2023 Anishinaabe Art Festival: A Celebration Of Indigenous Art
Bemidji, MN - July 21-22, 2023
ABOUT THE FESTIVAL
In 2019, 4-Directions Development, Gizhiigin Arts Incubator, and Leech Lake Financial Services 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. With support from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Our Town grant program, we've been given the opportunity to integrate arts, culture, and design activities into efforts that strengthen our communities by advancing local economic, physical, and/or social outcomes.
The Anishinaabe Art Festival and creative business development initiative is a creative placemaking opportunity to support art businesses and celebrate the rich Anishinaabeg history and culture of the region. The three tribes of Leech Lake, Red Lake and White Earth and the City of Bemidji have joined together to create pathways for more inclusion of Indigenous artists, create access to high-value markets, and to create an exchange of cultural knowledge.
To provide artist training and business support to participate with more art events off the Reservation to expand their market reach and increase visibility of Ojibwe art and culture in the region.
To create intercultural knowledge, and reduce stereotyping and racism, while creating economic opportunity.
To establish an art festival that presents quality Indigenous art work.
Sharon James, Executive Director
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.