In the Spirit Northwest Native Festival

August 19, 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM, join WSHM and our partner Tacoma Art Museum for
In The Spirit: Northwest Native Festival!

The Washington State History Museum and Tacoma Art Museum are thrilled to announce In the Spirit: Northwest Native Festival, a free indoor-outdoor community festival to be held Saturday, August 19, 2017.  

This festival is a new spin combining two popular festivals. For many years, both WSHM and TAM have celebrated Native arts and culture. WSHM has featured an annual juried exhibition of Native American art, culminating with their In the Spirit festival; and TAM has held the Northwest Native Free Community Festival with an art market and Native-designer fashion show. We’ve heard from our community that more collaboration among the museums would be fun and interesting, so we’ve worked together to combine these events and bring you an even more exhilarating opportunity to meet, hear from, and be inspired by our region’s leading contemporary Native artists. 

Both museums are offering free admission all day along with the festival, and activities are taking place at both locations. Visit WSHM and TAM for singing, dancing, drumming, indiginous food, a Native arts market that suits every price point, a Native designer fashion show, awards, art making, and more!

August 19 Schedule of Events:

10:00 AM at TAM – Blessing from Connie McCloud and the Puyallup Canoe Family at TAM; Procession to WSHM

11:00 AM at WSHM – Flute Performance by Rona Yellow Robe (Cree/African-American)

12:00 PM at WSHM – Dance & Song by Alaska Kuteeyya Dancers (Haida/Tlingit)

12:00 PM at TAM – Children’s Book Story Time in Cultural imPRINT: Northwest Coast Prints with Sondra Segundo (Haida)

1:00 PM at TAM – Flute Performance by Grammy-nominated Vince Redhouse (Navajo)

2:00 PM at TAM – Contemporary Native Fashion Show with MEKA Clothing, ARAE, and AJS

3:00 PM at TAM – Children’s Book Story Time in Cultural imPRINT: Northwest Coast Prints with Melissa Renault (Makah)

3:30 PM at WSHMIn the Spirit exhibit People's Choice First and Second Place Award Announcements

Ongoing 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM:

  • Native Art Exhibitions at the WSHM and TAM

  • Art Market at WSHM and TAM

  • Carving Demonstrations with Earl Davis and Kenny Waltman (Shoalwater Bay) at WSHM

  • Printmaking in TAM Studio with Fox Anthony Spears (Karuk Tribe of California)

  • Indigenous Eats of Fry Bread Tacos at WSHM

  • Potlatch Fund Booth at TAM

  • Drum-making Demonstration with Tachini Pete (Salish/Diné) at TAM


Confirmed Vendors:

George & Al Zantua, Tsimshian & Haida

Israel & Sue Shotridge, Tlingit

Sam Dimmick, Cook Inlet Eskimo

Jeanette Huber & April Jones, Jicarilla Apache Nation & Taos Pueblo

Denise Emerson, Navajo & Skokomish

James Price, S'Klallam & Navajo

Kathey Ervin, Wyandotte

Jeff Ferguson, Spokane

Dayle Richotte, Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa

Food Vendors:

Michelle & John Price, Navajo & Port Gamble S'Klallam fry bread tacos

See IN THE SPIRIT Contemporary Native Arts Juried Exhibition, now in its 12th year at WSHM

Are you a native artist interested in vending at the In The Spirit :Northwest Native Festival? Just fill out this application and submit it by 5pm on June 16, 2017. You may submit applications to:

Molly Wilmoth
Lead Program Manager
Washington State Historical Society
1911 Pacific Avenue
Tacoma, WA 98402
Held in August, In The Spirit: Northwest Native Festival encompasses a day of dancing, drumming, singing, and shopping with a diverse group of Native American artists. The festival is the final celebration of the IN THE SPIRIT Contemporary Native Arts Exhibit held annually at the History Museum and now in partnership with the Tacoma Art Museum, during which we will present the People's Choice Award. Both museums will be filled with vendors selling exquisite artwork in all price ranges. Round out your festival experience by catching performances of native singers, musicians, and dance groups throughout the day. Admission to the History Museum and and Tacoma Art Museum as well as all festival activities are FREE and open to the public.
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Tacoma Arts Commission logo
In the Spirit Northwest Native Festival is sponsored by The Bamford Foundation, Tacoma Arts Commission, ArtsFund, and media sponsor KUOW.
View a photo gallery of artwork, performances, and vendors from past IN THE SPIRIT exhibitions and festivals. Questions about IN THE SPIRIT? Contact Molly Wilmoth at 253-798-5926 or