Learn With Us

Education is a priority for the Guild as we support the Heard Museum’s mission to “educate visitors and promote greater public understanding of the art, heritage, and life ways of the indigenous peoples of the Americas, with an emphasis on American Indian tribes and other cultures of the Southwest.” We have a comprehensive program that includes a variety of offerings, both for Guild and Museum members and the general public.

American Indian Studies

As part of its commitment to continuing education, the Heard Museum Guild presents several short courses each year. The aim of the courses is to enhance one’s respect for Native peoples and to develop an appreciation of their art and culture. The courses are open to the public.

Information on additional Short Courses in 2019 and 2020 will be posted when available.

Basketry:  Ancient Art – Fragile Future,  January 11, 18, and 25, 2020

On October 28, 2019, the Heard Museum will open the exhibition “David Hockney’s Yosemite and Masters of California Basketry.”  Coinciding with this exhibition, this Short Course will explore the ancient art of basketry, especially by the American Indians who live in northern and central California, near Yosemite.  You will hear from Lucy Parker (Pomo), who is part of a long-established basket-making family; and Gracie Dick (Mono Lake Paiute), a basket weaver, who will talk about weaving in her area. Well-known weaver Terrol Dew Johnson (Tohono O’odham) will talk about basketry from southern Arizona and the different techniques between California and Arizona baskets.  Changing weather, brush fires, pesticides, and other things all affect the materials the weavers use, and we will hear about the effects of these and what this means for the future of American Indian basketry.

The course runs for three Saturdays, January 11, 18, and 25, 2020, from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in Steele Auditorium.  Cost is $45.

Registration will open on November 18, 2019. Information on registration will be available closer to that date.


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Monthly Guild Meetings

At each of the Guild’s regular monthly meetings, a speaker presents a program on Native culture or art, Arizona and Southwest history, or current activities on the reservations.  The meetings are held in Steele Auditorium at 9:30 a.m. on the third Wednesday of the month from September through April. Non-Guild members are welcome to attend.

October 16, 2019

David M. Roche, Dickey Family Director and CEO of the Heard Museum, will present his annual remarks on the “State of the Heard” including information about upcoming exhibitions and events.


November 20, 2019

Back by popular demand, Kelly Washington, Cultural Resources Director, Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community, will continue the history of his community from 1875 to the present. Kelly will also discuss the issue of cultural sensitivity.



January 15, 2020

Jhane Myers (Comanche/Blackfeet) is the Principal Executive of Red Ambition Productions. A multi-talented artist, Jhane has won many awards as a fashion designer, dancer, jeweler, doll-maker, and film producer. She recently won an Emmy for the production of the fourth episode of “Native America” on PBS.



February 19, 2020

“The Shadow Catchers: 150 Years of Arizona Photography.” Jim Turner, author and historian, will present powerful images of Arizona from the cameras of Edward Curtis through to Barry Goldwater and Ansel Adams.




March 18, 2020

“Criminal Justice in Indian Country: The Past, Present, and Future”. Doug Passon, a federal criminal defense attorney, and Melanie Yazza, a defense attorney who exclusively handles tribal court cases, discuss major crimes jurisdiction in “Indian Country”.


April 15, 2020

Teri Greeves, award-winning Kiowa beadwork artist, will talk about her role as co-curator of the recent exhibition “Hearts of Our People: Native Women Artists” at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts. This first major exhibition of artwork by Native women honored the achievement of over 115 artists from the United States and Canada.





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Docent Training / Las Guias

Often the most profound contact between the Heard Museum and the visiting public is provided by Las Guias (Spanish for “The Guides”). This group of dedicated volunteers extends hospitality, provides interpretation of exhibits and programs, and, in a warm and personal way, implements the mission of the Museum “to educate visitors and promote greater public understanding of the art, heritage, and life ways of the indigenous peoples of the Americas, with an emphasis on American Indian tribes and other cultures of the Southwest.”
For information about Museum tours…

Any member of the Heard Museum Guild may join Las Guias. To become a guide, the student must complete the basic training course of 96 hours and demonstrate effective guiding performance in the museum galleries. In addition, every guide must be a Heard Museum member as well as a Guild member.

The Las Guias Docent training course begins each fall in October under the sponsorship of the Heard Museum Guild working closely with the professional staff of the Museum’s Education Department. There is no prerequisite beyond interest, but a fee is charged. A commitment is required of at least two years of guide service with a minimum of 30 tours per year (two scheduled half-days per month, June through May).  For more information about Docent training…

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Book Clubs

If you are interested in becoming a member of an exciting literary group, contact  BookClubEast@heardguild.org.

What our Book Club members have to say:

The Guild Book Club:I cannot begin to tell you how good the heard north book club has been this year.l  Headed by Linda Hefter, the people who participated added greatly to each session.  I tried to make each session that I could and read all the books for each meeting. ~ Marlene Scholsohn

I have been a member of the North Scottsdale Guild Book Club since its inception.  I believe it is one of the best innovations to come down the pike in years.

Not only am I being exposed to books I might never have read (suggested by other members) but the group discussions reflect the diversity of backgrounds and education of the members. Our discussions are lively and self directed and always informational.

The group is welcoming to new members and is a great way to become an active  part of the Heard Museum Guild.

Our North Scottsdale Book club has been very successful – we’re even meeting in July! As you know , Linda Hefter is our leader and she is so smart, and well read and willing to give her time to our meetings and discussions and book choices. But so are most of our steady members. (Several of us have many obligations.)

Our books are previously researched and then chosen by all of us. So we all read every book and ALLL our discussions are open and lively. We are meeting in each other’s homes so we’re all relaxed and open and easy and we’re all becoming good friends.

I think The Book Club is proving to be a bright and learning and happy endeavor for all of us. We all look forward to our meetings and I am enjoying my participation very much. Come join us!

Some Books the Heard Museum Guild Book Club Has Read:

  • The Heart of Everything That Is: The Untold Story of Red Cloud, An American Legend by Bob Drury & Tom Clavin
  • Into the Beautiful North: A Novel by Luis Alberta Urrea
  • Neither Wolf Nor Dog: On Forgotten Roads with an Indian Elder by Kent Nerburn
  • Hummingbird’s Daughter by Luis Alberto Urrea
  • The Painted Drum by Louise Erdrich
  • Green Grass, Running Water by Thomas King
  • Changing Woman: The Life and Art of Helen Hardin by Jay Scott
  • The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heavenby Sherman Alexie
  • Rez Life by David Treuer
  • The Last of the Mohicans by James Fenimore Cooper
  • The Lacuna: A Novel by Barbara Kingsolver
  • Me and Mine: The Life Story of Helen Sekaquaptewa by Louise Udall
  • Chief Joseph and the Flight of the Nez Perce: The Untold Story of an American Tragedy by Kent Nerburn
  • The Wind Won’t Know Me: A History of the Navajo-Hope Land Dispute by Emily Benedek
  • LaRose: A Novel by Louise Erdrich
  • American Character: The Curious Life of Charles Fletcher Lummis and the Rediscovery of the Southwest by Mark Thompson

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