of money may cancel second annual
Native American festival
also needed to demolish building
on site of cultural center
CARROLLTON, Ky. (June 2005) A members of the Circle
of Wisdom Unity Council made a plea for financial help to stage what
would be the second annual Native American Festival this August at Gen.
Butler State Resort Park. Proceeds from the event would benefit a project
announced earlier to build a $2.5 million Kentucky Center for Native
American Art & Culture on an 85-acre site at Butler Park. The funding
source has not been determined for the center, whose preliminary plans
call for a 6,500-square-foot building and outdoor performance area.
Marty Soaring Eagle Martin of Louisville addressed
the Carroll County Chamber of Commerce May 9 during its monthly luncheon
meeting at the park. He described the groups financial difficulty
in getting sponsors or money to stage this years event and said
it would not be held unless more money could be raised. Martin said
the local tourism office is broke and they cannot get any
money from the state, so they have no where else to turn.
Last years four-day event was considered a success by attendance
standards but failed to cover the cost to stage it, Martin said. Native
American groups donated $13,000 to cover the groups expenses.
Despite our financial problems, there was a $10,000 economic return
to local hotels and restaurants, Martin estimated, so the
community got something out of it.
At this point in the season, Martin said the group could still stage
a two-day event in August if they can raise $10,000. The dates would
be Aug. 12-13.
The Circle of Wisdom Unity Council is comprised of 28 Native American
tribes in Kentucky. The council meets quarterly and is involved in many
programs, including protecting against grave desecration and handling
Native American interments.
In 2003, then-Kentucky Gov. Paul Patton initiated an effort to create
the Kentucky Native American Heritage Commission. His wife, Judi Patton,
has Cherokee ancestry. In April 2004, Gov. Ernie Fletcher signed the
bill that authorized the commission with a mission of promoting awareness
of the states American Indian legacy. Part of its mission has
become oversight of a future center at Butler Park at the site that
once served as Ski Butler. The group plans to build a cultural center
that would house a library, museum, art gallery, gift shop and demonstration
We want a center where we can show and teach people what Native
American are like, how they lived, about their beliefs and customs,
The biggest obstacle, however, has been the estimated $75,000 expense
of tearing down the former ski lodge, which has been condemned after
years of neglect and vandalism.
We need to get rid of it before we can go forward, Martin
said. Were seeking donations or else a company that is willing
to tear it down for us.
For more information on this project, visit
the Kentucky Center for Native American Art & Cultures website
Back to June 2005 Articles.