[Fayetteville, North Carolina] – In recognition of Native American Heritage Month in November, the Arts Council of Fayetteville|Cumberland County (ACFCC) in partnership with the Cumberland County Schools: Office of Indian Education presents the “Still Here, Still Native: A Native American Art Exhibit” on display from October 27 through November 27, 2022, at The Arts Center, 301 Hay Street in Downtown Fayetteville. The exhibit is free and open for public viewing.
Eighteen artists have contributed to this empowering collection of historical and iconic native-based artwork that gives inclusive perspectives on the human experience of the Native American and Indigenous people who have lived and worked in North Carolina. The resiliency of their great history and heritage are reflected through an illustrative celebration of symbolic cultural themes and aesthetic artforms: paintings, sculptures, artifacts, Regalia, quill and bead embroidery, and textiles.
The ACFCC developed a creative space that respectfully recognizes the Native American and Indigenous people’s shared kinship and connectedness to the land, water, and communities where they reside to open a dialogue among exhibit attendees that is thoughtful, insightful, and compassionate towards their experience and advancement.
“The Arts Council is committed to supporting and sharing the stories of the Native American people through their OWN perspective,” says Savanna Davis, Curator. “It may be common practice to display Indigenous artwork and crafts alongside dinosaur bones, but these artists prove that Native American art and culture is “still here”.
Since 1990, each November has been set aside as Native American Heritage Month where people all over the United States celebrate and recognize the major contributions that the first Americans have made to the establishment and growth of the country. Rodney Jackson, Indian Education Coordinator of the Cumberland County Schools: Office of Indian Education, states, “Be proud of your Native Heritage and enjoy Native American Heritage Month. Remember…WE ARE STILL HERE, and WE ARE STILL NATIVE!”
For more information, visit WeAreTheArts.com/stillnative.
PRESERVATION OF HERITAGE AND TRADITION IN NORTH CAROLINA
Native Americans have resided in this region of the United States for more than 12,000 years. Today, there are more than 130,000 Native Americans living in North Carolina, according to the 2020 U.S. Census, representing the second largest Native American population east of the Mississippi River, and the seventh largest Native American population in the United States.
North Carolina is home to eight state-recognized Native American tribes including the Coharie, Eastern Band of Cherokee, Haliwa-Saponi, Lumbee, Meherrin, Occaneechi Band of the Saponi Nation, Sappony, and Waccamaw-Siouan.
North Carolina is home to four Urban Native American Organizations that hold membership on the North Carolina Commission of Indian Affairs including the Cumberland County Association for Indian People, Guilford Native American Association, Metrolina Native American Association, and Triangle Native American Society.
Native American tribes have a distinct and ongoing history of government-to-government relations with the state of North Carolina, through statutory provisions such as the General Statutes that created the North Carolina Commission of Indian Affairs, the North Carolina Indian Housing Authority, and the State Advisory Council on Indian Education among others.
North Carolina Commission of Indian Affairs, North Carolina Museum of History, and North Carolina's Native American Tribes, and the Urban Native American Organizations collaborate to develop Native American Heritage Month celebrations each year for the purpose of increasing awareness of Native American history and culture.
“This is a good time to honor the legacy of our ancestors, but, every day, we should stop to think about our country’s beginning and that the United States would not exist if not for a great deal of sacrifice, blood, and tears by Native American tribes across the country.” – Deb Haaland (Pueblo of Laguna), United States Secretary of the Interior.
The state of North Carolina encourages everyone to learn more about the rich history of the Native American culture in the state of North Carolina and commit to preserving their heritage and traditions for generations to come.
MEDIA DAY: OPENING RECEPTION
All media are cordially invited to attend the Opening Reception for the “Still Here, Still Native” exhibit on October 27, 2022, from 6pm to 8pm at The Arts Center located at 301 Hay Street in Historic Downtown Fayetteville. Various artists and the Curator will be onsite for interview opportunities. RSVP not required to attend.
Exhibition in partnership with
The Office of Indian Education
About the Arts Council of Fayetteville | Cumberland County
The Arts Council of Fayetteville|Cumberland County is a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organization based in Fayetteville, NC that supports individual creativity, cultural preservation, economic development, and lifelong learning through the ARTS. As a primary steward of public and private funding for arts, cultural, and historical activities in the Cape Fear Region, all affiliated programs of the Arts Council exemplify our 5 core values: Excellence, Accountability, Transparency, Collaborations, and Innovation. theartscouncil.com
In the year 2021-22, the Arts Council distributed almost $1 million in grant funds and allocations to Cumberland County arts and culture non-profit organizations, artists, and municipalities.
Grants, programs, and services of the Arts Council are funded in part by contributions from community partners, and through grants from the City of Fayetteville, Cumberland County, and the N.C. Arts Council, a division of the Department of Natural & Cultural Resources. ncarts.org