Happening Now

May 25, 2020

Guild Happenings

President’s Message

Big news and hooray!  The museum is reopening on Tuesday, June 2nd.  In weighing many options and making difficult decisions the museum has chosen a path forward.  Now, the Guild has the opportunity to support the museum in new ways.  Essentially, we are in this together and I am confident we will rise to the occasion, as we always do.

In early May, the Guild Board assigned an Ad Hoc committee to coordinate the volunteer response to the reopening of the museum.  The Ad Hoc committee includes coordinators that represent volunteers in the following areas:  Las Guias, Shop, Library, and Information Desk.  Members of the Ad Hoc committee, along with other Board members, were involved in the determination of a July 1st return date for volunteers.  This date will enable us to assess and adapt our plans based on the experiences the museum encounters in their first 30 days of business. You will be receiving a survey Wednesday, May 27th that will ask for your feedback regarding volunteering in the coming months. Read more about the Ad Hoc committee and the survey in the article that follows.

In my letter last week, I said I would be sending you the Museum’s Safety Measures in Place document.  I have been asked by John Bulla, Heard Museum Deputy Director & COO, to send you this information in the later part of June.  This will allow the museum to update the document if needed.

In closing, I would like to thank Diane Leonte for volunteering to publish “Happening Now” through the summer.  The publication will be coming out every two weeks.  If you are leaving Arizona for the summer, be safe and enjoy your travels.  Don’t forget to catch up on the latest Heard Museum and Heard Guild happenings by reading “Happening Now.”  

Thank you.

Jane Przeslica

Ad Hoc Committee Members

  • Alexis Hill – Museum Services Coordinator
  • Linda Hefter & Pat Briggs – Education Coordinators
  • Dianne Koble – Guild Programs Coordinator
  • Dee Dowers – Guild Board Secretary
  • Allison Lester – Heard Museum | Associate Director of Visitor and Membership Engagement

Guild Museum Services Coordinator

The Heard Guild is pleased to announce it will be sending out a survey next Wednesday, May 27, to conduct an analysis on the number of volunteers who will be returning to their volunteer positions this summer, one month from the museum’s anticipated reopening dates of June 2, 2020 for museum members, and June 9, 2020 for the general public.

The Guild anticipates most volunteer positions to resume as of July 2, 2020, but would like to gather information from those who are, or are not, able to resume their volunteer shifts/positions this summer.  The survey will also solicit assistance from volunteers in other departments of the museum where employee furloughs have impacted the efficiency of the museum and additional volunteer labor is temporarily required.

The survey has a deadline date of June 3, 2020, so we may adequately assess the responses and fill positions accordingly.  If volunteers are required before the anticipated July 2, 2020 reopening date of volunteer positions, then their specific department chairs will contact them accordingly to discuss.  An orientation will be conducted this summer in Steele Auditorium before volunteers resume their positions (date is yet to be determined) so they will be informed of new security and safety procedures that will be instituted.”

Any questions or comments can be directed to Alexis Hill, Email:  2alexishill@gmail.com, Phone:  (602) 578-9780

Indian Fair & Market

62nd Heard Museum Guild Indian Fair & Market Recap
Anna Flynn, Fair Chair

(To view all images from the Fair, click here. Password is Heard.)

It seems like the Fair took place a world ago! Each year I am more amazed by this operation and the people who make it happen. With so many moving parts, it is hard to believe that it all comes together. To each of you who played a vital role in our success, I am grateful for your dedication and hard work.

The Exhibitors Committee (Cathy Robertson, Chair; Rita Baker, Database Manager; Judy Hayes and Jackie Stubbs) handled all communications with the artists, processed 950 applications and payments, coordinated the jurying process, assigned booths and more! We hosted 685 artists (643 adults and 42 youths) who were selected either by jurying-in or invitation. Sandy Nielsen and her monitors ensured that all policies were followed. Close to 13,000 people enjoyed the weekend. While attendance was down by almost 18%, the increase in admission prices offset much of the revenue loss from lower attendance.


Watching the campus be transformed into a sea of white tents is quite a sight! Joel Muzzy, Staging Chair for 9 years or more, most certainly knows the 8-acre campus down to the quarter inch. Don Montrey managed signage, including design, production, hanging, dismantling and storage. Dave Newark coordinated food vendors and beverage sales for the 9th, and final, year so let me know if you are interested in this position.

Chuck and Dottie Starnes, Volunteer Placement and Joel Muzzy, Staging Chair









Hospitality is a 62-year Guild tradition. Jackie and Dave Stubbs and their volunteers moved serious amounts of citrus, coffee, water, boiled eggs, bagels and snacks out of the Artist Hospitality tent. Thank you to those who donated citrus, especially Christy Sinclair who organized a citrus picking party and donated most of the fruit this year. Kathleen and Sam Serrapede and their volunteers once again provided booth relief to the artists. We are hard to beat when it comes to hospitality and it quite simply could not be done without leaders like Kathie and Jackie.

Cyndi Ross

Sam Serrapede









The Fair t-shirt, featuring an image from Navajo weaver Venancio Aragon’s “Prism of Emotions,” sold out! John Nesbitt, Chair, credited an all-time single day record 337 transactions to his crack Saturday sales team: Carol Alabaster, Bill Knox, Tom Myers, Jayne Marecak, Denise Landise, Terry Nesbitt, Ann Julin, Estelle Rubin, Stuart Rubin, and Jan McAdams. The remainder of the 2019 t-shirts also sold out so our cupboards are bare! KUDOS to John Nesbitt, his trusty sidekick Terry, and his team.

Carol Alabaster & Jan McAdams

Terry Nesbitt

John Nesbitt







The amphitheater performances and storytelling were organized and managed by Nancy O’Neal and Connie Thornton. Performers were male and female, young and young at heart, Zuni, Hopi, Navajo, Huichol, Apache/Arikara/Hidatsa/Mandan. Ellen Nelsen made sure the “piki ladies” were on-hand to demonstrate the traditional Hopi method. Canyon Records provided everything for the Courtyard Stage from setup to equipment to performing artists.





David Roche







Louise Wakem and Fran Dickman ran the raffle drawing for the 25th year! While the revenue generated from the raffle has declined dramatically over the years, Louise and Fran’s commitment has not. Richard Borgmann, Guild Treasurer, ran the money room during the Fair as well as working yearlong on all financial aspects from budget creation to final accounting. Barb Sparmann stepped up, once again, to coordinate both Admissions AND ASK ME/Information volunteers. Chuck and Dottie Starnes solicited volunteers for all the Fair committees starting in the Fall, produced the volunteer badges and staffed the volunteer admissions tent.

For the 2nd year, Josh Rose, editor, and his team at Native American Art Magazine produced and published our Official Guide as the main content in their Feb/Mar issue.

Mavasta Honyouti









In addition to juried competition award and event sponsors, we are grateful for the financial support from Sanderson Ford (3rd year), Twin Arrows Navajo Casino Resort (2nd year), and Sharron (museum trustee) and Del Lewis (1st year). Although the books are not closed, the Guild has already given the museum $100,000.

Guild members have planned and executed an Indian Fair & Market, in one form or another, for 62 years— through ups and downs at the Heard, in the economy and in society. We are determined to be back next year even if we are not 100% sure what form that might take! Plans are underway for a live event with contingency plans for other realities.

If you are interested in getting involved, email Anna Flynn at fairchair@heardguild.org

Museum Happenings….

Exhibit Update (subject to change):

David Hockney’s Yosemite and Masters of California Basketry:  Still up and will remain on display at least through June. Note: Beyond Yosemite: California Basketry from the Heard Museum Collection is closed.This was the exhibit down the stairs off the Grand Gallery.

Larger Than Memory: Opening delayed due to virus caused shipping restrictions on art coming from New York and Canada. The exhibit will open this summer.

Maria Hupfield: Nine Years Toward the Sun: Exhibit continues, will close sometime in November.

Grand Procession: Contemporary Plains Indian Dolls from the Charles and Valerie Diker Collecton: On exhibit through September 7.

Closed until Further Notice: IYT (It’s Your Turn), Harnett Theater, Hogan and Piki Room

Getting to Know… Heard Museum Summer Intern Patrick Burtt

Patrick “DeɁileligi” Burtt

Patrick “DeɁileligi” Burtt is an enrolled member of the Waší∙šiw Gumťánu, federally recognized as the Washoe Tribe of Nevada and California and a direct descendent of the Tule River Tribe. Burtt completed his Bachelor of Arts in Native American and Indigenous Studies from Fort Lewis College in 2016 and earned a Master of Arts in American Indian Studies from the University of California, Los Angeles in 2018. His current research explores the genocide of American Indians broadly and the Waší∙šiw Gumťánu specifically. He is a second-year doctoral student in History with focuses in Native American History, North American History, and American Indian Studies in the School of Historical, Philosophical, and Religious Studies at Arizona State University (ASU). Burtt is the current President of the American Indian Graduate Student Association at ASU.​

Patrick will be doing a distance learning internship with the Museum.  He’ll be working on cultural arts workshops, public programs, designing flyers and researching artists among other projects.


Sue Pappas, longtime Guild member, was asked to pass this request on to the Guild.

Asreference, Eric Manualito has been Master of Ceremonies for many years at the Heard Museum
Indian Fair & Market and Hoop Dance Competition.



Dear Sue,

Thank you for sending us information about the sanitation supplies sought by Eric Manualito to meet the critical needs of the people in Tohatchi. We acknowledge Eric’s important role over many years at the Heard and sincerely appreciate the opportunity to facilitate the Guild members who wish to help this community and other communities that are struggling throughout the Navajo Nation. Most of the Guild members probably know that the Navajo Nation has now surpassed New York and New Jersey for the highest per-capita coronavirus infection rate in the United States – a clear sign of COVID-19's disproportionate impact on Native communities.

Over the past month and a half our team in Phoenix has been providing PPE and sanitation supplies DIRECTLY to hospitals, senior centers, detention centers, and fire, police and EMT first responders on the Navajo Nation – primarily in Tuba City, Kayenta and Chinle. We are focusing on purchasing these items in bulk – masks, hand sanitizer, bleach, face shields, and gloves. These items are difficult to find in Phoenix, but are essentially impossible to find on the Navajo Reservation, even for first responders.  We distribute these items twice per week via two
methods: 1) direct deliveries to first responders, medial workers, and senior centers in the Tuba City and Kayenta areas, and 2) we have a “PPE Pantry” in Tuba City where these frontline warriors can pick up these items and take them to their facilities, often in remote areas.  In all cases, the first responders and frontline warriors we supply tell us that the items we provide them with are critically needed.

We have a small team, and several of us have deep connections to the Heard.  As you know, Christy and I both currently serve on the Heard Board of Trustees. In addition, Christy has been a member of the Guild since 2004, a Las Guias docent and a library volunteer and I’m a former Hoop Dance Champion. We’re delighted that Trustee A.J. Dickey’s son, Russ Dickey, is also committed to the effort, along with his wife, Erika. My husband Javier, Andrea Odegard-Begay
and Dr. Karletta Chief also lend their expertise.

Guild members can find information on what we have accomplished since April, as well as make a donation that will help us purchase supplies for both Eric’s people at Tohatchi (we are hoping to get him supplies this week) and assist us in our vital ongoing efforts by visiting our GoFundMe page at https://www.gofundme.com/f/PPE-for-Navajo-First-Responders
or our Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/PPE-for-Navajo-First-Responders-111992203831620/

Ginger Sykes Torres
Christy Vezolles

How to Help Tribes

Coronavirus and Indigenous People—How Can I Help? Mary Lee Madison and Anna Flynn

Dear Friends in Deed,

The Navajo Nation has been hit hard by COVID-19. Distance to hospitals, intermittent broadband service, lack of running water, several generations living under one roof — all make it difficult for the Navajo to fend off or mitigate the spread of the virus. Here is the story from one doctor at Northern Navajo Medical Center. All Tribes have been affected to some degree.

Native artists are severely affected by the cancellation of Pow-Wows and Art Markets. SWAIA cancelled the live 2020 market, but is planning a virtual market (swaia.org). The May market at the Abbe Museum in Bar Harbor, Maine and the June market at the Eiteljorg Museum in Indianapolis have also been canceled. While event organizers are working on virtual events, these cancellations will have devastating consequences. You can help individual artists by buying from them directly or from the Heard Shop.

If you are able to help, here are some organizations we’ve found:

Phoenix Indian Center: Donations can be dropped off from now until Thursday, May 14, 2020. Click here for details about donations and how to make a monetary donation.

Ginger Sykes Torres (Navajo), a museum trustee, and Rusty Dickey are raising funds to purchase bulk items in Phoenix to send to Tuba City and Kayenta (two of the main hot spots on the Navajo Nation) every Friday. The Tuba City Regional Health Care Corporation serves both the Navajo Nation and the Hopi Nation. Click here for details and to donate.

Navajo/Hopi Covid-19 Relief Fund. The team is led by enrolled Navajo and Hopi tribal members and the GoFundMe was organized on behalf of Rural Utah Project Education Fund. They have already raised over $3 million!

Official Navajo Nation COVID-19 Relief Fund, Navajo Nation Office of the Controller P.O. Box 3150, Window Rock, AZ 86515. http://www.nndoh.org/donate.html Or call 928.871.6206.

Indian Pueblo Cultural Center and All Pueblo Council of Governors Pueblo Relief Fund, Albuquerque, NM. https://pueblorelieffund.org/pueblo-relief-fund.