Arizona State Museum to Host Free Cultural Event Saturday

Arizona State Museum to Host Free Cultural Event Saturday

By Alexis BlueUniversity Communications
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Creating flipbooks, designing skateboards and telling stories with string are just a few of the activities planned for "Culture Craft Saturday: Pictures in Motion" at the Arizona State Museum.

The event, taking place in conjunction with this weekend's 2008 Native Eyes Film Showcase, will feature three short, family-friendly films by American Indian filmmakers and two documentaries produced by Tohono O'odham youth.

Visitors will have the chance to hear from filmmakers and participate in visual storytelling activities.

The interactive program, which takes place from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, is part of the museum's Culture Craft Saturday series, a free family activity program started in 2002 and open to the public.

"It's an intergenerational program, and there's something for everyone from (ages) 1 to 87," said Lisa Falk, director of education for the Arizona State Museum.

The following films will each be shown twice during the day: "Benito's Gift," about a Pueblo Indian boy who fulfills a special promise; "4-Wheel War Pony," about skateboarding on the White Mountain Apache reservation; and "Horse You See," told from the perspective of a horse from the Navajo Nation. The two documentaries are "No Boundaries," about the American Indian game of Toka, and "A Better Life," about the problem of trash left in the desert by immigrants.

The documentaries were produced by participants in a weeklong summer filmmaking workshop for 13- to 18 year-olds, held at the Tohono O'odham Nation Cultural Center and Museum in collaboration with the Arizona State Museum and The University of Arizona Hanson Film Institute, Falk said.

All films are in English except "Horse You See," which is in Navajo with English subtitles.

Dustinn Craig, who made the film "4-Wheel War Pony," and his wife, Velma Craig, also a filmmaker, will speak and take questions at the event, as will Yaqui filmmaker and actor Jon Proudstar.

Throughout the day, visitors can participate in hands-on visual storytelling activities, like making flipbooks, writing and illustrating storyboards and telling original stories through string games, a popular American Indian cultural activity.

"We're using the native films to get people to look at their own cultures," Falk said.

Museum-goers can also learn how to make their own "phenakistoscope," an early animation tool that relies on a series on pictures drawn around a disc.

And to coincide with the film about skateboarding, guests will be able to design their own skateboard "decks," or the tops of skateboards.

Prior to Culture Craft Saturday, the three-day Native Eyes Film Showcase – presented by the Arizona State Museum and the Hanson Film Institute, in collaboration with the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of the American Indian – will kick off Friday at 7 p.m.

Three feature films and four shorts will be screened Friday through Sunday at the Grand Cinemas Crossroads movie theatre, 4811 E. Grant Road.

Screenings cost $4, and filmmakers will be present for question and answer sessions.

For a complete schedule and information on the films in the Native Eyes Film Showcase, or for more information about Culture Craft Saturdays, visit the Arizona State Museum's Web site.

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