Event to take
place in Heritage Square and feature prominent Navajo and Hopi artists
FLAGSTAFF, AZ - The fourth annual Hopi Native Arts and Music
Festival takes place Sept. 28-29 in Heritage Square in downtown
Flagstaff. Organizers expect to draw several thousand visitors daily
Hopi Tribe Economic Development Corporation (HTEDC) sponsors the
event. The group's mission is to create economic opportunities for
the Hopi people. Kevin Lombardo, CEO of the corporation, believes
that the festival in Heritage Square is an economic opportunity
that creates a venue where people can come and gather and present
their wares and have others come and look, and hopefully, buy them.
"It's been a great avenue for artisans and for people who
have a passion or an interest in Native American art to get exposed
to some," Lombardo said. "It is a win-win for people."
Organizers started the festival four years ago during the height
of the economic recession as a way to try and bring in income for
Hopi people and their families, especially at the beginning of the
This year, Lisa Talayumptewa and others from HTEDC who developed
the idea hope to expand the event into a true festival instead of
a market. Flagstaff's City Council approved a street closure of
Aspen Avenue between San Francisco and Leroux Streets for the event.
The council wants to partner with the corporation to promote a diversity
of arts, culture and education opportunities through the festival.
Talayumptewa, said that all Native American artisans are welcome
and several notable Navajo artisans are included alongside notable
Hopi artisans. The festival will include bands, dance groups, flute
players and Hoop dancers.
"We've taken the great concept that Lisa and the team here
developed four years ago and this is really the next evolution,"
While there are other Native American festivals, including the
Santa Fe Indian market, the corporation is hoping to create a place
for tribes located further north to sell their art and less expensive
place for those artists to sell their art.
"Our vision is to create something where Flagstaff becomes
a destination for Native American art," Lombardo said. "In
partnering with the city it creates another reason for Flagstaff
to be a destination place."
Talayumtewa said any money the corporation makes from this festival,
or any of the other festivals it puts on, is split between Hopi
and a charity in the city where the event takes place. The corporation
picks the charity.
"This one will be Flagstaff and the charity is Child Protective
Services," Talayumptewa said. "Last year was Flagstaff
Unified School District for school supplies and school supplies
on the reservation."
HTEDC owns three commercial properties in Flagstaff-Heritage
Square, Continental Plaza, and Kachina Square. The group's headquarters
are in Flagstaff. Lombardo said it is important to give back to
"This isn't a revenue generator for the corporation, we
don't really make money on this," Lombardo said. "It is
our way of being good neighbors and it strengthens our partnership
with the city."
Some downtown Flagstaff businesses are participating by playing
host to an artist in their shops during the festival.
"I think it's someplace for the whole family to come to
and enjoy," Talayumptewa. "Just to spend the whole day
looking around and enjoy the entertainment."