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Family Day 2023

August 26 @ 10:00 am - 3:00 pm CDT

Join us for an afternoon of family crafts, storytelling, native food, shop at our Artists Alley, enjoy live music, and so much more! Thanks to our incredible sponsors, Berkshire Hathaway Home Services, this year’s Family Day will be FREE to attend.
Throughout the event you can visit info booths to learn more about other incredible work being done by our partnering organizations. Visit our Artists Alley to shop at a handful of Native artists booths, and stick around to purchase some Native American foods, enjoy live music, and visit our ongoing exhibits. This event will have something for everyone. Limited parking is available along Central Street and the alley behind the museum.

We are continuing to update the schedule of events for the day, check back for the latest updates!


Schedule of Events

Museum Activities 

All day arts and crafts for the kids on the 2nd floor. 

10am-11am Book Reading w/ local Children's Author Maria Des Jarlait

Maria “White cedar woman” is an indigenous woman who is from the Arikara tribe of Fort Berthold reservation in North Dakota and Ojibwe from Red Lake, Minnesota. She was raised on the reservation in North Dakota and had big city dreams.  She went on to college in Chicago, Il where she earned her bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education and English as a second language. She is married to her best friend Joel and has two daughters Aiyanna and Ayasha that keep her plenty busy.  She teaches Preschool in Illinois where she seen the need for books that represent Native American children as people of today. She wrote this book based on her experiences as a child with her grandmother and her two daughter’s experiences with their adventurous grandmother Peggy as well. This is her story that she hopes to inspire more Native American children to dream big.  Miigwetch (thank you)!

12pm-1pm Critter Visit with Evanston Ecology Center

Join the Evanston Ecology Center for a Critter Visit! Meet live animals up close, as we learn about each animal’s unique adaptations, the senses that they use, the groups they belong to, and the important roles that they play in their habitats.

1:30pm-2:45pm Native American Pottery Class: the Art of Hand Building Clay Pots with Indigenous Designs with Jennifer Stevens

Jennifer M. Stevens is currently a resident of Bayview-Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She is an enrolled member of the Oneida Nation of Wisconsin through her father and Oglala Lakota through her Mother. She was born in Alexandria, Virginia and raised on the Oneida Nation-De Pere, Wisconsin and received her Bachelor’s of Arts Degree in Art from St. Norbert College. She has weaved a creative life as a classical singer and visual artist. She studied Classical Singing and Opera nationally and internationally and she studied Classical Art in college and traditional Oneida Pottery with prominent woodland Indigenous artists such as; Rose K. Kerstetter, Peter B. Jones, and Richard Zane Smith.

3009 Building 

We will have live music! 

10AM - 12PM Lanialoha Lee

Lanialoha Lee – Pacific Soundz Productions – (Native Hawaiian)

My continuing work as a professional performing artist in music and dance encompassed chanting, vocal work, instrumentation characteristic to both Western and Pacific Island cultural arts, and production. Throughout my career, I’ve taught thousands of `ukulele, hula, and Tahitian drum students, enhancing my curriculum and cultivating a new generation of artists with a refined sensitivity to the culture bridging the Midwest to the islands through shared repertoire. As a Midwest-based Native Hawaiian, I continue to preserve, perpetuate, and protect Pacific Island cultural arts. I hope an appreciation will develop and augment the cultural literacy of those less familiar with the mesmerizing rhythms of music, dance, and poetic text of the South Pacific islands.

12pm - 2pm Music by Mark Jourdan

Mark Jourdan is a Ho-Chunk and Oneida singer/songwriter based out of Chicago, IL. He grew up in Chicago spending his summers and weekends traveling the Midwest and Canada going to pow-wows with his family. Music has always played a big part of his life. Driving across the country with his family made the radio and tape players as much of a part of the family as his siblings. His father took him to see B.B. King when he was 16 and that was his first experience of what it meant to “own a room”. https://www.facebook.com/musicbymarkjourdan

All Day – Artist Alley 

Located outside the museum in our parking lot, visit info booths, Native artist booths, and Food will be available for sale during the event.

Indigenous Artist booths

Sunset Kwe Designs

We are an Indigenous women owned business creating fun and expressive apparel, bags and accessories mixed with ribbon skirts and beadwork. https://sunset-kwe-designs.square.site/


IG: chachabeads_

Author Maria Des Jarlait

Meet the author after her story time from 10-11am in the library!

Atika’s Medicine

I’m Not A Costume 

Indigenous Foods

Native American Foods and Fox Way Catering

Food will be available for purchase from Fox Way Catering, including: Fry Bread, Indian Tacos, Veggie Tacos, and beverages.

Info Booths

California Indian Manpower Consortium, Inc. – Chicago Branch Office

Burton Snowboards

The City of Evanston has set aside $3 Million for community members to decide how to spend through a process called Participatory Budgeting. Community members can register now to vote during the whole month of September. PB staff and volunteers will be at Family Day to tell people about proposals and help them register to vote.

For more information about this program, please contact: info@mitchellmuseum.org | (847) 475-1030


August 26
10:00 am - 3:00 pm CDT


Mitchell Museum of the American Indian
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Mitchell Museum of the American Indian
3001 Central Street
Evanston, IL 60201 United States
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