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2022 Anishinaabe Art Festival: A Celebration Of Indigenous Art

October 11, 2021

(Bemidji, MN - July 22-23, 2022) It's been a long time coming! Save the date. The Anishinaabe Art Festival is coming to Bemidji the Summer of 2022. Through the lens of the arts, the Festival will celebrate the richness of Anishinaabe history, the culture, and the people. Ultimately, the Festival seeks to build intercultural knowledge and respect for diversity in the region.


In 2019, 4-Directions Development, Leech Lake Financial Services, and Gizhiigin Arts Incubator met with representatives from the American Indian art community, regional arts organizations, and the City of Bemidji to discuss ways of using the arts as an economic and community development vehicle. As a result of these robust conversations, the group has developed the inaugural Anishinaabe Art Festival and has received support from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Our Town grant program. These creative placemaking grants support projects that integrate arts, culture, and design activities into efforts that strengthen communities by advancing local economic, physical, and/or social outcomes.

The planning team, core partners, and Native artists are preparing for a dynamic event where we can all come together to exchange stories and share cultural values through craft, visual arts, dance, food, storytelling, and fashion. According to Nate Mathews, Bemidji City Manager, it is vital that the City of Bemidji is one of the core partners for the Anishinaabe Art Festival. “This is a tremendous opportunity to celebrate the artistic heritage of the Anishinaabe community, while also providing an outlet for artists to gain exposure and develop their art.”

The Anishinaabe Art Festival will also support artist business development. Sharon James, Executive Director of 4-Directions Development, Inc. (Red Lake Band of Chippewa Indians) says, “Our artists are so important to our Reservation economies and are capable of adding tremendous value to the Bemidji and regional economies. We need to support them as we would any other business.”

We invite all Indigenous artists and visitors to join us as we support our artists, intercultural relations and celebrate. Watch for more information including a call for artists. Follow us on Facebook @anishinaabeartfestival1

For more information on the Anishinaabe Art Festival:

Contact: Robert Aitken

(218) 766-1178

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