Mission Statement & Organization

The Native Circle Touch the Earth Festival Mission:

Use Indigenous music, wisdom, arts and culture to Strengthen Our Spirit & Create Unity by Celebrating Our Diversity through performances and interactive educational programs.

Creating unity starts with an open forum, creating a dialogue through which our unique cultural differences and traditions can be explored and shared.

A forum for a greater appreciation of Indigenous culture, arts, storytelling, music, and dance, a respect for one’s self, others and the environment, and a deeper understanding of cultural diversity.

In an increasingly global society, valuing and appreciating our differences will be paramount for providing a better tomorrow for future generations.

The Native Circle Touch the Earth Festival hopes to do just that by increasing awareness and education of Indigenous arts, culture, and music.

A Hopi proverb suggests that we “consider the effects of our decisions on the next seven generations”.

We believe the Native Circle Touch the Earth Festival is that forum.

This not-for-profit event combines history, education and fun with family-friendly performances and activities, and is *FREE* to the public.

As the steward of the Native Circle, I want to provide the best – the best talent, the best educational programs, the best entertainment.

I want to see the Native Circle firmly established as a two day event and to continue to bring top quality performers and presenters that are free to the public to our stage for many years to come.

Laura K. Vannah, Founder & Executive Producer

Visitors to this festival will receive a very ‘real’ experience of Indigenous ways of life through song, storytelling, dance, and interactive educational programs.

By sharing in and exploring those differences we are able to experience the common threads that unite us.

Native Circle Touch the Earth Festival Organization:

The Native Circle Touch the Earth Festival is produced by Bright Star ProductionZ and the Friends of Mexico Point Park. It is supported through music and merchandise sales, vendor fees, individual donations, grants and corporate sponsors, in-kind donations, and by the business community.

The Native Circle Touch the Earth Festival is thankful to its business partners for their generosity and continued support throughout the years. As a not-for-profit event the Native Circle Touch the Earth Festival operates on a break-even budget and relies heavily on the support of local businesses. Proceeds from all revenue sources go toward the expenses associated with putting on this admission-free festival.

The Native Circle Touch the Earth Festival Staff:

Laura K. Vannah, M.A., Founder & Executive Producer
Email Laura

Morgan Kerr, VP Business Operations
Email Morgan

Betty Green & Sandra Scott, Co-presidents
Friends of Mexico Point Park

Ken Quiet Hawk, Graphic Designer
The Storytellers

Native Circle Touch the Earth Festival Collaborations & Partnerships

In 2010, Ms. Vannah formed an advisory board to help expand the festival.

The Native Circle Advisory Board included:

  • Laura K. Vannah, M.A., Founder & Executive Producer
  • Betty Green and Sandra Scott, Co-Presidents of The Friends of Mexico Point Park
  • Brian Leary, owner of Lake Shore Hardwoods and member of the Pulaski Chamber of Commerce
  • Dr. Mira Ingeman, Psychologist at SUNY Oswego

The diversity in backgrounds, knowledge, skill, and heritage of this advisory board sets the tone and models the message of embracing diversity.

Partnerships with OSU Service Learning and Community Service Center, the Hart Global Living and Learning Center, and Nina Monte the Hall Director at SUNY Oswego were formed to provide community service hours for their students.

Partnerships with Oswego County BOCES, JROTC of Mexico, Boy Scout Troops in both Mexico and Oneida, and Cornell Cooperative Extension were also formed to involve more youth in this festival in a variety of capacities from performing community service, to posting fliers, to demonstrating the art projects on which they are working.

The Native Circle Touch the Earth Festival Publicity

The Native Circle Touch the Earth Festival publicizes the event on multiple websites.

Promotion include news releases about various aspects of the festival and recognize sponsors. Besides being posted on the county website, news releases are sent to the greater Syracuse area media sources, including daily and weekly newspapers, radio and television stations, and cable television. The Eagle Newspapers are sent releases in an effort to reach beyond Central New York. Children’s activity news releases are also sent to the Syracuse New-Times, and to Watertown and Fort Drum.

The Native Circle Touch the Earth Festival is also listed on the official Oswego County calendar of events. In keeping with the tradition of the Lake Ontario Bird Fest, the Native Circle Touch the Earth Festival is a not-for-profit event and *F*R*E*E* to the public.

The Native Circle Touch the Earth Festival hopes to promote understanding of, and respect for, the indigenous people, history, and culture within the Central New York community, with these collaborations and partnerships through interactive education, by building collaborative relationships, and encouraging shared experiences.

We are very excited about continuing the Native Circle Touch the Earth Festival! There is no other festival like it in Oswego County!

The Native Circle Touch the Earth Festival 2011 is scheduled for May 28 & 29.

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