Artpark Strawberry Moon Festival (Photo by Jordan Oscar/courtesy of Artpark)
Tue, May 10th 2022 10:35 am
June 18 in the Artpark lower park & amphitheater
Artpark’s Strawberry Moon Festival will return Saturday, June 18.
The Strawberry Moon Festival celebrates the indigenous cultures of the Western New York region through storytelling, music, dance, and arts and crafts. Guests will participate in an inclusive and engaging Native American community gathering. They will also be entertained by an eclectic lineup of artists performing on multiple stages.
Admission to the afternoon activities (noon to 5 pm) in Artpark’s lower park is free. Tickets for the evening concert (beginning at 6:30 pm) in the Artpark amphitheater are $20, on sale now at the Artpark box office, 450 S. Fourth St., Lewiston (10 am to 4 pm Monday-Saturday); and online at ticketmaster.com.
The first Strawberry Moon Festival in 2019 brought back Native American programming to Artpark after a 40-plus-year hiatus. More than 3,000 guests participated in and experienced indigenous traditions in song, dance and crafts, forging cross-cultural connections and cross-community relationships that continue to this day.
In 2020, the festival took a COVID-19 pause, but the Native American Peace Garden came to fruition at the venue. Artpark stated, “More than just a place to reflect and take in the beautiful setting along the Niagara River, the garden is an outdoor classroom led by Native Elders and knowledge keepers.”
Then in 2021, the festival – themed “Rekindling our Roots” – returned with performances by Martha Redbone, Lakota John, Charly Lowry and Tonemah, plus a smoke dance competition.
Now in its third year, Artpark’s Strawberry Moon Festival “celebrates the many contributions Native people made in the shaping of our area and the global stage. Built on the Two Row Wampum teachings that promote all Nations walk together in parallel, with respect, compassion, and understanding to cultivate an inclusive community for our shared future, this year’s festival will be filled with interactive workshops, activities, teachings and a large Native vendor section and food trucks.”
Kicking off the festival at noon will be a wide variety of free interactive programs located in Artpark’s lower park (main entrance), including the Emerald Grove Stage and Artpark’s Native American Peace Garden. These programs celebrate diverse and expressive Native American cultures through the arts, food sampling, storytelling, workshops, music presentations, a Native American Discovery Zone, wampum belt workshops and display, a workshop on native dance and drum teachings by Jordan Smith.
The ever-popular smoke dance competition has expanded this year, with a youth (13-17) division and adults divisions. Visitors can also discover unique gifts from more than 20 Native American artisans and food vendors. Admission to the afternoon activities is free.
Then, at 6:30 pm, Artpark’s amphitheater comes alive with a special concert headlined by Canada’s Blue Rodeo, plus Alaska’s Pamyua, and a tribute to the acclaimed Native American musician Joanne Shenandoah. Tickets for the amphitheater concert are $20.
Formed in 1995, Pamyua showcases Inuit culture through music and dance performance. Often described as “Inuit soul music,” Pamyua has discovered their own genre. They have been acclaimed as one of the 10 greatest Alaskan artists of the millennium by Alaska Magazine, and “the most famous Inuit band in the world” by Rolling Stone. Learn more.
The concert continues with a tribute to the most critically acclaimed and honored Native American musician of her generation, Joanne Shenandoah. Artpark will pay homage and honor her de ella for the legacies she left and the paths she opened for the next generation. Joanne’s daughter, Leah Shenandoah, will be joined by Theresa Bear Fox, Perry Ground and Tonemah in “The Circle: Honoring Icon Joanne Shenandoah.” Learn more about Joanne Shenandoah
The evening concludes with Blue Rodeo. In the 35 years since forming, Blue Rodeo has sold over 4 million albums, received dozens of JUNO Award nominations and wins, played more than 2,000 shows, been inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame, received a star on Canada’s Walk of Fame, been named to the Order of Canada and have been honored with the Governor General’s Performing Arts Award. And they’re still as strong as ever with the release of their 16th album, “Many A Mile.” Learn more here.
Artpark has made a commitment to Indigenous Arts programming and awareness with a full season of Indigenous programs built for and by the local Indigenous community. Programming, conceived and curated by Michele-Elise Burnett (Métis/Algonquin, Bear Clan and Artpark Indigenous arts producer), serves residents from the Indigenous community in Lewiston, Youngstown and beyond, as well as non-Native persons who are interested in learning more about the culture and traditions. Click here for a list of programs planned for 2022.
The 2022 Artpark season is supported by: M&T Bank; Cullen Foundation; Labatt Blue Light; Bud Light; Southern Tier Brewing; Try-it Distributing; National Endowment for the Arts; Parks & Trails New York; Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Legacy Funds at the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo; New York State Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation; New York Stage Council on the Arts; FACE Foundation; Mid Atlantic Arts; and Northtown Automotive Companies.
Visit artpark.net for a current calendar of events.