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The Litchfield Park Gathering is a celebration of Indigenous arts and cultures. Now in its 32nd year,  participants look forward to this festival each year to “gather” and reconnect with family members and friends.  This year’s festival, which is free and open to the public, is scheduled for Jan. 13-14, 2024.  

Litchfield Park, Arizona, is a small, charming city just 30 minutes west of Phoenix.  It is home to the historic four-star Wigwam Resort and Golf Course.  It is also home to several award-winning annual festivals, including the Litchfield Park Gathering.  The Gathering, which is free and open to the public, is a celebration of indigenous arts and cultures.  This year’s festival will be held on January 13 and 14, 2024.  Now in its 32nd year of production, longtime participants look forward to this festival each year to “gather” and reconnect with family members and friends that they don’t often see.  

More than one hundred Native American artists typically participate in the Litchfield Park Gathering, which is an outdoor street festival held in the center of town.  Several longtime participants including Larry Ashkie, Bob Lansing, Amado Peña, Daniel Ramirez, and Baje Whitethorne Sr. have pieces in museum and gallery collections. Even more are consistently juried into the nation’s most prestigious shows, including the Heard Museum Guild Indian Market and the Santa Fe Indian Market.  

This year festival planners for the Litchfield Park Gathering hope to expand tribal representation and reach. They are seeking a balanced display of artforms and are putting out a call to Native American fine artists and artisans to help them achieve this.  In particular, the planning committee is looking to incorporate more carvers, potters, sculptors, and weavers into the show. This is an exciting opportunity for artists to sell their work to both collectors and consumers. Participating artists will showcase their unique talents and perspectives to the thousands of festival goers who descend upon Litchfield Park every January.  

IMG 7599Festival attendees enjoying the stage entertainment and food options at the Litchfield Park Gathering.

The Litchfield Park Gathering will provide festival patrons with an incredible selection of Native American masterpieces, including beadwork, jewelry, fetishes, kachinas, paintings, pottery, sculptures, and clothing and textiles. Both traditional and contemporary styles of art will be included, helping attendees understand that indigenous creativity comes in many forms and should not be stereotyped. Live artist demonstrations will also serve as teaching tools. These demonstrations enable festival goers to appreciate and interact with the artists and artisans on a personal level. 

Dancing, storytelling, and musical performances will be held on the main stage, as well as in the Cultural Education Area, where audience members can ask questions of the performers.  World champion hoop dancers Tony Duncan and Moontee Sinquah will be among the performers, along with world renowned classical guitarist Gabriel Ayala. In the nearby Children's Area, children can create complimentary make and take arts and crafts, such as arrowhead necklaces, cornhusk dolls and mini clay pots. Violet Duncan will also hold daily hoop dancing workshops for children. Of course, Native American fare will also be available for purchase in the festival’s food court.

IMG 6639Saginaw Chippewa painter Daniel Ramirez demonstrating his technique in front of his booth at the Litchfield Park Gathering.

Artists who are interested in applying to the show can do so online at litchfieldpark.gov.  Artists must provide proof of tribal affiliation when they apply, along with three to four images of their recent work.  All artwork must be original creations handcrafted and exhibited by the artist.  Artists who are accepted into the Litchfield Park Gathering will be eligible to enter the juried art competition, if interested.  This special onsite review process will be judged and juried for prizes by an expert panel on Friday, January 12, the afternoon before the festival. Judging will take place at the Wigwam Resort, which is right across from the festival grounds.  Winners will be notified when they retrieve their pieces that evening. Winners will also be announced and showcased during the festival.  

For additional information about the Litchfield Park Gathering, including the artist application and review process, please call the City of Litchfield Park’s Special Events Department at 623-935-9040 or visit litchfieldpark.gov.  This festival is supported in part by the Arizona Commission on the Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts, and by tourism dollars received through the Arizona Office of Tourism.

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