OLYMPIA – The Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission invites the public to the dedication of the Confluence Project’s “Story Circles” art installation on Aug. 27 at Sacajawea State Park, near Pasco.
The dedication will begin at 10 a.m. Aug. 27 at Sacajawea State Park, 2503 Sacajawea Park Road, east of Pasco, off U.S. Highway 12, between Pasco and the Snake River Bridge. The day’s festivities will include original poetry readings by local poets, music, speakers from local government and organizations involved with the art installation and a speech by the installation’s artist and architect, Maya Lin.
The artwork for Sacajawea State Park features seven basalt rings that use illustration and text to interpret the cultural history of the area. Each piece of the “Story Circles” installation displays an individual story theme, including the lifecycle of salmon, the seasonal circle, tribal culture and longhouse history and the trade goods cycle during the era of the Lewis and Clark Expedition.
Guest speakers will include Confluence Project Executive Director Jane Jacobsen, Confluence Project Board Chairman Antone Minthorn, City of Pasco Mayor Matt Watkins, Tri-Cities Visitors and Convention Bureau President and Chief Executive Officer Kris Watkins and State Parks Director Rex Derr. Dan Cryer, Port of Kennewick director of operations and airport manager, will serve as the Master of Ceremonies.
The event will feature a tribal seven-drum blessing by the Confederate Tribes of the Umatilla, Nez Perce Tribe, Wanapum Tribe, the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs and the Yakama Nation. Local musicians and poets scheduled to perform include:
· Poets Irene Hayes, Maureen McQuerry and Susan Moon reading original poetry composed for the dedication;
· The Mid-Columbia Mastersingers singing “America the Beautiful” and the national anthem, conducted by Justin Raffa;
· The Mid-Columbia Trombone Ensemble performing “Circles: Echoes of Seven Stories for Seven Trombones,” an original piece written by Charles Eaton;
· Fiddling Ranger and Friend led by State Parks Ranger Reade Obern of Sacajawea State Park.
“The Confluence Project artwork at Sacajawea State Park is a world-class piece of art and a wonderful addition to the Washington State Parks system,” said Obern.
Initiated in 2000 through the collaboration of a group of Pacific Northwest Native American tribes and civic groups from Washington and Oregon, the Confluence Project was envisioned to evoke the history of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, highlight the tremendous changes it brought to the Pacific Northwest, and encourage action to create a future that preserves and protects the area’s natural and cultural resources. When complete, the project will have transformed seven places along the historic Columbia River Basin with significant landscape restoration and environmental enhancements, all of which complement permanent art installations by world-renowned artist Maya Lin.
Artist, architect, author and environmentalist, Maya Lin’s body of work includes large-scale site-specific installations, intimate studio artworks, architectural works and memorials. Her work often focuses on environmental concerns and sustainability. Lin received her Master of Architecture from Yale University, has been featured in worldwide art exhibits and has been awarded numerous national and abroad awards for her artwork. In 2005, Lin was inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame. Among Lin’s work are the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington DC and the Civil Rights Memorial in Montgomery, Ala.
Sacajawea State Park is a 284-acre day-use park at the confluence of the Snake and Columbia rivers located five miles southeast of Pasco. The area is spread out with a big sky and views of the two rivers as they flow together. The park includes the Sacajawea Interpretive Center, which features interactive displays telling the story of the Lewis and Clark Expedition through the experiences of Sacagawea, the young Shoshone Indian woman who accompanied the Expedition.
The Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission thanks the public for supporting state parks. Donations made to State Parks through the vehicle license tab renewal program will keep state parks open in the 2009-2011 budget cycle, provided adequate revenues are collected. The Commission manages a diverse system of more than 100 state parks and recreation programs, including long-distance trails, boating safety and winter recreation. The 97-year-old park system will celebrate its 100th anniversary in 2013.
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