A letter from the Friends of Angel Mounds about Native American Days:
Dear Supporters of Angel Mounds,
After much debate and discussion, the Friends of Angel Mounds have decided to cancel Native American Days for 2014. This was not an easy decision, but there were numerous factors that were considered in making it.
- Since 2013, 4 of our valuable demonstrators/organizers have passed away, most notably Scott Crisp, our Arena Director, who became the heart and soul of that portion of the program. Scott also handled the arrangements with our dancers and drums. His loss will be felt by us all for many years.
- The attendance for the program has steadily declined since 2001, from 15,000 to around 5,000 in 2013. This shows to us that it is time to reinvent our programming at the site.
- Organization of volunteer assistance has become increasingly difficult. We require hundreds of volunteers to pull this program off, and we are now in competition with numerous other groups seeking volunteer assistance.
- 10 years ago Native American Days was one of the only events in the Evansville area during the month of September. Now we are competing with a multitude of other events that are affecting our attendance, and thus affecting our revenue from the event.
- Native American vendors have dropped in numbers to the point where we are not offering the variety that visitors are wanting. We know this based on complaints from visitors. The one exception is our Native American fine artists, which we plan to incorporate into a new program of strictly fine art, much like our Four Winds Fine Arts show in the past.
- One aspect that will remain will be the program for area schools. One complaint from teachers has been we have had too many students on the site at one time to make it an enjoyable and educational event. This year we will now have three day’s worth of programming for area school children, spreading out the regular attendance of 2,500 over three days instead of one, which the public is more than welcome to attend.
- Native American Days is the largest gamble we have in our list of programs, due to weather. One bad weekend of rain and we would essentially decimate our finances, thus hurting our ability to support the site the rest of the year. This has nearly occurred twice over the last 8 years.
We hope that you will bear with us through this change. This year will give us the opportunity to reevaluate what we do right, what we do wrong and hopefully come up with a program or series of programs that educate the community about Angel Mounds and Native America in much better way than we have in the past.
Due to the loss of Native American days, additional programming has been added to the fall line-up of events, including:
Spirit Wing Concert - September 14, 6pm
Native American Days – School Days - September 23 – 25
Native American Fine Arts Market - November 15 – 16, 9am – 1pm