The American Heritage Gallery has been offering a look at the cultures and contributions of Native American and Indigenous communities and tribes since it first opened in 2018 in EPCOT’s American Adventure pavilion. Now some updates have been made to keep the exhibit fresh.
- The Disney Parks Blog has revealed some updates to the American Heritage Gallery in honor of Native American Heritage Month.
- “Creating Tradition: Innovation and Change in American Indian Art” showcases authentic, Native artifacts alongside contemporary works of American Indian art which demonstrates examples of cultural traditions which have been passed down through generations.
- The Walt Disney Imagineering Collections Management team worked in collaboration with the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture (MIAC) in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI) in Washington, D.C. to bring the current exhibit at EPCOT to life. They also continue to work closely with the Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki Museum which is nestled inside the Seminole tribal community.
- Through interactive displays and immersive storytelling, Native communities from seven geographic regions – just a sampling of the 574 federally recognized tribes and over 200 state-recognized tribes in the United States – are currently represented in the gallery. Their art represents the richness, depth, and diversity of Native cultures past and present. Some of the featured artists include fashion designer Loren Aragon (Acoma Pueblo), noted doll-maker Glenda McKay (Ingalik-Athabascan) and Juanita Growing Thunder (Assiniboine Sioux) from the Growing Thunder family of Montana.
What They’re Saying:
- Assistant Producer Jackie Herrera said: “We recently added the Comanche/Blackfeet regalia from artist Jayne Myers to the exhibit. It is amazing to be able to showcase the artistry and culture of each of these different Indian tribes for our guests.”
- Curator Deb Van Horn said: “This exhibit would not have been possible without our partnerships with the many museums, tribes, and artists featured in the exhibition. These partnerships allowed us to bring the authentic stories to our guests and make sure we are representing the cultures in a respectful and engaging way. It is really an honor for the Walt Disney Imagineering Collections team to be able to help share Native and Indigenous stories with our guests and allow these groups to really see their stories inside the parks for the first time.”