Welcome to the Cherokee Artist Directory
Here you will find descriptions of artists who are enrolled members of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, a community approximately fifteen thousand strong in the mountains of western North Carolina. For the most part, these artists have learned from their families and community, using materials native to the southern Appalachians and calling on traditions passed down for many generations. They are among the best practitioners of traditional Cherokee culture. With the exception of a few elders who stay close to home, the artists and consultants listed here are willing to travel and present programs about some aspect of Cherokee culture.
These artists are available and willing to travel to your event. They have been included in this directory because their work represents authentic traditions; because they are good at working with the public; and because they have experience presenting their work in many different settings. They should be paid for their time and their expenses for travel, lodging, and food.
Many travelers to Cherokee, North Carolina, have discovered four institutions there that have long supported local artists and presented Cherokee culture to the public. These institutions continue to flourish today. The oldest, the Cherokee Indian Fair, held its hundredth annual fair in October, 2012. The Qualla Arts and Crafts Mutual, a Cherokee-owned-and-operated arts and crafts co-operative founded in 1946, is open year round and is one of the most successful organizations of its kind in the United States. The Museum of the Cherokee Indian, founded in 1948, opened an exciting new exhibit in 1998 and continues to expand its education and outreach programs. The Cherokee Historical Association runs the Oconoluftee Indian Village and has produced the outdoor drama Unto These Hills for more than fifty years.
The Cherokee Artist Directory supplements the activities of these institutions and other cultural programs in the community by making authentic Cherokee artists accessible to audiences outside Cherokee. Through these artists, new audiences can experience firsthand the traditions and arts and crafts practiced by Cherokee people today on their ancestral homeland in the southern Appalachians.