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Indigenous Peoples’ Day is Monday, October 10, and artists of Cahokia SocialTech + ArtSpace are will transform Downtown’s Roosevelt Row arts district into a celebration of all Indigenous nations.
Cahokia co-founders Eunique Yazzie and Melody Lewis have partnered with the Roosevelt Row Community Development Corporation (RRCDC), The Churchill, NDN Collective, Native Guitar Tours, Seven Layer Army skateboards, and many others to create a celebration honoring the nation’s First Peoples.
The event is free, open to the public, and will be from 3-10 p.m. It will feature three stages, a vendor market, food trucks, skateboard demos and competitions, storytelling, a community zone, Indigenous film screenings with Indie Film Fest, and musical guests on the Main Stage.
“Indigenous Peoples’ Day is about celebrating the indigeneity of people all over the world. This includes Indigenous people belonging to non-federally recognized tribes, First People of other countries, and the 574 federally-recognized tribes in the United States; 22 of those tribes are here in Arizona,” said Lewis in a press release. “The festival will provide an opportunity to see and hear accurate representation of the wide diversity of Indigenous cultures, languages, and expressions of art.”
Yazzie, who is a board member with RRCDC, initiated a collaboration between Indigenous creatives and social entrepreneurs to pivot the artistic and cultural direction during COVID.
“As the downtown landscape was changing, the RRCDC recognized there were opportunities to align with communities who shared the same goals. We decided to partner with Cahokia SocialTech and Artspace to fully visualize the mission of advancing arts-focused initiatives for artists, entrepreneurs and residents, cultivating creative space within the Roosevelt Row Arts District,” Yazzie said.
A new mural has also been painted to celebrate. Artists Anitra “Yukue” Molina, Carrie “CC” Curley and J. Valley collaborated on the mural titled, “The Vortex” which will have lights and images moving through it during the festival.
The Churchill will also be the host site for a VIP experience that includes an Indigenous fashion show and select musical artists on the NDN Collective Premiere Stage.
The planning committee of this year’s event is 90 percent Indigenous and includes collaborative efforts from over 40 ambassadors and 15 members of Cahokia representing Indigenous-owned businesses and organizations. Other out-of-state organizations like NDN Collective and New Mexico Community Capital are providing additional resources and opportunities to amplify civic engagement efforts during the event.
“We are proud supporters of Indigenous excellence, especially in art, entertainment, entrepreneurship, and sports and we believe that by gathering and celebrating who we are today, we can continue building Indigenous power, one community at a time. We are even more proud to continue supporting Cahokia SocialTech + ArtSpace as they strive to create space for free and liberated thought and expression. We look forward to the opportunity to meet and learn more about the Phoenix area Indigenous community,” said Lycia Maddocks, Political Director and Head of Policy Advocacy at NDN Collective.
For more information please visit the event website at www.ipdphx.com.
What: Indigenous Peoples’ Day Phoenix Fest
Where: First and Garfield Streets
When: Monday, October 10, 2022
Time: 3:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.
Cost: General Admission: FREE, VIP Tickets: to be announced