By Mike Carrels

Phoenix Staff Writer

The forecast is sunny for the Art Under the Oaks.

Celebrating its 30th year, the market and festival offers a unique experience. Attendees can learn the art of primitive tool making, browse through Native American art and crafts for sale, enjoy live music and storytelling — all in one place, and all free.

“It’s supposed to be a gorgeous weekend,” Five Civilized Tribes Museum Director Mary Robinson said. “We’re optimistic to break last year’s record.”

More than 1,500 attended the event last year, which is held on the courtyard of the Five Civilized Tribes Museum, which sits on Agency Hill near the entrance to Honor Heights Park.

“The location is very good for what we’re doing,” Robinson said. “The whole experience makes it a wonderful day for families.”

Attendees will get a chance to partake in arts and crafts as well.

Mary Edwards Smith, a Muscogee Creek, will be demonstrating basket weaving, and Crystal Hanna, a Cherokee, will demonstrate hand-built pottery

“The public can sit down and work with these two artists for free,” Robinson said. “The clay and commercial reed will supplied by museum, so everyone who participates can take something they made home with them.”

Traditional Creek food will be offered Saturday, and “great” Indian tacos will be available throughout the weekend, Robinson said.

“The food is always a big draw,” Robinson said.

Festival staples Noel Grayson, Mike Berryhill and Tommy Wildcat will be back again this year, Robinson said.

Grayson and Berryhill will demonstrate what life was like in the 1800s with a hunting camp.

“It’s such a success each year,” Robinson said. “Every year they change it up to bring in more authentic ways on what was used to survive in the 1800s. They are very traditionalist and continue to promote the culture this year.”

Wildcat, an acclaimed flutist, will open the event with his music.

But the driving force behind the festival is the art on display.

“The artwork is fabulous,” Robinson said. “And the artists are also there. There’s something for people of all ages and price ranges.”

An added bonus is the museum will be open for free for the weekend, but they will take donations. A cultural art show is under way at the museum and runs through the rest of the month.

“It’s going very well,” Robinson said. “We’ve had tourists from Ireland, Massachusetts and all over the United States. We just had a major renovation, and it is beautiful.”

Reach Mike Carrels at (918) 684-2922 or mcarrels@muskogeephoenix.com.

If you go

WHAT: Five Civilized Tribes Museum Art Under the Oaks Museum and Festival. Includes arts and crafts show, storytelling, live music and more.

WHEN: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

COST: Free.

INFORMATION: 683-1701 or www.fivetribes.org.

ETC.: Admission to the museum is free both days. Sponsored by the Oklahoma Arts Council, National Endowment for the Arts and Yaffe Iron and Metal.

Schedule

Saturday

10 a.m. — Tommy Wildcat, flute music    

11 a.m. — Greg Rodgers, Choctaw storyteller

Noon — Cherokee Baptist choir

1 p.m. — Tommy Wildcat, flute music

2:30 p.m. — Greg Rodgers, Choctaw storyteller

4 p.m. — Tommy Wildcat, flute music

Sunday

11 a.m. — Tommy Wildcat, flute music

1 p.m. — Greg Rodgers, Choctaw storyteller

2 p.m. — Gospel singing

3 p.m. — Greg Rodgers, Choctaw storyteller

Re-enactments and demonstrations will take place throughout the event both days.

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