Cherokee Heritage Center 2012 season features art shows
and exhibitions, programs, education, and cultural classes

TAHLEQUAH, Okla., (February 20, 2012) --- The Cherokee Heritage Center, the premier cultural center for Cherokee tribal history, culture, and the arts, will continue its commitment to preserving and honoring Cherokee culture in 2012 by offering a variety of art shows and exhibitions, programs, education, and cultural classes.

Celebrating its 49th year in operation, the Cherokee Heritage Center is located at 21192 S. Keeler Drive, Park Hill, OK 74451.

“Our primary objective is to preserve, promote and teach Cherokee history and culture. We do this through a variety of programs, events and activities designed to engage the public,” said Carey Tilley, Executive Director at the Cherokee Heritage Center. “Our hope is to create memorable, positive experiences for our guests.”

Art Shows and Exhibitions

- Brother vs. Brother, Sesquicentennial of the Civil War – Feb. 1–April 15; A presentation of the story of the Cherokee Nation during the Civil War and the struggles that took place.
- The 41st Annual Trail of Tears Art Show and Sale - April 21–May 20; Authentic Native American art presented in one of Oklahoma’s oldest art shows.
- Cherokee Baskets – History Woven in Art - May 29-Aug. 19; Exhibiting the history of Cherokee basket weaving with more than 75 Cherokee baskets including one that survived the Trail of Tears, as well as baskets of contemporary design.
- The 17th Annual Cherokee Homecoming Art Show – Aug. 25-Sept. 16; Enjoy authentic traditional and contemporary Cherokee artwork.
- J.B. Milam Exhibit – Sept. 24–Dec. 31; Bartley Milam served as a model Cherokee leader and businessman. Find out more about the man, father, entrepreneur and chief who led the Cherokee Nation into a new century.


- Cherokee National Holiday Arts and Crafts Fair – Aug. 31–Sept. 2: An exposition featuring Indian arts and crafts, food vendors, Cherokee music, storytelling, games and demonstrations.
- First Families of the Cherokee Nation Reunion – Sept. 2; A celebratory gathering of Cherokee descendants that can demonstrate legal residency prior to ratification of the 1839 Cherokee Constitution.
- Genealogy Classes – Feb.-Aug. and Oct.-Dec. - Taught on the first Saturday each month.


- Indian Territory Days – March 29 -30; Two days of hands-on activities, games and demonstrations for school-aged children with a focus on the late 19th century.
- Gospel Sing – May 19; Local Cherokee groups sing gospel songs in Cherokee and English. A free hog fry is provided to the guests and participants.
- Ancient Cherokee Days – Oct. 4-5; Two days of hands-on activities, games and demonstrations for school-aged children with a focus on the early 18th century.
- Cherokee Humanities Course – Spring and Fall semester; Cherokee culture, language, art, music, literature and history college level instruction.

Classes are designed to teach Cherokee through the arts. Each class will feature a historical overview for a better understanding of the craft. All materials are provided. Students leave with a project.

Cultural Classes

- Beginning Pottery – March 10; The history of Cherokee pottery and the essentials of building Cherokee pots will be taught.
- Cherokee Feather Capes – April 14; Explore the history and techniques of feather cape making. $75.
- Beginning Cherokee Beadwork – May 5; The basic elements and history of Cherokee beadwork will be taught by an experienced teacher. $40.
- Double-Walled Round Reed Basketry – June 2; Unique double-walled baskets and their history will be the focus of this class. $40.
- Flat Reed Basketry – Sept. 29; The history and making of baskets from flat reeds will be studied. $40.
- Cherokee Moccasins – Oct. 13; Center seamed moccasins, a style used by Cherokees will be taught. $40.

“Cherokee cultural classes are a unique and authentic way for guests to learn the history and style of Cherokee arts and crafts. The classes are extremely popular and early registration is highly recommended,” added Tilley.

Cultural class registration is required since attendance is limited.  Children must be at least 12 years of age and an adult must accompany children between ages 12-17.

Each class is four hours from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. All classes are held on Saturdays. Groups of 10 or more can request customized classes from a variety of Cherokee arts.

For registration or additional information, please contact the Cherokee Heritage Center education department at (888) 999-6007 or by email at

Cherokee Heritage Center admission is $8.50 per adult, $7.50 per senior (55 and older) and students with proper identification, and $5 per child. Admission price includes all attractions. Entry to the grounds and museum store are free.

The Cherokee Heritage Center is open 9 a.m.-5 p.m. seven days a week from May 1 to Labor Day. It is closed during January and on Sundays from Feb. 1 to April 29 and Sept. 4 to Dec. 31.

For information on the 2012 season and programs, please contact the Cherokee Heritage Center at (888) 999-6007, email at or visit

About Cherokee Heritage Center:

The Cherokee Heritage Center, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, is the premier cultural center for Cherokee tribal history, culture, and the arts. Located in the heart of the Cherokee Nation in Tahlequah, Okla., it was established in 1963 by the Cherokee National Historical Society to preserve and promote the Cherokee culture. The Cherokee Heritage Center is also home to the Cherokee National Archives, which is the Nation’s foremost collection of historic tribal related documents and artifacts from the 1700s through present day. The Cherokee Heritage Center is situated on the grounds of the original Cherokee Female Seminary, which is one of the first institutions of higher learning for women west of the Mississippi and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The National Park Service has designated the Center as the interpretive site for the western terminus of the Trail Of Tears for the Cherokees and other tribes forcibly removed to Indian Territory, now Oklahoma, during the 1800s. For more information, please visit