A day of fun and inspiration is waiting for you at the Heard Museum in downtown Phoenix. This celebrated institution houses more than 40,000 items that represent the culture of the Southwestern American Indians. Special exhibits and events focus on Native American art, history and lifestyles. Both classic and contemporary works of art are on display, so there is something for everyone to enjoy.
The museum is divided into 12 galleries of rotating and ongoing exhibits. You’ll find Indian artifacts, paintings, jewelry, artwork and crafts that tell the story of the indigenous tribes. The Native People in the Southwest exhibit even features a life-size Navajo hogan and authentic katsina dolls. Another showcase worth checking out is Beautiful Games: American Indian Sport and Art. On display until November, this collection focuses on the tribal roots of many modern sports.
The permanent displays at Heard are even more fascinating. Don’t miss The Boarding School Experience, where you’ll learn how younger Native Americans were integrated into society. Arizona’s First People is another collection offering insight into the histories of Arizona’s native tribes. This interactive exhibit provides a unique learning experience for children. Little ones will also love Every Picture Tells a Story, which brings seven diverse regions to life through vibrant artwork and hands-on activities.
Heard Museum is more than just a showcase of beautiful art. Throughout the year, there are numerous demonstrations, workshops, festivals and live shows that connect guests to the Indian culture. One of the most popular events is First Fridays. This monthly festivity is a themed celebration of food, music and the visual arts. On June 5, the event is a Cosplay Ball that will complement the exciting Super Heroes exhibit running through the summer.
On May 30 and July 11, Heard will host book signings by authors of Native American super hero comic books and novels. There will also be Create-a-Comic workshops June 20, July 17 and August 1 detailing the structure of comic book pages. To continue the theme, treat your children to the Back to School Party on the first day of August. They can create take-home crafts and celebrate their favorite super heroes.
A Relaxing Environment
This museum stands out among others because of its visual appeal. The building itself is stunning to see, and the grounds are even more remarkable. There is a spacious courtyard with lush plant life and plenty of pathways for strolling with your loved ones. Multicolored gardens and gorgeous water features just add to the picturesque setting. You can even dine al fresco at the Courtyard Café and enjoy more of the charming outdoor ambiance.
Before you complete your visit, stop by the Heard Museum Shop for a one-of-a-kind memento of your trip. You’ll find dozens of handcrafted objects, from jewelry and pottery to paintings and sculptures. Many of the items for sale were obtained directly from Native American artists. Bring home an authentic katsina doll or Navajo weaving as a reminder of the amazing sights at the Heard galleries.
This exceptional museum is ideal for the entire family because it incorporates so many interesting elements into its layout. Historic memorabilia and images, music, oral presentations, videos and hands-on learning all present opportunities to honor the American Indians. You can choose a guided tour or take your time discovering each gallery, but no matter how you explore Heard museum, you’ll experience an unforgettable cultural adventure.