With performances by Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by JoAnn Falletta, Jon Lehrer Dance Company, Blue Rodeo, Buffy Sainte-Marie
Artpark & Company’s Strawberry Moon Festival is growing in year two, with an expanded slate of performances and events for all ages.
The two-day program, on June 27 and 28, will welcome the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by JoAnn Falletta, Jon Lehrer Dance Company, Blue Rodeo and Buffy Sainte-Marie to perform at the venue’s outdoor sites and on the traditional lands of the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) people.
With additional funding from the New York State Council on the Arts via the Western New York Regional Economic Development Council, the festival will present a unique collaboration between the BPO, modern dance by Jon Lehrer Dance Company, and indigenous performers presented outdoors atop the iconic and newly restored “Niagara 1979” by Gene Davis painted parking lot at 8 p.m. Saturday. The evening’s program will begin with a special welcome address led by Native elders Allan Jamieson Sr. of the Cayuga Nation and Neil Patterson Sr. of the Tuscarora Nation, a welcoming song from Gary Parker of Seneca Nations of Tonawandas, and a smoke dance from Jordan Smith of the Mohawk Nation.
General admission is free for this event. Reserved VIP seating is available for $50. Reserved tickets include access to a post-performance reception with Falletta and Lehrer.
Kicking off the second day of the festival at noon Sunday will be a wide variety of free programs located in the Artpark Amphitheater. These activities will celebrate diverse and expressive Native American cultures through the arts, food sampling, storytelling, workshops, music presentations, a Native American “Discovery Zone,” “PowWow Boot Camp,” a wampum belt display, a workshop on native dance and drum teachings by Parker and Smith, and a smoke dance competition. Visitors can discover unique gifts from more than 20 Native American artisans and food vendors.
Blue Rodeo (Photo courtesy of Artpark)
Sunday also will celebrate Native American musicians’ contribution to shaping popular music and will culminate with a ticketed Strawberry Moon concert (4-9 p.m.) on the amphitheater stage with performances by Blue Rodeo, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Rumble: The Concert and Freightrain. General admission tickets for this concert are $22.
Tickets are now on sale and can be purchased online at artpark.net or tickets.com, by phone at 1-888-223-6000, or in person at the Artpark box office, 450 S. Fourth St., Lewiston (10 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays). Ticket prices listed include a facility fee; additional fees apply for online and phone orders.
The Strawberry Moon Festival is produced and presented by Artpark in collaboration with Kakekalanicks Indigenous Arts & Consultancy.
Artpark & Company said its newest annual event “celebrates Niagara Falls and the many contributions Native American people made on the shaping of the area and the global stage. Built on the Two Row Wampum teachings that promote all nations walk together in parallel, with respect, compassion and understanding to cultivate an inclusive community for our shared future, this year’s festival promises to be even bigger than last year.”
The venue added, “The Strawberry Moon Festival is an opportunity for people to actively participate in an inclusive and engaging Native American community gathering that provides cultural and historical insights infused with entertainment and social activities that forge connections and strengthen cross-cultural bonds.”
For more information on the Strawberry Moon Festival and Artpark’s summer calendar, visit artpark.net.