Native dancers at the 2011 Festival of Native Arts // © 2012 Todd Paris
The 40th Annual Festival of Native Arts, a celebration of dance, storytelling, language and crafts, will come to the University of Alaska Fairbanks from Feb. 28 to March 2. More than 20 Alaska Native performance groups and more than two dozen artists are expected to participate in next year’s festival entitled, “Unity Through Cultures: Celebrating 40 Years.” Audience members are encouraged to arrive early to dance events, as seating is limited. All events are free.
Festivities start on Thursday and Friday at 6:30 p.m. and go until 10 p.m. Events on Saturday, March 2, will take place from 5-10 p.m. On Saturday, before the festivities begin, the Denaa Film Celebration will kick off at 1 p.m.
Alaska Native students and Student Orientation Services at University of Alaska Fairbanks established the Fairbanks Festival of Native Arts in 1973. Originally, the festival focused each night on a specific Alaska Native culture. Today, it has grown in its scope and now features Alaska Native dance groups from throughout the state and nation. Alaska Native artists also specialize in arts and crafts from multiple indigenous cultures. Their work will be displayed at the craft bazaar in the Great Hall, which is located outside the Davis Concert Hall.
The Festival of Native Arts provides cultural education and sharing through Native dance, music and traditional arts. The Festival continues the University of Alaska Fairbanks student-led tradition that began in 1973, bringing together artists, performers, and performance groups in a celebration of Native cultures.