2021 Festival of Native Arts wraps up virtual event

Published: Mar. 29, 2021 at 5:02 PM AKDT
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - The 2021 Festival of Native Arts wrapped up this past weekend.

Featuring workshops, performances and more, the festival drew thousands of online visitors and brought youth and elders together to honor Alaska Native traditions.

“The Festival of Native Arts is such a rich experience, and if you’re looking on ways to get to know our native culture, it’s a wonderful opportunity to be involved,” said Yatibaey Evans, Creative Director of the children’s program “Molly of Denali.”

Yatibaey Evans hosted a family workshop about the show. “My goals were to be able to engage with the kids, make it fun and interactive as well as exciting and hopefully engaging,” Evans said.

The Festival’s theme this year was “Honor Our Elders.” Student Organizer Taniesha Moses said, “A lot of students are coming from different villages, and just having a place to gather and celebrate our traditions and our culture, and also it’s a way to kind of share that with our community as well.”

Preparation began during fall semester.

“Part of Festival includes dance groups. We also have a marketplace, which we did both of those virtually,” Moses said.

According to Evans, Festival first began because Fairbanks students were feeling homesick for their villages.

Just so, this year’s event provided respite from COVID isolation.

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