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ASU's Native Now Festival Returns to Deer Valley Rock Art Center April 11

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UPDATE: Native Now has been rescheduled due to rain. The event has been moved to Saturday, April 11.

Indigenous culture gets the multi-media treatment as Native Now, a celebration of Native American traditions and artistic trailblazers, returns for its second year to the Deer Valley Rock Art Center. The all-day festival intended to fuse history with the contemporary will offer everything from music and film to food and visual art to give the community an up-close and personal look at Native American identity as it stands today.

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This year's Native Now, which coincides with the 20th anniversary of Deer Valley Petroglyph Preserve, Phoenix's largest concentration of Native American rock art, is being guest curated by creative developer Eunique Yazzie (Navajo).

Yazzie has teamed up with the ASU Deer Valley Rock Art Center to create an event that she feels showcases artists who share their indigenous heritage in creative and meaningful ways

"I invited a lot of different artists that I know either create some sort of impact or they're a bit different in thinking. They're all Native American artists and they're just doing what they love."

Visual artists will be onsite throughout the day demonstrating their creative process and selling their works while other highlighted acts will be taking to the stage. Featured entertainment will include musicians such as Diné Nation composer Ryan Dennison and sister punk act Miracle Dolls; as well as a film screening from Outta Your Backpack Media, a youth project started to provide accurate media representation in indigenous communities.

In addition to the new acts, Native Now will be bringing back some familiar faces from last year's debut, including hip hop duo Shining Soul and Soul Deluxe's producer and radio host, Byron Fenix.

Should guests get hungry, the Emerson Fry Bread foot truck will be serving up Mexican- Native American fusion and Native American Chef Harrison Watchman of Classic Cooking Academy will be offering demos and tastings of foods inspired by the Dineé, or Navajo people.

Although Native Now is focused solely on exploring the past and present of indigenous cultures, Yazzie hopes that the festival brings in a diverse crowd for better understanding and exposure.

"I'm hoping that we get a big mixture of people. I don't want to segregate anybody out of appreciating and learning what these artists have to demonstrate and display."

Native Now runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on April 11. Admission is free. Visit shesc.asu.edu/dvpp or call 623-582-8007 for more information.

Editor's note: This post has been updated to reflect new information.

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