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Program will run June 22 to July 5 with a theme of “Recycle … Reuse … Repurpose” on Idyllwild Arts campus.

The Native American Arts program and festival has been part of Idyllwild Arts Academy’s summer program since 1950. This year’s event got boost from the National Endowment for the Arts, which awarded the Idyllwild Arts Foundation $40,000 to support the hands-on workshops and events.

“The NEA is committed to advancing learning, fueling creativity and celebrating the arts in cities and towns across the United States,” NEA Chairman Jane Chu stated in a news release.
The current model of week-long hands-on workshops with Native American artists began in the late 1970s when the school, then known as Idyllwild School of Music and Arts, received its first National Endowment for the Arts and Humanities grant, according Heather Companiott, director of the Summer Program’s Adult Arts Center and the Native American arts program and festival.
“It’s really wonderful that they continue to support it,” she said.
The 2015 program will run June 22 to July 5 with a theme of “Recycle … Reuse … Repurpose.”
Approximately 100 students annually seize the opportunity to learn traditional and contemporary Native American art forms through a variety of workshops offered throughout the two-week arts program. Being taught by Native Americans, students also learn about what motivates each artist while gaining insight into the cultural foundation of the art form.
Master teachers Marvin and Jonette Yazzie and ethnomusicologist Ernest Siva will teach Native American Flute Making. Each student will construct and decorate a six-hole flute and learn some history as well as care and handling of the instrument. Siva also will teach the fundamentals of flute playing.
“The flute workshop is very rewarding for the students,” said Siva, who is the cultural adviser and tribal historian for the Morongo Band of Mission Indians. “They work intensely for three days and take home a flute that plays and is a beautiful work of art.”
A new workshop added this year is “Creation of Northwest Coast Hand Drums,” which will be taught by Mike Dangeli, of the Nisgra’a, Tlingit, Tsetsaut and Tsimshian Nations, who has made several thousand drums in his career. The one-week session will teach students about drum construction, using elk skin and sinew on a wood drum frame.
Dangeli and his wife Mique’l lead the Git Hayetsk Dancers, an internationally renowned First Nations dance group based in Vancouver, British Columbia that has performed at the festival.
The free festival will be June 28 through July 4 at the Idyllwild Arts campus, 52500 Temecula Road, and will feature exhibits, performances, films, daily native food tastings and presentations by distinguished artists, scholars and cultural specialists.
Information, idyllwildarts.org/nativearts or 951-468-7265.

The Press-Enterprise

Friday, June 05, 2015