Epcot has expanded its cultural offerings. The Orlando theme park recently debuted the new art exhibit Creating Tradition: Innovation and Change in American Indian Art at the American Heritage Gallery.
The new gallery showcases 89 pieces of artwork and represents 40 different American Indian tribes from seven geographic regions across the United States.
The opening dedication ceremony on July 27th included a blessing from Seminole tribe of Florida representative Bobby Henry, Miss Florida Seminole, Cheyenne Kippenberger, and a stomp dancer performance by Seminole tribe members.
According to Disney, some of the highlights include, an “Ancient Resonance” dress by designer Loren Aragon from Acoma Pueblo, a Pokagon Potawatomi black ash hamper basket made in the early 1900s, and a Chilkat blanket from Alaska dating to the 1890s complements “Raven and the Box of Daylight,” a 2017 glass sculpture by Preston Singletary (Tlingit).
In addition to the historical arts, the exhibition also showcases American Indian contemporary art.
Creating Tradition also offers three interactive video exhibits where contemporary American Indian artists share perspectives on their work and culture. When guests wave their hands in front of a campfire display, the "flames" transform into a video presentation. In addition, the music playing throughout the gallery has also been performed by Native musicians
The art exhibit is produced in collaboration with the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C., and the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
Epcot plans to update the exhibit over the next five years to feature new artifacts and refreshed displays, incorporating pieces from more of the 573 American Indian tribes recognized by the United State Bureau of Indian Affairs.