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Annual Wild Rice Festival and Powwow Is Underway

Annual Wild Rice Festival and Powwow Is Underway
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Press Release

The annual Wild Rice Festival and the Last Dance at the Old Bowl Pow Wow will be held this Saturday, September 13th, in Lac du Flambeau.

The festivities will kick-off with the Circle of Life 5K Walk/Run. Registration for the Walk/Run begins at 8:00 am. The one mile Kiddie Race begins at 9:00 am, and the Circle of Life 5K Walk/Run begins at 10:00 am.

The Wild Rice Festival will feature a Native Arts Market with artists, crafters and food vendors from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm. Wild Rice Harvesting Demonstrations will be held from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm. Live music by DeCota Rocks, and games and activities for children will also be offered from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm.

The Last Dance at the Old Bowl Pow Wow will begin with the Grand Entry at 3:00 pm. Gates open at 2:30 pm. The Powwow will feature Lac du Flambeau Tribal Members performing Traditional Dances from 3:00 to 5:00 pm. Vendors will be onsite. Admission is $5 per adult, and $2 for children 12 and under.

The Indian Bowl has been a Northwoods tradition since 1951, welcoming visiting families and Native Americans to gather to celebrate life through song and dance. The Indian Bowl has long presented traditional Ojibwe dance, pow wows and cultural events, and was home to a traditional Ojibwe Village.

In June 2004, a renovation study was done and its findings showed an urgent need for the restoration and renovation of the historic Indian Bowl. In addition, there is a need to integrate two existing arts and cultural institutions - the George W. Brown Jr. Ojibwe Art and Cultural Museum and the Woodland Indian Art Center - and create a unified Lac du Flambeau multicultural Native arts center.

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The exemplary artistic practices of the Lac du Flambeau Tribe are uniquely expressed in the three existing cultural facilities:

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• The George W. Brown, Jr. Ojibwe Museum and Cultural Center Museum, which exhibits the Anishinaabe (Ojibwe) arts and culture and importantly places it in historical context;

• The Lac du Flambeau Indian Bowl, which has presented traditional Ojibwe dance, pow wows, and cultural events since 1951 and was home to a traditional Ojibwe Village, and

• The Woodland Indian Art Center established to support a living Native Indian arts community and preserve the traditional artistic practices of the Woodland Indians through exhibitions, classes, and gallery sales of contemporary Native American artwork.

The new Waaswaaganing Indian Bowl Living Arts and Culture Center will provide high quality representation of Lac du Flambeau artists and artists from the Woodlands region through museum exhibitions, art-making workshops and classes, educational programming, and broad audience and community engagement and participation.

In addition the art center will assist Native artists with entrepreneurial skill development, leadership training, financial literacy, technical assistance, mentoring, and networking for economic development as well as cultural preservation. Programmatic plans for the facility include traveling exhibitions, artists in residencies, apprenticeship programs, and the development of an extensive Woodland Indian Arts website for marketing and promotion of Native artists working in all disciplines.

The new Waaswaaganing Indian Bowl Living Arts and Culture Center in Lac du Flambeau will be the only center of its kind for 200 miles, and will deepen and broaden the participation in and appreciation of the Native arts to both Native and non-Native people.

Demolition on the existing Indian Bowl is scheduled to begin the week of September 15, 2014. Fundraising efforts for the new Waaswaaganing Indian Bowl Living Arts and Culture Center began in 2009 through Northwoods NiiJii Enterprise Community, Inc. To date, more than $1 million has been raised. Efforts will accelerate with the demolition of the existing Indian Bowl.

Artists, crafters and food vendors are invited to sell at the Wild Rice Festival and the Last Dance at the Old Bowl Pow Wow. Artists who are interesting in selling should contact the Woodland Indian Arts Center at (715) 588-3700. Crafters and food vendors should contact the Lac du Flambeau Chamber at (715) 588-3346.

For more information on the Wild Rice Festival, please contact the Lac du Flambeau Chamber of Commerce at (715) 588-3346. For more information on the Last Dance at the Old Bowl Pow Wow, please email Kim Swisher or call (715) 437-0465.