bringing with them a grand showcase of traditional and contemporary Navajo rugs, baskets, and folk art. Georgiana Kennedy Simpson, author of Navajo Ceremonial Baskets, will share her wealth of knowledge from a life of trading in Navajo arts. Steve Simpson will discuss Twin Rock Modern weavings, a new contemporary regional rug style from outstanding weavers surrounding Bluff, Utah.

The Museum’s Holiday Sale with discounts on selected items starts November 23, the day after Thanksgiving, and runs through Friday, January 11. Selected items in the Museum Shop include katsinas, pottery, gold and gold-accented jewelry, concho belts, bolos, and buckles. Bookstore selected items include t-shirts, toys, and posters—all perfect for gift giving. Gift baskets for personal and corporate giving are also now available. MNA can deliver in Flagstaff or mail a special assortment of chosen items.

MNA’s Museum Shop specializes in museum-quality Native fine arts and gifts from the Colorado Plateau. Sale of these authentic items from regional artisans supports both the Museum’s operational budget and Native artists and their families. Because MNA’s shops are not-for-profit, sales tax is not charged, which can be a significant savings when buying more expensive collectibles. And Museum admission fee is waived for shoppers going directly to the Museum Shop and Bookstore.


October 11, 2007
Community, migration, immigration, song, and dance are highlighted this year at the Museum of Northern Arizona’s 4th Annual Celebraciones de la Gente. At this Day of the Dead celebration on Saturday and Sunday, October 27 and 28 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Aztec fire dancers, a portrayal of Pancho Villa, and a documentary about the Minutemen on the border appear, along with a courtyard full of ofrendas (altars) and the vibrant creativity of Hispanic arts and crafts. The festival’s insightful programming, music, dances, and food are produced in partnership with Nuestras Raices (Our Roots), Flagstaff’s Hispanic pioneer families from the 1800s.

“For Flagstaff’s Day of the Dead celebration, the Museum presents a weekend that represents the texture and substance of our region’s Hispanic people. The color and excitement of this celebration will lift our spirits, while the authentic cultural traditions and the voices of knowledgeable educators will give us a new way to look at today’s issues and views,” said MNA Director Dr. Robert Breunig.

Heritage Program Coordinator Anne Doyle added, “Day of the Dead is unique, in that it encourages us to examine the universal experiences of life and death within the context of family and community.”

Dia de los Muertos or Day of the Dead
Dia de los Muertos is a Mexican tradition dating before the influence of the Spanish and combining Aztec and Roman Catholic practices and beliefs. Time is set aside to pay homage to loved ones and to remember the duality of life and death, with flowers, candles, altars, and celebration.

Nuestras Raices Vice Chair Delia Muñoz adds, “This celebration is a means of bringing the community together to experience the tradition and culture surrounding Day of the Dead. We hope everyone will embrace the excitement of the festival and leave with something special in their hearts.”

Traditions in the Courtyard
In the Museum’s Jaime Major Golightly Historic Courtyard, Flagstaff’s Hispanic community will build family altars containing water, salt, copal, candles, and yellow marigolds. Pan de los muertos or bread of the dead is offered, along with sugar skulls representing the sweetness of life in the sugar and the sadness of death in the skull. Also, members of Nuestras Raices will demonstrate tortilla and tamale making.

From 1:30–2:30, César Mazier will perform Latin American songs in Spanish, with an emphasis on boleros. A sense of love and romance characterize the bolero.

On Sunday only, Los Compadres, a local community conjunto or small group, will play familiar Mexican root music at noon. This band has been playing together for 30 years in Flagstaff. Herman Ulibarri, owner of the Ulibarri Barbershop, plays lead guitar; Frank Martinez plays trumpet and was part of Los Rivales, a well known band from years past; and guitarist Manny Ulibarri and rhythm guitarist Jesse Rodriguez sing old favorite songs with bass guitarist Trini Logan.

The Tellez family-based group In Tlanextli Tlacopan (translated as “In the Splendor of the Serpent” and pronounced In Tee-lawn-next-lee Tee-laaa-copawn) will perform the many different danzas aztecas, ancient dances that have survived for more than 500 years in the greater Mexico City area. Through these dances, the seven-member group honors their Mexica ancestors and preserves their cultural identity. The performance begins with a blessing and the burning of copal incense, as a conch shell is blown and flutes, hand rattles, and drums are played. Adorned with pheasant feathers and seed bells, beaded skirts and beautifully painted faces, the dancers enter a meditative trance-like state for dances that represent the rebirth of Aztec society and its customs, with ceremonial “burning” of the feet, legs, and hands.

Guitar and violin virtuoso Quetzal Guerrero performs in a duo with Tizoc on percussion, blending classic Latin jazz, Flamenco, and hip-hop music into a dramatic violin performance each day. Quetzal performs throughout the United States and released his fourth CD Vamos Conversar this spring. This young, talented musician from Phoenix, at 25 years old, is already a veteran, having jammed with Latin music greats such as Tito Puente, Jorge Santana, and Lalo Guerrero. His birth name, Quetzal, derives from the Aztec-Nahuatl language and it means "precious feather.” Quetzal’s latest album “Vamos Conversar” as released in spring of 2007.

Flagstaff’s Ballet Folklorico de Colores will perform folkloric dance traditions of Mexico, including danza, Indigenous dances that are generally religious in nature and are performed in ritual and community settings. The group will also perform Mestizo dances, which are Indigenous dances reflecting European influences in either steps, themes, instrumentation, or costuming and Bailes Regionales or regional dances.

Insight Programs and Storytelling
At 2:45 p.m., Northern Arizona University Professor of Anthropology Dr. Miguel Vasquez will talk on migration and connections between Meso-America and the Southwest.

A premier screening of Latino journalist Carolyn Brown’s new film On the Line will show both days at noon. This 51-minute documentary is a record of Brown’s experiences over a year and a half with the Minutemen on the US and Mexico border. Brown has been producing television for the past 12 years and moved from New York to Flagstaff to work on this documentary. Brown will be at the premier to answer questions and share her experiences in making this film.

The 8th Annual Cabalgata Binacional Villista or La Cabalgata is a present-day equestrian tradition that commemorates General Pancho Villa’s 1916 invasion of Columbus, New Mexico. Beginning in Zaragoza, Chihuahua, the riders follow Villa’s route through northern Mexico, retracing Villa’s trek on horseback and stopping in towns along the way, in a revival of history and spirit. At 1:15 each day Jason Hasenbank, in conjunction with the Trappings of the American West exhibit at MNA, presents his own photography and the work of Raechel Running in an interpretive slide lecture on the regional culture found in north-central Mexico.

As the sahumadora or smoke-keeper for the In Tlanextli Tlacopan traditional Aztec fire dancers, Guadalupe Tellez tends to spiritual blessings of the dance circle and is the group’s storyteller. Each day at 1:45 in the Babbitt Reading Room, she will lead a discussion about “Aztec/Mexicah Culture and Traditions,” covering such topics as modern Indigenous views and the role women as warrior, religious and spiritual connections, anthropological aspects of roots today and interpretation of dance regalia.

Storyteller Lupe Anaya, of Mexican descent and from a Flagstaff pioneer family, will share the tale of “La Llorona,” the mysterious weeping woman. This presentation will be followed by hot chocolate in the Jaime Major Golightly Historic Courtyard.

Arts and Crafts Demonstrations
Craft demonstrations begin with an early morning Sugar Skull Workshop by Nuestras Raices, at 9–10 a.m. each day. Throughout the weekend, the Southwest Eclectic Artists Association will create a graffiti art mural outdoors on the Museum grounds. Marina Vasquez will demonstrate and sell Guatemalan pine needle basketry. Ofrenda artist Juan Olalde will give a special presentation of his wood carvings and nichos from 10–11 a.m. And Nuestras Raices will teach how to create multicolored, festive, hand-cut papel picado paper art from 2:30–4:30 p.m. The work of local artists Irene Dominguez, Emma Gardner, Ricardo Gonzalez, Vangie Rodriguez, Ralph Sena, and the Guadalupanas from San Francisco de Asis Catholic Parish will also be on hand.

Kids Activities
At Creative Corner from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., kids enjoy making Hispanic take-home crafts and colorful paper flowers. They can also have their faces painted from noon–2 p.m. by artist Vangie Rodriquez.

The generous sponsors of Celebraciones de la Gente are the Arizona Commission on the Arts, National Endowment for the Arts, Arizona ArtShare, Flagstaff Cultural Partners/Coconino Center for the Arts, City of Flagstaff, and the Coconino County Board of Supervisors.

MNA’s Heritage Program
By providing a deeper insight into the Hopi, Navajo, and Hispanic cultures living on the Colorado Plateau, MNA’s Heritage Program continues to foster communication and the exchange of ideas between cultures.


September 27, 2007
The Museum of Northern Arizona and the Dry Creek Arts Fellowship proudly presents the 18th Annual Trappings of the American West exhibition. Returning to MNA October 13 and continuing through January 6, 2008, Trappings is a unique, contemporary showcase of functional and fine art of the American cowboy.

This juried sales exhibition features the work of 75 artists from 14 western states, Hawaii, and Canada who have been chosen for their outstanding artistic skills. This is the only exhibition in the U.S. to combine finely tooled saddles, braided rawhide, hitched horsehair, boots, hats, knives, bits, and spurs with paintings, photography, and bronze sculptures. Emerging and established artists include members of the Cowboy Artists of America, the Traditional Cowboy Arts Association, and the National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame. Flagstaff photographers included in this year’s exhibition are Sue Bennett, Dave Edwards, Dawn Kish, Shane Knight, John Running and Raechel Running. Flagstaff luthier Bill Burke’s work will also be part of this year’s exhibit.

Dry Creek Arts Fellowship (DCAF) Director Linda Stedman said, “Within the genre of Western American art lie incredible stories from this region’s past. Trappings of the American West allows us to explore the richness and complexity of cowboy heritage, its traditions, and artistic expressions. We invite you into a world of art that resonates with our Western sensibilities. Through engaging public programs, we are preserving time-honored traditions of American craftsmanship.”

“The Museum of Northern Arizona is very pleased to host the 18th Annual Trappings of the American West. This exhibit highlights the work of numerous artists throughout the American West and forges a strong connection to western heritage and cowboy traditions here on the Colorado Plateau,” said Director of MNA Dr. Robert Breunig.

MNA and DCAF share a focus on the exploration and interpretation of the land and peoples of the Colorado Plateau. Through Trappings, they seek to encourage a broader understanding of cowboy culture. A full schedule of Trappings events will be posted October 1 online at and

With a long and illustrious history, the Museum of Northern Arizona evokes the very spirit of the Colorado Plateau, including the Grand Canyon and Four Corners regions, inspiring a sense of love and responsibility for the beauty and diversity of the area. The Museum sits at the base of the San Francisco Peaks, Arizona’s highest mountains, and is surrounded by tremendous geological, biological, and cultural resources in one of Earth’s most spectacular landscapes.

For more information, contact the Museum at 928/774-5213 and online at, or the Dry Creek Arts Fellowship at 928/774-8861 and online at

18th Annual Trappings of the American West Exhibition Programs

Saturday, October 13, 1–5 p.m. Knights of the Light Table
Eight Dry Creek Arts Fellowship photographers present their current work about the horse and ranching culture from Arizona, California, Mexico, Mongolia, Montana, Kyrgyzstan, and Wyoming. This program provides a visual tour from the Wild West to the Wild East.

Saturday, October 27 and Sunday, October 28, 2 p.m. both days Viva Villa: La Cabalgata
In a special program in conjunction with MNA’s 4th Annual Celebraciones de la Gente, Dry Creek Arts Fellowship Artist Raechel Running and Public Program Coordinator Jason Hasenbank present an interpretive slide lecture of the regional culture found in north-central Mexico. La Cabalgata is a present-day equestrian tradition that retraces Poncho Villa’s treks across Mexico on horseback.

Saturday, December 1, noon–2 p.m. Riding the Rim
The 7th Annual Cowboy Poetry Gathering will feature some of the region’s finest poets to stir up the air—as only cowboys can—with poetry, song, and open range entertainment by Mary Abbott, Sally Bates, Jim Dunham, Phil Ellsworth, Audrey Hankins, Carol Jarvis, Suzie Killman, Nika Norbrock, Frank Rodrigues, and Tom Weathers.

December 29, 1–2:30 p.m. Equestrian Culture of the Colorado Plateau
ASU Professor Peter Iverson and MNA Collection’s Manager Elaine Hughes present an interpretive forum to discuss the use of Navajo, Hopi, and Apache folk toys, saddles, bridles, leather items, and jewelry from MNA’s collections. From a silver and turquoise embellished saddle ridden by former Navajo Chairman Peter Macdonald to hand-braided quirts, these toys and tools of the trade will provide insight into the horse culture of northern Arizona.

January 5, 1–2:30 p.m. History of the Hashknife Colt
Billy Cordasco from Flagstaff’s Babbitt Ranches shares what it takes to be a successful horse breeder in the twenty-first century and tells the story of the Hashknife Colt’s development. Sought after around the world as an award-winning, sturdy, sure-footed companion, the Hashknife Colt’s solid bloodlines are recognized by the American Quarter Horse Association.


September 26, 2007
The 4th Annual Southwest Native American Film Festival will be held in Flagstaff, Arizona at the Museum of Northern Arizona and the Coconino Center for the Arts, October 5 and 6, 2007. The film festival is a unique showcase of contemporary Native American video, film, and animation made by Indigenous filmmakers from throughout the Southwest.

This year’s festival will feature 25 films, including a special screening of the festival’s feature film Mile Post 398, with director Shonie De La Rosa and members of the cast and crew. Additional festival highlights include Crazy INDN, a unique short animation set in the future with a superhero who seeks to reclaim the skull of Geronimo. Director Ian Skorodin will be on hand to talk about making Crazy INDN. Horse You See by Melissa Henry is a story that explains the very essence of being a horse in the Navajo Language. Miss Navajo, the festival’s feature documentary, explores this extraordinary beauty pageant. Eight youth shorts are also included.

This year’s festival will also offer a professional development opportunity with renowned Native American composer Brent Michael Davids, who will present a Film Scoring for Filmmakers Workshop.

The festival, presented in partnership by Indigenous Action Media, Museum of Northern Arizona, Flagstaff Cultural Partners, Tacoho Productions, Native Movement, and Outta Your Backpack Media, seeks to provide an opportunity for audiences of all ages to further their understanding of Indigenous cultures today.

Screenings will be held at the Museum of Northern Arizona’s Branigar Hall and the Coconino Center for the Arts.

Weekend festival passes that include admission to receptions with filmmakers on both Friday and Saturday nights can be purchased in advance for $18 ($14 for students). General and student admission fees will be collected at the door. Passes can be purchased at Winter Sun Trading Co., the Museum of Northern Arizona, and the Coconino Center for the Arts.

Call 928/779-2300 for additional information or visit these festival partner websites for a schedule of events at,, and

2007 Southwest Native American Film Festival Schedule

Friday, October 5
7–9:30 p.m. Evening Screenings at the Museum of Northern Arizona
9:45–11 p.m. Reception at the Coconino Center for the Arts with filmmakers
(open to weekend pass holders)

Saturday, October 6
10 a.m.–1 p.m. Film Scoring for Film Makers Workshop at the Coconino Center for the Arts
(register at
2–4:30 p.m. Presentation of Short Films at the Coconino Center for the Arts
5–6 p.m. Meet the Filmmakers at the Museum of Northern Arizona
(open to weekend pass holders)

6–9:30 p.m. Evening Screenings at the Museum of Northern Arizona


Friday, October 5, 7–9:30 p.m.
Evening Screenings at the Museum of Northern Arizona
$10/general admission, $6/students

DC Navajo
Director: Shonie De La Rosa (Diné), Melissa Henry (Diné)
2007 | 10 min. | Short Comedy
A short film about a graphic artist trying to collect his pay from the Navajo Nation’s Washington, D.C. office.

Crazy INDN
Director: Ian Skorodin (Choctaw)
2006 | 25 min. | Short Animation
In this unique animation set in the future, the superhero Crazy Indn seeks to reclaim the skull of Geronimo, with implications all the way to the White House.

The Border Crossed Us
Director: Rachael J. Nez (Diné)
2005 | 26 min. | Documentary Short
Since time immemorial, the Tohono O’odham have crossed borders freely between their communities in the U.S. and Mexico. This work examines the ways in which current immigration and naturalization policy are putting their way of life at risk.

Director: Klee Benally (Diné)
2007 | 4 min. | Music Video
A compelling music video that reflects on former Miss Navajo Nation Radmilla Cody’s trying past.

Miss Navajo
Director: William Luther (Diné/Hopi/Laguna Pueblo)
2006 | 60 min. | Documentary Feature
No ordinary beauty pageant, the Miss Navajo Nation competition requires contestants to answer tough historical questions in the Navajo language and showcase traditional knowledge.

Friday, October 5, 9:45–11 p.m.
Reception with Filmmakers at the Coconino Center for the Arts
(open to weekend pass holders)

Saturday, October 6, 10 a.m.–1 p.m.
Film Scoring for Filmmakers Workshop with Brent Michael Davids
at the Coconino Center for the Arts
$10 /general, $5/students (free for Indigenous youth)

This intensive workshop is designed especially for producers, directors, and editors.

Saturday, October 6, 2–4:30 p.m.
Presentation of Short Films at the Coconino Center for the Arts
$5/general admission, $3/students

Horse You See
Director: Melissa Henry (Diné)
2007 | 7 min. | Short
Meet Ross, a horse from the Navajo reservation. Hear his story and share his thoughts as he explains the very essence of being a horse. Navajo with English subtitles.

Knowledge is Dangerous
Director: Outta Your Backpack Media (Red Team)
2006 | 5 min. | Youth Short
Sometime in the future, knowledge is outlawed.

Inner Voices
Director: Outta Your Backpack Media (Green Team)
2006 | 3 min. 30 sec. | Youth Short
A skateboarder has an accident and finds that he can hear something strange.

How to Love
Director: Katrina Molnar
2007 | 6 min. | Experimental Youth Short
Produced by Outta Your Backpack Media, this video is a story about a lover who is not sure how to show her love for her one and only.

Director: Donavon Sechili (Diné)
2007 | 2 min. | Youth Short
Alcohol can make you see weird things.

A Change is Gonna Come
Director: Donavon Sechili
2007 | 4 min. | Youth Short
A drug dealer makes his last stand.

Spreading the Love
Director: Diedra Peaches (Diné), Donavon Sechili
2007 | 30 sec. | Youth Commercial
A paper bag finds love at first sight.

Real Love
Director: Diedra Peaches, Donavon Sechili
2007 | 4 min. | Youth Commercial
Can paper bags dream?

Rape PSA
Director: Diedra Peaches, Donavon Sechili, Shelby Ray
2007 | 5 min. 30 sec. | Youth PSA
This PSA was made with Outta Your Backpack Media and the P.E.A.C.E. Project

Director: Kelly Byars (Chocktaw)
2004 | 5 min. | Experimental Short
A discovery of self.

Director: Dax Thomas (Laguna Pueblo/Acoma Pueblo)
2005 | 5 min. | Experimental Short
An evocative experimental film takes on the concept of culture in today's world.

Poison Wind
Director: Jenny Pond, Norman Brown (Diné)
2007 | 6 min | Documentary Short
This short video addresses uranium mining and the effects of radiation in the Southwest.
(work in progress)

Making a Stand at Desert Rock
Director: Klee Benally (Diné)
2006 | 8 min. | Documentary Short
On December 12, 2006 community members in Burnham, New Mexico established a blockade to prevent preliminary work for the proposed Desert Rock coal-fired power plant.

Director: Klee Benally (Diné) | 2007 | 3 min. | Music Video
The award-winning Diné punk rock band Blackfire takes on global warming with a twist in this quick paced video.

Self Inflicted
Director: Shonie De La Rosa (Diné)
2007 | 4 min. | Music Video
Music video for Ethnic Degeneration from the motion picture soundtrack to Mile Post 398.

Director: Shonie De La Rosa
2007 | 4 min. | Music Video
Music video for Coalition from the motion picture soundtrack to Mile Post 398.

The Last Trek
Director: Ramona Emerson (Dineé)
2006 | 27 min. | Documentary Short
Elder Helen Bitsilly is one of the few Navajo people who still make the arduous journey on foot twice a year to take their sheep to distant grazing lands. The filmmaker follows Bitsilly on what the elder has said will be her last trek.

Share the Wealth
Director: Bennie Klain (Diné)
2006 | 7 min. | Short
A Native woman on an urban street encounters stereotyped misunderstanding in this poignant drama and ironic parable.

Saturday, October 6, 5–6 p.m.
Meet the Filmmakers

(open to weekend pass holders)

Saturday, October 6, 6–9:30 p.m.
Evening Screenings at the Museum of Northern Arizona
$10/general admission, $6/students

Mile Post 398 (festival’s feature film with members of the cast and crew)
Director: Shonie De La Rosa (Diné)
2007 | 1 hour 50 min. | Feature
A Navajo man named Cloyd in his mid-30s, living in Kayenta, is dealing with his alcohol problem. One day Cloyd decides to turn his life around by quitting drugs and alcohol and making amends with his wife, son, and family. Although Cloyd may think this may be easy, he soon realizes how hard it is to face his demons and deal with the unrelenting peer pressure of his so-called friends.

Weaving Worlds
Director: Bennie Klain (Diné)
2007 | 57 min. | Documentary Feature
An exploration of the intricate relationships between Navajo rug weavers and reservation traders. This insightful documentary reveals the delicate balance between maintaining cultural traditions, economic survival, and the artistic validation sought by many weavers.


September 5, 2007
A once-in-a-lifetime find in 2000 by Museum of Northern Arizona paleontologists led to the discovery of the most complete therizinosaur skeleton ever found. See the newest and strangest dinosaur in all of North America at MNA’s stunning new major exhibit THERIZINOSAUR—Mystery of the Sickle-Claw Dinosaur, opening Sunday, September 16, 2007 and running through March 29, 2009.

On display are real 93-million-year-old bones excavated near Big Water, in the desert landscape of southern Utah. A freestanding skeleton, cast from the original bones of the 13-foot-tall, one-ton, sickle-clawed, and feathered dinosaur, is the first mounted interpretation of this long-lost animal’s stance and posture.

All dinosaurs lived on land, but this one was found in a location that was the bottom of the Cretaceous Western Interior Seaway, an ancient sea that covered the middle of North America. The initial discovery, a single toe bone, led to the recovery of the nearly complete skeleton. But how did the whole animal get buried in a seafloor, 60 miles from shore?

The dinosaur’s identity was a mystery well into the excavation. “We weren’t thinking ‘therizinosaur’ at first, because at that time they were known only from Asia,” said Dr. David D. Gillette, exhibit curator and MNA’s Colbert Chair of Vertebrate Paleontology. “From that first toe bone, we thought maybe we had a big ‘raptor’ (an agile, hunting dinosaur). But when we found peculiar bones of the massive hips, we knew we had a sickle-claw dinosaur. They were like nothing we’d ever seen.”

Most dinosaurs in this mysterious family are known only from partial skeletons. And the lifestyle of these lumbering, pot-bellied, sickle-clawed forms has been debated for decades; MNA’s skeleton fills in some major gaps in what is known about therizinosaur anatomy and habits.

“In the past two decades, new studies have regrouped therizinosaurs with carnivorous (meat-eating) dinosaurs,” noted Gillette, “but there are many questions. Was this animal truly carnivorous as indicated by its shared ancestry with forms like Tyrannosaurus rex? How did it use its three slashing sickles on each hand? Did this small-headed predator actually prey on plants?”

Museum Director Dr. Robert Breunig commented, “MNA is incredibly excited and proud to present this major new exhibition featuring a significant paleontological discovery by the Museum’s scientists. This unique dinosaur and the information that comes from it adds greatly to our knowledge and understandings of life in the distant past. The exhibit highlights and celebrates the importance of basic research and the knowledge and insights that flow from that research.”

He continued, “Visitors will learn about the life and death of an amazing animal from the Cretaceous Period in the Age of Dinosaurs. We have a dinosaur new to science, related to birds, but thoroughly different from most animals known. Trying to envision how it lived and died takes us back in time and deep into the story of how the earth and life upon it evolved."

The subject comes to life through scientific illustrations throughout MNA’s exhibit. Artist and Guest Curator Victor Leshyk’s remarkable ability to portray complicated anatomical details, prehistoric animals, and landscapes from another time gives visitors of all ages easy access to the science, as well as the dramatic life and death struggles of this ancient creature.

Giant predatory reptiles called plesiosaurs terrorized the Cretaceous seas. MNA has excavated plesiosaur skeletons from the same seabeds. These ambush predators had torpedo-shaped bodies streamlined for speed and power, with paddles for limbs and strong, piercing teeth. The exhibit explores the swimming habits of these ancient marine predators through a robotic sculpture created by artists Brian and Eric Gold.

The Museum of Northern Arizona is one of the great regional museums of our world, surrounded by tremendous geological, biological, and cultural resources in one of Earth’s most spectacular landscapes. With a long and illustrious history, MNA evokes the very spirit of the Colorado Plateau, including the Grand Canyon and Four Corners regions, inspiring a sense of love and responsibility for the beauty and diversity of the area.

Therizinosaur Exhibit Guided Gallery Tours
Saturdays, September 22–December 29 (except October 27)
11 a.m.–12 p.m. and 2–3 p.m.

Explore the mystery of how a 93-million-year-old land-living dinosaur came to be buried 60 miles out at sea. Tours begin from the Museum foyer and are appropriate for all ages. Gallery tours are included with Museum admission and reservations are not required.

Scientific Illustration—Where Science Meets Art

In the Museum of Northern Arizona’s new exhibit THERIZINOSAUR—Mystery of the Sickle-Claw Dinosaur, artist Victor Leshyk creates works that grow from the point where science meets art. Illustrations are essential to the scientific process; by concentrating complex knowledge into nuggets that can be handed off to other thinkers, scientific illustration presents new research and findings to the world.

Scientific illustration has a long history, dating back to careful drawings and engravings made before cameras were available. Hi-tech instruments like space telescopes and MRI’s have arrived, yet scientists still need exploded views, idealized views, or restored views of lost or damaged subjects that are not available at the push of a button. Whether to meticulously record a subject as seen, or to present results, interpretations, and ideas, illustrations are used to present forensic evidence to jurors in a courtroom, medical knowledge to patients, and academic subjects to students of medicine and other technical fields. And in MNA’s case, illustration is essential to reconstruct an extinct animal that the world has never seen.

An illustrator who can achieve this level of interpretation must be close to the science it is based on. For his hand-drawn works, Leshyk brings a background in anatomy, physical science, and natural history to the task from both formal and private study. This MNA project has required drawings by hand, paintings on computers, models in clay and wire, and much outside research. In particular, the illustrator has enjoyed working with the richness of the lost therizinosaur’s tale.

“I always love to get deeply immersed in my subject,” said Leshyk, “and working with the paleontologist who unearthed our bones is about as close as one can get. And especially because of the early stage of the science behind this find, the exhibit gives a great opportunity to illustrate a wide range of ideas about this mysterious animal for the visitors to evaluate in their own minds.”


July 23, 2007
The 58th Annual Navajo Festival of Arts and Culture at the Museum of Northern Arizona in Flagstaff presents an established Navajo filmmaker, a professor of philosophy, and an author to expand the current understanding of Navajo arts, cosmology, and history and create new understandings about this great people. The festival is on Saturday, August 4 and 5 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day.

MNA’s Dr. Robert Breunig states, “Navajos and non-Navajos come together during the festival to share perspectives, cultural customs, and original artwork. To that mix, the Museum brings experts with new insights about our neighbors, the Diné. There is so much to learn about the Navajo Nation, which has the largest reservation in the U.S. and a population that has surpassed 250,000.”

“Innovation meets tradition at this year’s Navajo Festival,” says Anne Doyle, MNA’s Heritage Program Coordinator. “Seventy-five artists will join performers and Heritage Insight speakers—all serving as cultural interpreters of today’s Navajo world, both the traditional and the contemporary. We highlight language and film this year as tools of communication to illuminate and celebrate the Navajo experience.”

Maintaining cultural identity
Navajo director and filmmaker Benny Klain is not afraid to tackle a difficult subject; his documentaries and fictional films challenge cultural assumptions and focus on the struggle of Indigenous artists to maintain their cultural identity. His newest film, Weaving Worlds, explores personal stories of Navajo weavers and their complex relationship with reservation traders. In the film, the weavers maintain a delicate balance between cultural survival, economic independence, and motivation. Klain will show his film and talk both days at 10:45 a.m. on Saturday and 12 noon on Sunday.

Klain’s films may not provide clear cut answers, but rather provoke the viewers into examining some of the cultural challenges in America today. A fluent Navajo speaker, he meshes mainstream and Native storytelling techniques and incorporates his language into his work as much as possible; eighty percent of the dialog in Weaving Worlds is in Navajo.

Klain co-produced and worked as a translator for The Return of Navajo Boy, which screened at more than 60 festivals and has received many honors. Klain recently graduated from the University of Texas at Austin and his production company, TricksterFilms, is based there. His short film Yada Yada won the Teueikan Second Prize at Montreal's First Peoples' Festival in 2003. Weaving Worlds was recently a featured film at the acclaimed South by Southwest Film Festival in Austin, Texas where he now lives. He is previously from Tuba City.

Investigations of Navajo lifeways
A professor of philosophy and history at Fresno Pacific University, Richard Wiebe is also a research associate at MNA and studies Navajo philosophy. His presentation and accompanying visuals titled Navajo Conceptual Metaphors and Pattern Languages at 9:30 a.m. both days is a new investigation of the power of language. Wiebe traces the significance of repeated metaphorical descriptions of the world in the Navajo language and explores the character of this culture’s cosmology and ceremonies to better understand Navajo lifeways.

Linguist Larry King from Farmington, New Mexico is a bright light not to be missed. His humorous reflections of the Diné culture in Navajo and English walk the audience along a path of history and legend, highlighting the resilience of the Navajo language in the twenty-first century. King talks on Saturday at 2:15 p.m. and at 2 p.m. on Sunday.

Author focuses on Native women
Carolyn Niethammer will give a talk about “America’s Native Women: The Ordinary and the Extraordinary,” followed by a book signing of her book from Salina Bookshelf, Keeping the Rope Straight. In her most recent book, Niethammer focuses on Annie Dodge Wauneka, the daughter of the great Navajo leader Chee Dodge. On his deathbed, he counseled his children to look after the Navajo people. Wauneka served on the Navajo Tribal Council for 26 years and played an important role in bringing white doctors and tribal medicine healers together to control tuberculosis on the reservation. She was outspoken, energetic, creative, feared, and loved.

Returning to Navajo Festival this year
Flagstaff’s Diné rock trio Blackfire will showcase songs from their CD Silence is a Weapon. This new release leaves no doubt about the anger and hopelessness many Native people face, but there is also hope in their music, as it demands personal respect, environmental and cultural justice, and a healthy, sustainable world in which to live. Blackfire has toured the world, sharing their music and traditional culture. They add to their rock format mesmerizing stories and dance about traditional Diné ways by their medicine man father Jones Benally.

Native American Music Awards winner and Grammy-nominee Aaron White returns with flute sounds from his Navajo and Ute roots, blended with rock guitar and singing from his early years in urban California. He’s played everywhere from a presidential inaugural ball to a benefit concert at Arizona's San Francisco Peaks, on one day recording a film soundtrack of his compositions, on another awakening young minds as an artist-in-residence. White’s played with a long list of internationally famous musicians and is a favorite in this region.

Clarence Clearwater’s big, enchanting voice and stirring acoustic guitar are most often heard on the Grand Canyon Railway as he entertains passengers traveling between Williams and the canyon. He sings traditional songs in Navajo and contemporary songs in English, about his spirituality and the oppression of Native people.

Canyon Records recording artist and Native American Music Awards winner Radmilla Cody will be the emcee for the Heritage Insights tent and will perform on Sunday at 3 p.m. from her latest release Precious Friends, an album of children’s songs. They include classics with Navajo lyrics and original compositions for children by noted educator and songwriter Herman Cody.

The Pollen Trail Dancers, a traditional children’s dance troupe from Joseph City, Arizona that performs colorful social dances, will present an educational fashion show of Navajo clothing through time, traditional to modern wear. They will also perform dances depicting the Long Walk and the history of the Blessing Way.

Visitors will be able to hike with ethnobotanist Theresa Boone Schuler, a Diné educator from Flagstaff and a popular presenter at past festivals. They will learn Native uses of local plant life on the Museum’s Rio de Flag Nature Trail three times each day at 10 a.m., 12 noon, and 2 p.m.

Some of today’s most important artists will be showing their work at the festival. Flagstaff painter Shonto Begay is a visual storyteller whose fertile creativity births paintings of wonder, sadness, and truth about being Navajo and living on the reservation. Basket maker Sally Black from Monument Valley is one of the few remaining artists whose vision, fine workmanship, and tightly woven designs are keeping this art form alive. And innovative weaver Morris Muskett, one of the few males who weave in the Navajo tradition, is best known for his exquisite sash belts with color and design innovations, but he also creates incredibly fine small rugs.

Festival poster artist W.B. Franklin
William Franklin was born in Ganado, Arizona, near the heart of the Navajo Reservation. His maternal clan is Bitterwater and his paternal clan is Standing House. He remembers herding sheep off of the Plateau into the Painted Desert on horseback with his great-grandmother (who lived to be 107). He traveled the migrant trail and worked on farms and ranches, picking cotton in Safford, citrus and grapes in the Phoenix Valley, herding pigs and goats in Wickenburg, or any kind of work he could find. His grandmother, a weaver and silversmith, influenced him with her skills and planted the seeds for Franklin to become an artist.

Franklin attended Northern Arizona University, majoring in sociology and minoring in art, and entered his first Navajo Show in 1980 at MNA. He was awarded a first place blue ribbon for painting. He finally became a fulltime artist in 1984 and through trial and error, and persistent exploring, has established a style that springs from his imagination and his spirit. This year’s festival poster is titled Morning Blessing Songs—Our Inheritance.

Heritage Program sponsors
The 2007 Navajo Festival is sponsored by the Arizona Commission on the Arts, Coconino County Board of Supervisors, Flagstaff Cultural Partners/City of Flagstaff, the National Endowment for the Arts, and Inn Suites Hotel.

About the Museum
The Museum of Northern Arizona is one of the great regional museums of our world, surrounded by tremendous cultural, biological, and geological resources in one of Earth’s most spectacular landscapes. With a long and illustrious history, MNA evokes the very spirit of the Colorado Plateau, including the Grand Canyon and Four Corners regions, and inspiring a sense of love and responsibility for the beauty and diversity of the area. By presenting Native cultures, fine arts, and tribal lifeways at its festivals, MNA serves as a gateway to understanding the Colorado Plateau.


July 6, 2007
After 90 million years, Pteranodon will once again soar in the skies of the Colorado Plateau. On Tuesday, July 10 at 10 a.m., the Museum of Northern Arizona in Flagstaff will install a 14-foot wingspan steel Pteranodon (literally “wing-toothless,” or more freely,“winged reptile without teeth”) sculpture, accompanied by a flock of five Ichthyornis (“fish-bird”), twenty feet in the air at the entrance to the Museum on Highway 180. The steel sculptures were created by paleo-artists Brian and Eric Gold to announce MNA’s exhibit Therizinosaur—Mystery of the Sickle Claw Dinosaur, opening September 16, 2007 through March 29, 2009. Although not found directly with the therizinosaur discovery in southern Utah that is the center of the upcoming exhibit, pteranodons and birds occupied the skies above the western shorelines of the same shallow sea.

MNA’s Colbert Curator of Paleontology Dr. David D. Gillette says, “Pteranodon and Ichthyornis could have been the last animals to see the Museum of Northern Arizona’s therizinosaur alive. Pteranodon (a pterosaur or “winged reptile”) ruled the skies over the Western Interior Seaway that existed in much of the Colorado Plateau, during the Cretaceous Period from 90 to 65 million years ago when dinosaurs, plesiosaurs, pterosaurs, and Cretaceous birds became extinct.” The maximum wingspan on the largest Pteranodon was 25 feet. Its head as large, with a prominent rear projection that likely served as a rudder in flight. Its wing membrane was covered with fur. Its beak was without teeth, like modern birds, and it sought fish and scavenged carrion along the shorelines of the shallow sea.

Ichthyornis, a Cretaceous bird, was covered with feathers, and resembled modern gulls and terns. Long thought to be one of only a few true birds from the Age of Dinosaurs, recent discoveries throughout the world indicate that birds were common. Their rarity as fossils is a consequence of their thin, fragile bones, which do not fossilize easily. MNA’s flock of Ichthyornis demonstrates one major anatomical feature that distinguishes them from all modern birds (hint: look for details in the open mouth of one of these sculptures). Dr. Gillette adds, “Modern birdwatchers can now put Ichthyornis on their Cretaceous life list. Bring binoculars!”

Brothers Brian and Eric Gold have spent their lifetimes studying, teaching, and creating fine art. Brian received his formal art training at The Art Institute of Boston and teaches art full time in England. In addition to watercolor and oil paintings, pen and ink drawings, and digital graphic art, he produces sculptures. Eric lives in Flagstaff and largely self-taught, has been a full time engraver since 1975. His artistic ventures include pencil and pen and ink drawings, robotics, and miniature, anatomically correct animal skull sculptures. Their latest interest in paleo-art was a natural development of their lifelong interest in dinosaurs.

Brian Gold comments, “We are expressing in steel something from the distant past which has found new life in our time. We worked with Dr. Gillette to make sure we were representing current scientific thinking, but we weren’t trying to hide the metal. The steel and technique were as important to us as its ancient aspect.”

Eric Gold adds, “The scale of the Pteranodon is impressive—much larger than a condor. Also interesting is the alien architecture of an animal that was filling a niche in the Cretaceous environment. They were very efficient, and endured and thrived much longer than humans have.” Both noted that having the two species occupying the same sculptural air space added a lot of visual interest and life to the piece.

An exhibit of the newest and strangest dinosaur in all of North America is coming in 2007. Therizinosaur—Mystery of the Sickle Claw Dinosaur has evolved from a 2000 and 2001 southern Utah excavation by Dr. Gillette. Prior to this find, therizinosaurs were found only in Asia, with partial skeletons. The discovery initially stumped MNA’s paleontologists; the bones were not like any they had seen before. It led to five years of laboratory work to remove rock from the bones and repair thousands of natural breaks.

“This discovery is a once-in-a-lifetime experience,” says Gillette. “Its identity was a mystery well into the excavation. Now we know it’s a therizinosaur, but we have questions. Was therizinosaur truly carnivorous as indicated by its ancestry as a relative of Tyrannosaurus rex? How did it use its three slashing sickles on each hand? Did this predator prey on plants? Found 60 miles from the closest shoreline, did this therizinosaur live on land, or was it sometimes aquatic?”

MNA will present these questions and more in the upcoming exhibit. The exhibit will feature the original therizinosaur bones in a reconstruction of the excavation and a free-standing mounted skeleton that presents Gillette’s best interpretation of the stance and posture of this strange creature.


June 15, 2007
The common threads throughout all cultures are the language, lifeways, and art forms they share. The Museum of Northern Arizona’s 74th Annual Hopi Festival of Arts and Culture in Flagstaff will immerse visitors in Hopi language and artistry, revealing the very essence of today’s Hopi people and the ideas that pervade their daily life. This year’s festival is on Saturday, June 30 and Sunday, July 1 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day.

MNA’s Dr. Robert Breunig stated, “The Hopi Festival is a perfect time to experience many fine art, film, music, and dance creations of the Hopi people. This summer is especially exciting at the Museum, with the Hopi Festival and Elemental Forms, an exhibition of the work of Dan and Arlo Namingha, paired together. We’re very appreciative of the continuing partnership the Museum has with the Hopi Tribe, as each year’s festival is more rewarding than the last.”

"Beyond the fun and excitement of Hopi Festival, it is the magical moments of connection that we strive to create—moments of surprise or delight between the visitor and the entertainer, or the artist, or the educator," added Anne Doyle, MNA’s Heritage Program Coordinator.

This year’s festival highlights the talents of independent filmmaker and photographer Victor Masayesva Jr., and the work of internationally-acclaimed contemporary painter Dan Namingha and his sculptor son Arlo. Artistic creations by new and seasoned artists have been juried for this festival—artists such as this year’s Hopi Festival poster artist Delbridge Coochsiwukioma Honanie and award-winning potter Jacob Koopee. In addition to the more than 50 anticipated booth artists, the Museum staff has collected one-of-a-kind consigned works from individual artists across the Hopi reservation for sale. Hopi Buffalo Dancers, traditional songs, Hopi reggae, and Native foods will add to the excitement.

Victor Masayesva Jr., an extraordinary visual cosmography
Victor Masayesva Jr. is an advocate for the Indigenous voice within the international art community. His documentary and experimental films and photographic images zoom in on commercialization, appropriation, exploitation, and repatriation of Native culture. Masayesva was raised in the Hopi village of Hotevilla and studied at the Horace Mann School in New York, Princeton University, and the University of Arizona. He has received fellowships from the Ford Foundation and the Rockefeller Foundation, and grants from the National Endowment for the Arts. His feature-length film Imagining Indians acquired a worldwide audience.

Masayesva will screen a 60-minute director’s cut of his newest 2007 film, Paatuwaqatsi: Water, Land and Life, Hopi Run to Mexico on Saturday at 1:15 p.m. and Sunday at 10:30 a.m. His film features the Hopi struggle for water rights, while engaging viewers in the cultural and religious importance of water as life. The film follows 26 runners from the Hopi villages that ran a pilgrimage from northern Arizona to Mexico City on 2,000 miles of dirt roads and highways. They carried a gourd of water gathered from international waters to convey that water is life and they ran to affirm their ties to the south, where specific Hopi clans emerged thousands of years ago. Masayesva will introduce his work and recount stories of historical water wars of this region, forced migration, and how the Hopi people learned how to communicate with the clouds. Following the film at 12:15 p.m. on Saturday and 2:45 p.m. on Sunday, Victor will give a reading and sign his new book of photography and essays, Husk of Time, published by the University of Arizona Press for sale in the Museum’s Bookstore.

Dan and Arlo Namingha, a highly refined modernist vocabulary
Elemental Forms: The Art of Dan and Arlo Namingha, MNA’s exhibit of Indigenous modernism, will be highlighted with docent interpretive tours scheduled throughout the weekend, from 9–10 a.m. and 4–5 p.m. both days. The work of both artists alludes to Hopi cosmology and symbology, affirming and extending their Hopi/Tewa identity, while breaking with the traditional limits of Indian art through modern minimalism. Dan Namingha is a powerfully gifted and internationally-acclaimed contemporary painter and sculptor, and his son Arlo Namingha’s sculptures minimalizes literal images and investigates the boundaries of the non-objective.

The Buffalo Dance, a gift from the Creator
This is the first time the Nuvatukya’ovi Sinom Dance Group will perform their Buffalo Dance at the Hopi Festival. It is usually performed during the winter and this dance encourages snow, good hunting, abundance of wildlife, and survival. A gift from the Creator, the Buffalo Dance is performed today on the Hopi Mesas as both entertainment and a reminder that buffalo, antelope, and deer used to roam in northern Arizona. Nuvatukya’ovi means “the high up place with snow” and is the Hopi name for the San Francisco Peaks. Visitors will enjoy performances by one warrior, two buffalos, three buffalo girls, plus drummers and singers.

Returning to the Hopi Festival
Casper and the Mighty 602 Band will perform their Hopi reggae on both Saturday and Sunday at 12 noon and 4 p.m. on Saturday, and 2 p.m. on Sunday. Casper Loma-da-wa’s lyrics, filled with hope and power, tell stories of contemporary reservation life. Reggae, he says, “is music of a struggling people—that’s what Jamaican music is. We, as Native people, have been struggling all these years.” The band has opened for reggae greats such as the Wailers, Culture, and Burning Spear.

Visitors of all ages can sing along in English and Hopi with Ferrell Secakuku and Anita Poleahla. The program will include the couple’s new Hopi children’s CD, Learning through Hopi Songs and their new DVD music video, Koona, projects completed in partnership with the NAU Anthropology Department to preserve the Hopi language.

Children will again make take-home crafts at Creative Corner. They will experience corn grinding using a mano and matate, make a paper plate rattle with Hopi symbols, and learn coil and pinch pot techniques along with the cultural significance of pottery making.

Clark Tenakhongva and Sydney Poolheco will perform traditional Hopi songs, while capturing elements of change in the Hopi culture through contemporary tunes and lyrics. Both Tenakhongva and Poolheco are featured on KUYI 88.1 Hopi Radio. They will perform together at 10 a.m. on Saturday and 12 noon on Sunday.

The nuances of Hopi basketry will be revealed by Ruby Chimerica as she presents an ongoing demonstration on weaving cradleboards and rattles made from sumac and rabbitbush. Chimerica will also give a presentation on basket weaving.

Potter Dorothy Ami will take visitors with her on a pottery making journey, discussing how she collects materials and builds, decorates, and fires her pieces. Ami creates pottery in the traditional Hopi way, from gathering the clay to using all natural pigments to paint her pots and sheep dung to fire her creations.

Heritage Program sponsors
The 2007 Hopi Festival is sponsored by the Arizona Commission on the Arts, Coconino County Board of Supervisors, Flagstaff Cultural Partners/City of Flagstaff, and the National Endowment for the Arts, and La Quinta Inn.

Festival poster artist Delbridge Honanie
This year’s Hopi Festival poster artist is Delbridge Honanie (Coochsiwukioma, which means “Falling White Snow,” his manhood name). He will be at this year’s festival to discuss his work. Honanie’s inventive mind and his traditional discipline have placed him among the most respected and collected artists of the Southwest. He attended the Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA) in Santa Fe, New Mexico and in 2006 he was named an Arizona Living Treasure.

From Winslow and Shungopavi on Second Mesa, Honanie was born in 1946 into the Bear Clan, the clan that traditionally led the spiritual life of the Hopi, and was initiated into the Men’s Society in 1972. His poster depicts Bear Clan interpretations of important events in Hopi oral history and ceremonial life.


May 7, 2007
Today’s children have an ever-decreasing interaction with the outdoors. The phrase “no child left inside,” from Richard Louv’s book, Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children From Nature-Deficit Disorder, has gained national recognition and brought the importance of getting children outside and experiencing nature to the forefront of conversations about education. The Museum of Northern Arizona’s Discovery 2007 connects young people to the natural world and cultural heritage of the region they live in. Registration is now open for 52 classes and summer camp sessions.

“Discovery’s programs offer a gateway to the wonders of the Colorado Plateau and a summer’s worth of creative, relevant, and meaningful exploration and fun,” says Discovery Program Coordinator Rosemary Logan. “Discovery has been offering hands-on, interdisciplinary, and experiential classes that immerse children in their environment for 31 years. It is MNA’s mission to inspire a sense of love and responsibility for the beauty and diversity of the Colorado Plateau. We look forward to another year of exceptional programs with our students.”

This year’s classes offer a diverse and exciting range of opportunities to learn about the region’s incomparable traditions―fine arts, natural sciences, Native cultures, and ecology. Science investigations with experts, art projects with accomplished artists, and field trips led by experienced, energetic outdoor educators instill in young people a personal connection with the natural world around them.

Some of this summer’s new program offerings include a series of young scientists classes offered for ages 10–15 and 15–18. The 10–15 age classes are taught by experts and include botany, entomology, and archaeology. There are large field components to these classes with hands-on experiments and collections.

Discovery’s programs for high school age are in partnership with the Grand Canyon Trust and include six days in the field doing research and exploration. With the Grand Canyon Trust’s assistance, Discovery has been able to keep the cost down for these trips to $100 for the six day, all-inclusive trip. This is the result of both MNA’s and Grand Canyon Trust’s commitment to reach out to high school age students, and to provide affordable and valuable learning experiences.

Summer Among the Peaks, Discovery’s summer camp for ages 9–13, will be celebrating its tenth year of games, hikes, art projects, experiments, and overnight camping adventures with educator Andy Yazzie. Eight programs can be attended by the week or for the entire summer, at which campers explore the Hopi, Navajo, and Zuni cultures, the San Juan River, Chaco Culture, Grand Canyon’s North Rim, Bryce and Zion National Parks, and a hike and bike week.

To assure a quality learning environment, Discovery has a maximum of fifteen participants and a minimum of two staff in every youth program. For reservations or information, contact the Discovery Office at 928/774-5213, ext. 241 or Scholarships are available and are awarded based on financial need and student interest. Class descriptions, scholarship information, and an application are available at

The following sponsors support MNA’s Discovery 2007:

Albertsons Community Partners, Arizona Commission on the Arts, Arizona Community Foundation/Flagstaff Community Foundation/Forest Highlands Foundation, Flagstaff Cultural Partners/City of Flagstaff, Bashas’ Thanks a Million, National Endowment for the Arts, Sam’s Club, Walgreens, Wells Fargo, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., and an anonymous contributor.

The Museum of Northern Arizona is surrounded by tremendous geological, biological, and cultural resources in one of Earth’s most spectacular landscapes. With a long and illustrious history, MNA evokes the very spirit of the Colorado Plateau, including the Grand Canyon and Four Corners regions, inspiring a sense of love and responsibility for the beauty and diversity of the area. It is located three miles north of historic downtown Flagstaff, on scenic Highway 180 at the base of the San Francisco Peaks.


May 7, 2007
By providing income and active work in the outdoors to high school youth, Colton Community Youth Garden grows more than food—it grows young people.

Colton Community Youth Garden, formerly called the Flagstaff Youth Garden, is offering a seven-week summer internship that provides wages, job skill training, and leadership development to local high school youth. Eligible applicants will have completed their freshman year of high school. A partnership between the Museum of Northern Arizona and Flagstaff Arts and Leadership Academy, the Youth Garden encourages a broader understanding among local youth of the unique beauty and character of the region through sustainable agriculture.

Located on the Museum of Northern Arizona campus at the base of the San Francisco Peaks, this historic site was farmed by the Museum’s founders, Harold and Mary-Russell Colton in the early 1900s. The Youth Garden empowers and educates young people to continue the legacy of land stewardship and sustainability on the Colorado Plateau. Interns acquire hands-on experience in ecological agriculture and restoration, the cultivation and marketing of diverse crops, and participation in community service projects at the site.

Interns will act as mentors to eight to twelve-year-old MNA Discovery program participants. During this internship, Youth Garden and MNA Discovery participants interact with one another and the landscape in relevant and meaningful ways to gain an awareness of and appreciation for the unique ecology and cultural traditions of our region. Interns will receive a weekly stipend of $86 (tax free) per week and will work 16 hours per week.

Applications can be found online at and are due May 18. For more information, please call Rosemary Logan at 774-5213.

MNA recognizes Johanna Divine, Kate Watters and Jeff Hines who were essential in starting the gardening program four years ago. The collaboration grew out of the need to provide seasonal continuity at the site and to meet the demand for summer internship opportunities for Flagstaff youth. Generous support from local donors combined with in-kind and charitable donations from Flagstaff area businesses, Flagstaff Arts and Leadership Academy, and Flagstaff Foodlink/Flagstaff Youth Gardens have provided a foundation of support for this project in 2007.

Individual supporters can help the Youth Garden by shopping at New Frontiers on May 16, when New Frontiers will generously donate five percent of profits from that day to the garden. MNA also gratefully accepts personal donations in the form of money, time and expertise, and garden materials. Donations are tax deductible and may be sent to Colton Community Youth Garden, 3101 N. Fort Valley Road, Flagstaff, AZ 86001.


May 7, 2007
On Saturday, May 26 from 1–2 p.m. at the Museum of Northern Arizona, The Zuni Origin Story will be presented by Curtis Quam, Museum Technician for the A:shiwi A:wan Museum and Heritage Center.

Quam’s presentation will focus on A:shiwi (Zuni) beliefs about his people’s emergence from Mother Earth within the Grand Canyon and their migration through the Colorado Plateau to Halona: Idiwana’a (Zuni, New Mexico).

Quam will discuss European contact at the ancestral A:shiwi village of Hawikku, post contact history, and the arrival of Americans to Zuni land. The influence of ethnographers, anthropologists, and archaeologists on A:shiwi life will also be discussed, using images from the Zuni museum’s exhibit Hawikku: Echoes From Our Past.

Curtis Quam was born and raised at Zuni, New Mexico and has been working for the A:shiwi A:wan Museum and Heritage Center for the past five years, where he has been involved with museum programs that serve the Zuni community.


May 1, 2007
A powerfully gifted and internationally-acclaimed contemporary painter and sculptor, Dan Namingha had his first solo museum exhibition at the Museum of Northern Arizona in 1977. An exhibit of 45 new paintings and sculptures for sale, Elemental Forms: The Art of Dan and Arlo Namingha, opens June 17 through September 23, 2007, completing a thirty-year journey for the father and introducing his son, an already recognized sculptor, to northern Arizona.

The work of both artists alludes to Hopi cosmology and symbology, affirming and extending their Hopi/Tewa identity, while breaking with the traditional limits of Indian art through modern minimalism.

“Dan Namingha’s paintings and sculptures are among the most powerful abstract artwork being created in the Southwest today,” says MNA Director Dr. Robert Breunig. “His abstract figures allude to the timeless nature of life on the Colorado Plateau and the unity of the spiritual and physical worlds.”

About his work, Dan Namingha says, “Through a process of fragmentation and assembly I visually condense my subject matter to convey the greatest artistry with minimal elements.” Landscapes and ancient Hopi symbols, ancestors from his homeland, spirit messengers, katsinas carrying blessings, cloud people, and other abstracted spiritual imagery take form among his signature surface textures.

“I see myself as a kind of bridge between worlds,” he reflects, “trying to find that center line of balance. It’s not always easy, but I don’t think it’s easy for any human being.” He is fascinated with dualities and the point where they meet―physical and metaphysical, night and day, dark and light, life and death, human and divine—and with recurring themes of katsinas, First Mesa, and the Hopi migration story.

Alan Petersen, MNA’s Guest Curator of Fine Art says, “Namingha’s close relationship with MNA dates to his first exhibit here in 1977, when his iconic painting Walpi Night Dance was the signature image for the Hopi Craftsmen show. Today, he is an acknowledged master. The complimentary concepts of duality and balance are important themes in his work and he expresses them through a highly refined, modernist vocabulary drawn from his heritage. His imagery is strong and elegant, emerging from richly textured surfaces that evoke the earth and atmosphere of his homeland.”

Born in 1950 in Keams Canyon, Arizona, Dan Namingha now lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

His formative years were spent in Polacca and Hano (also called Tewa Village, a distinct community within the greater Hopi society) on First Mesa. Long expanses of land in all directions are omnipresent, as are mountain and mesa formations on the horizon. An even larger, expansive sky sits heavy above, sometimes with cloud formations. References to this homeland are common in his work.

Dan Namingha studied at the University of Kansas in Lawrence, at the Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA) in Santa Fe, and at The American Academy of Art in Chicago. He began showing his work in 1972 and has participated in over 60 exhibits. His work is now at the Fogg Art Museum of Harvard University, the Smithsonian Institution, the Sundance Institute, the Wheelwright Museum, the Museum of Fine Arts in Santa Fe, the Heard Museum, the Palm Desert Museum, and numerous foreign museums, including the British Royal Collection in London and several U.S. embassies.

Namingha opened his own gallery in Santa Fe in 1990, Niman Fine Art, which he runs with his family. In an effort to take control of the direction of his career, he has circumvented the traditional art system’s pigeonholing or nonrecognition of Native or regional artists.

Dan Namingha’s eldest son Arlo began his life as an artist in his father’s studio, learning both by observing and working quietly on his own interest in three-dimensional form, which led to his studies in drafting and design. His current sculptural works combine wood, clay, stone, and fabricated and cast bronze to create a contrast.

Arlo Namingha shares, “My work not only reflects the figurative aspect of my Native people and their surroundings, but also cultural images, landscapes, and symbolism. Always exploring new avenues of possibilities, the work possesses a foundation, but moves constantly in different directions, investigating the boundaries of the non-objective. I minimize literal images, not to recreate them, but to draw from them and my personal experiences.”

After managing Niman Fine Art for ten years, Arlo is now focusing on his art career. He has had recent exhibits in the Southwest and on the East Coast, and his works are included in many private and museum collections.

Both Naminghas have a far-reaching artistic lineage. Great-great-grandmother Nampeyo (1860–1942) was a famous Hopi potter who restored the art of Hopi pottery making. Nampeyo’s granddaughter and Dan Namingha’s mother, Dextra Quotskuyva Nampeyo, crafted a pottery style that was more reflective of modern Hopi times. These role models, as well as the art and ideas the Namingas share in Elemental Forms: The Art of Dan and Arlo Namingha, express the Tewa trait of a willingness to experiment with new things, while protecting the sanctity of Hopi sacred images.

The public is invited to attend an exciting Southwestern summer event with the artists at the Museum of Northern Arizona on Saturday, June 16. This gala fundraising event to celebrate the opening of the Elemental Forms exhibit includes a reception, dinner, exhibit preview, gallery sales, and a live auction of Namingha art. Tickets are $200 per person for the dinner, and $250 per person for the reception and dinner combined. Reservations are required and accepted starting May 1. For further Gala information, call Cassie Dakan at 928/774-5211, ext. 225.


October 3, 2006
People worldwide recognize the iconic image of the Grand Canyon, greatly due to the visual interpretation of a small group of adventurous photographers. The Museum of Northern Arizona’s new exhibit Lasting Light: The Photography of Grand Canyon is a celebration of the best photographic images of this mysterious and ever-changing landscape, by a select group of fine art photographers. Additionally, raptors from MNA’s Natural History Collections soar above the gallery, representing the many raptors species that make their home in and around, or migrate through, the deep canyon. The exhibit opens Saturday, February 3 through Sunday, June 17.

While the average traveler might only spend a short time at the rim of the canyon, professional Grand Canyon photographers commit to hiking through rugged backcountry, carrying enormous packs of equipment, and spending hours or sometimes days waiting for a fleeting moment of magical light to capture the perfect image. Landscape photographers typically spend from six to nine months of each year in the field, usually alone and at great expense.

This exhibit showcases the work of 26 photographers and is sponsored by the Grand Canyon Association, Hance Partners, and Grand Canyon National Park. The 60 images were chosen by six nationally-recognized jurors from within the photography world.

In this exhibit, MNA co-curators Alan Petersen, Guest Curator of Fine Art, and Dr. Larry Stevens, Curator of Biology and Ecology, have integrated the art of photography and the science of natural history in order to deepen understanding of the canyon’s unique and fragile habitat and raise consciousness of its biological diversity. The hawk, eagle, condor, and owl specimens on display have been salvaged after accidents with lead shot, electric wires, or collisions with moving vehicles.

“MNA is pleased to be joining with the Grand Canyon Association for this extraordinary presentation of photographic images from Grand Canyon National Park,” MNA Director Robert Breunig said. “We are also excited about adding the biological interpretation on the raptors of the Grand Canyon: once again, MNA is emphasizing the convergence of science and art, in this case photography and biology.”

Alan Petersen says, “We like to think of a photograph as visual truth—an objective source. But like all artistic mediums, the artist uses a great deal of manipulation in the creation of an image. Technical and artistic decisions are made in the equipment used, the composition of the image, and the processing of the image. And there are “happy accidents” that can occur during all phases of the creative process. Lasting Light is a celebration of the wonder of the Grand Canyon and the many ways these 26 photographers use their medium to share their vision and interpretation.”

Lawrence E. Stevens adds, “A geographic formation called the East Kaibab Monocline uplifts the North Rim of the Grand Canyon 1,000 feet above the elevation of the South Rim, turning an already spectacular chasm into a world wonder and inspiring the artistic achievements in this exhibit. Raptors follow the monocline across the broad chasm during their autumn migration south. On a clear September day at Lipan Point near Desert View Watchtower, it is not unusual to see numerous raptor species, spiraling upward on the canyon’s thermals. Every 30–45 seconds another bird reaches the South Rim and continues its migration towards the San Francisco Peaks.”

This exhibit was conceived and nurtured by Richard Jackson of Hance Partners, Inc., a professional photography lab in Flagstaff. The jury of photography professional was:

  • Andrew Wallace from the Center for Creative Photography in Tucson
  • Christopher Burkett, a nationally-known landscape photographer
  • John Altbert, retired vice president of Eastman Kodak Professional Photography Division
  • Peter Ensenberger, Director of Photography for Arizona Highways magazine
  • Annie Griffiths-Belt from National Geographic Magazine and
  • Terry Etherton, owner of a fine art photography gallery in Tucson.

Photographers whose images are in the Lasting Light exhibit are:

  • Tom Bean
  • Sue Bennett
  • John Blaustein
  • Dugald Bremmer
  • Tom Brownold
  • Mike Buchheit
  • Michael Collier
  • James Cowlin
  • Sherry Curtis and Alfredo Conde
  • Dick Dietrich
  • Jack Dykinga
  • Dave Edwards
  • Geoff Gourley
  • George H. H. Huey
  • Liz Hymans
  • Jerry Jacka
  • Gary Ladd
  • Larry Lindahl
  • Robert McDonald
  • Randy Prentice
  • John Running
  • Raechel Running
  • Kate Thompson
  • Tom Till
  • Stephen Trimble
  • Larry Ulrich

To accompany the exhibit, Northland Publishing recently published Lasting Light: 125 Years of Grand Canyon Photography by Stephen Trimble. The book presents every photograph featured in the exhibit, plus dozens of additional contemporary and historic images and essays from the photographers. BookPage Magazine said, “This collection is a superlative explication of America’s very own world wonder.” Some of the exhibit text is excerpted from the book, which will be available for purchase at the Museum throughout the exhibit.

The Museum of Northern Arizona is one of the great regional museums of our world, surrounded by tremendous geological, biological, and cultural resources in one of Earth’s most spectacular landscapes. With a long and illustrious history, MNA evokes the very spirit of the Colorado Plateau, including the Grand Canyon and Four Corners regions, inspiring a sense of love and responsibility for the beauty and diversity of the area.

MNA is located three miles north of historic downtown Flagstaff on Highway 180. It is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $5 adults, $4 seniors (65+), $3 students, $2 children (7–17), and it is always free to members.

Lasting Light Programs Included with Museum Admission

All-Age Youth Programs

Saturday, February 17, 1 p.m.–2 p.m.
High Country Raptors Live Presentation and Overflight
High Country Raptors is a nonprofit organization that promotes raptor conservation though rehabilitation and education. Volunteers will present live birds and will discuss topics such as the annual migration of Grand Canyon raptors, raptor adaptations, and raptor conservation issues. An overflight will be included with this presentation.

Saturday, March 17, 1 p.m.–3 p.m.
Raptors of the Grand Canyon

Join MNA’s Youth Program Coordinator and community educators to learn about raptors of the Grand Canyon. Learn about our winged friends and how they have adapted to their environment though an interactive exploration of the Lasting Light exhibit and a fun craft activity.


Saturday, April 28, 3:30–4:30 p.m.
The 30-Year Photographic Journey of a Grand Canyon River Guide
by David Edwards

A freelance photographer for 25 years, Edwards has also led Grand Canyon river trips for the past three decades. His current documentary projects range from the indigenous culture of the Tibetan region to the endangered condors of Arizona’s Vermilion Cliffs. He continues to teach and lecture on photography, Mongolia, and the Grand Canyon.

Saturday, May 19, 3:30–4:30 p.m.
Gary Ladd’s Grand Canyon
by Gary Ladd

Ladd is an award-winning, large format, wilderness photographer of the Grand Canyon’s interior, the pristine sandstone landscapes surrounding Lake Powell, and the slickrock terrain of Arizona and Utah. His work has appeared in over 60 issues of Arizona Highways and in numerous other publications.

Saturday, June 9, 3:30–4:30 p.m.
Grand Canyon: The Ever-Changing Light
by Peter Ensenberger

Ensenberger has been Arizona Highways’ director of photography for the past 23 years. He oversees the magazine’s photography department, the production of all published products, and He also works freelance in all formats, producing landscape, wildlife, portrait, and product photography.

Gallery Tours

Saturday, May 5, 3:30–4:30 p.m.
Understanding Light
by Sherry Curtis and Alfredo Conde

From Texas to Asia, to Central America, to the Grand Canyon, Curtis and Conde “stalk the light.”
They try to photograph images that carry that feeling, that emotion, that spirit of the magnificent and instantaneous, hoping to share their vision with a world that is bombarded with imagery of anxiety and pain.


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