The Red Earth Native American Cultural Festival, deadCENTER Film Festival and Jim Thorpe Native American Games will work in unison to give Oklahoma City a taste of art, culture and sports.
“Instead of competing against each other, we decided we should band together and work as a team, because what benefits them, benefits [us], and we all had a common theme,” said Eric Oesch, Red Earth director of communications.
Red Earth Festival is hosted in the Cox Convention Center, 1 Myriad Gardens, with art, a dance competition, children’s activities, musical performances and a parade through downtown.
New to Red Earth this year will be an invitational sculpture show in the Myriad Botanical Gardens.
“It’s great fun,” Oesch said. “It’s a real family-friendly event. You’ll see beautiful art. You can purchase jewelry, pottery, paintings, sculptures, beadwork, flutes and all kinds of things.”
The festival kicks off with the parade at 10 a.m. Friday; the art market will open at 11 a.m. and the grand entry of dancers at noon.
“It’s probably one of the most unique parades in the country because there aren’t a lot of Native Americanthemed parades in the heart of a big metropolitan city,” Oesch said.
DeadCENTER is always held the second week in June, and this year coincides with the Red Earth Festival. The film festival will screen two Native American movies, The Daughter of Dawn and The Dome of Heaven. The former is a 1920 silent film, the first in which Native American characters were portrayed by actual Native Americans — rare for the era.
Sunday marks the opening day of the Jim Thorpe Games, in which athletes compete in celebration of the 100th anniversary of Thorpe’s recordsetting Olympic performance.
“We are encouraging athletes to come in early and go to Red Earth or see a film at deadCENTER,” said Annetta Abbott, executive director for the Jim Thorpe Games.
All three directors are excited about the bond between the events.
“I like forming these partnerships because it doesn’t make any sense to compete and try to one-up each other, because it’s not going to help me,” Oesch said. “If they’re successful, [we’ll] be successful.”
<b>Hey! Read This:</b>
• 5 directors of deadCENTER Film Festival 2012
• 6 flicks not to miss at deadCENTER Film Festival 2012