Poeh Cultural Center Announces Alternative to Indian Market |

As the Southwestern Association for Indian Arts announced in April that the 2021 Indian Market will be a paid, in-person event, concerns and wild speculation have escalated in Santa Fe and the wider Indigenous arts world. How will the entrance work? Will there be enough room for artists given social distancing guidelines? How exactly does what amounts to paid entry to the Plaza work?

It’s hard to say for now, but the executive director of the Poeh de Pojoaque Pueblo cultural center, Karl Duncan (three affiliated tribes), told SFR his organization will hold a weekend market on August 20, 21 and 22 ( the same days as the Indian market this year) to try and help some of the artists who want to show and sell after the challenges of 2020.

“We really want to support the artists during this time and because of this past year,” Duncan said. “We’ve done what we can to help throughout the past year, and that’s what they need right now.”

The inaugural Pathways Native Arts Festival will feature 500 booths inside and outside the Hilton Buffalo Thunder Resort & Casino. The indoor booths, numbering 300 and distributed throughout the hotel’s ballrooms, are billed at $ 250 for artists; the 200 outdoor kiosks will be free for accepted candidates.

“We saw the changes that were happening with [Indian Market] and the needs artists faced, ”says Duncan. “We hope to resolve this.”

Pathways has received around 100 applications from artists mostly from New Mexico, according to Duncan – who says heavyweights like Cochiti Pueblo ceramicist Diego Romero and Santa Clara Pueblo multimedia artist Roxanne Swentzell have already signed on – but some nominations arrived from Oklahoma and the Great Lakes region as well.

Applications can be completed online (available here), and Poeh staff and art instructors will collaboratively make final decisions, Duncan said.

Entry to the event is free and would include live music, access to food trucks and other items, such as activities for young people, but Duncan says he’s still negotiating with vendors from food, musicians and the like. Mask warrants will be enforced, as will social distancing, though Duncan is confident that Buffalo Thunder’s massive scale will make things easier.

Meanwhile, back in the city center, Indian Market is still running, but with a slightly smaller number of stalls compared to previous years. The details of the ticket office and timed entry have not yet been specified. Additionally, the annual Free Indian Market at the Scottish Rite Temple is reportedly still ongoing, with founder Gregory Schaaf recently posting on the event’s Facebook page that “100% of Free Indian Market performers have been vaccinated”.

Emerging Market We are the Seeds will not be in Santa Fe this summer, although founder Tailinh Agoyo told SFR the organization will be hosting an exhibit at the form & concept gallery from August 11 to October 16.


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