Crazy Horse Memorial Fund
Last week, the Indian Museum of North America at Crazy Horse Memorial unveiled its calendar of cultural programs for the 2020 season. From May 23 to September 30, visitors may enjoy daily performances by local Native artists, including special weekend events featuring Native artists from across North America, as well as artists in residence, live art demonstrations, and more. All are included with Memorial admission.
The fun begins on May 23 at 6:30 p.m. with the Rencountre family, who will make daily appearances at 11:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. throughout the summer. Alternating with the Rencountres will be hoop dancer Star Chief Eagle, an enrolled member of South Dakota’s Sicangu (Rosebud) Sioux Tribe, and Native American flutist Jonah Littlesunday, a Navajo musician from Grey Mountain, Arizona.
In addition to these daily performances, Crazy Horse Memorial will host special evening events at 6:30 p.m. on select weekends throughout the season. Most performances will take place on the outdoor veranda’s permanent stage, which is now in its second season.
“Our first evening event is scheduled for Memorial Day weekend, which really is the kickoff for the summer here,” said Andrew Dunehoo, museum curator and director of cultural affairs. “On Saturday, May 30, Team Bearsheart will take the stage. These Standing Rock Sioux family dancers are celebrated for their traditional and modern Native American performances, and we’re looking forward to welcoming them back to Crazy Horse.”
On Friday, June 26, Crazy Horse Memorial will host its annual Summer Night Blast, a spectacular ceremony that lights up the mountain. Before the pyrotechnics begin, however, guests will enjoy a 6:30 p.m. performance by Pamyua, which Rolling Stone has called “the most famous Inuit band in the world.” Pamyua (pronounced “bum-yo-ah”) is a Yup’ik Inuit word meaning encore, or “do it again.”
“This is a live, energetic show featuring Inuit-infused dance and soul music,” Dunehoo explained. “They incorporate traditional masks and storytelling as well. They have created their own genre, and their show is a powerful platform for showcasing Inuit culture, and sharing indigenous knowledge and history.”
On Saturday, the Fourth of July, Northern Plains flute player, storyteller, and hoop dancer Kevin Locke will take the stage at 6:30 p.m. And on Saturday, August 1, guests will experience the award-winning recording artists Brulé in the Crazy Horse Memorial Welcome Center Theater.
“They’re huge, and we’re expecting a significant crowd,” Dunehoo said. “We’re honored to have them with us this summer.”
Now in its 20th season, Brulé is pioneering a trend known as “Native American Rock Theater,” with high-energy performances that rival those of Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Celtic Thunder, and Riverdance. Named “Group of the Year” by the Native American Music Awards five times, and earning seven NAMMYs since 2002, Brulé continues to push the boundaries of contemporary Native American rhythms and classic rock.
Finally, Jonah Littlesunday will take the stage at 6:30 on Sunday, September 6 to help Crazy Horse Memorial commemorate its final Night Blast of the summer. And Brulé will return on Saturday, September 26 to officially close out the season.
“We know that many of our guests come to Crazy Horse to see the monument firsthand and understand its story, but they stay for so much more than that,” Dunehoo said. “Our cultural performances allow our guests to immerse themselves in North America’s rich Native cultures, which are thriving today. We work hard to create immersive, educational, and entertaining experiences that allow them to connect with these cultures in a deeply personal way.”
In addition to the cultural performances, Crazy Horse Memorial also will host several Native artists in residence this summer, from Ihanktonwan/Yankton Sioux artist Lyle Miller to award-winning Cherokee poet Jessica Mehta. During their residencies, the artists may conduct valuable research with Indian Museum of North America staff, pursue their creative work in the Memorial’s studio spaces, and interact with the public through presentations, demos, and artist talks.
“Interacting with the artists allows our guests to build connections with them and experience meaningful cultural exchange,” Dunehoo said. “The artists have the opportunity to sell their work, as well.”
Then there is the Living Treasures Indian Arts Cultural Exchange program, which allows Native master artists from across the country to conduct live demonstrations and teach classes at the Memorial daily for the first week of each month, June to October. Painter Robert Martinez, beadwork artist Samuel Enemy Hunter, jewelry smiths Janice Black Elk Jim and Daniel Jim, flute maker Darren Thompson, and painter/printmaker Roger Broer will be appearing this year.
“Living Treasures was wildly popular when we introduced it last summer, so we brought it back for a second season,” Dunehoo said. “I’m really excited about it. The demos and classes will be held in our Cultural Center, and classes are limited to 10 students each.”
Rounding out the 2020 calendar will be the Talking Circle Speaker Series on Thursday evenings from June 11 to July 30; the Gift from Mother Earth Art Show in June; and the Volksmarch, held in June and September. More details will be available in the coming weeks.
To learn more about the Crazy Horse Memorial, to plan a visit, and for information about making a contribution, call (605) 673-4681 or visit crazyhorsememorial.org. Crazy Horse Memorial is solely sustained through admission and charitable gifts. To stay up to date on the latest news and events, follow the Crazy Horse Memorial on Facebook (/crazyhorsememorial), Twitter (@crazyhorsemem) and Instagram (@crazyhorsememorial).
The Crazy Horse Memorial Foundation is dedicated to protecting and preserving the culture, tradition, and living heritage of the North American Indians by continuing the progress on the world’s largest sculptural undertaking, the memorial of Lakota leader Crazy Horse; providing educational and cultural programming to encourage harmony and reconciliation among all peoples and nations; acting as a repository for Native American artifacts, arts, and crafts through the Indian Museum of North America and the Native American Educational and Cultural Center; and establishing and operating the Indian University of North America and, when practical, a medical training center for American Indians.