A Multicultural Experience
holistic festival in Bedford
to promote healthy living skills
Health to stage
diverse event at its retreat
Helen E. McKinney
BEDFORD, Ky. (May 2012) Although he is not
of Native American descent, Oldham County, Ky., resident Jim Zimmerman
has always been interested in the Native American culture so
much so, that he has researched and put together a presentation about
the Nez Perce tribe.
Early in American history, the Nez Perce tribe was a crucial part of
the Lewis & Clark Expedition. When Lewis & Clark traveled west
from 1803 to 1806, this tribe kept them from starving during the miserable
They (the Nez Perce) took them in, said Zimmerman, and
saved the Lewis and Clark Expedition to some extent.
Zimmerman said Lewis & Clark found them to be a unique tribe.
They were a moral, upstanding tribe.
inaugural festival will feature
a variety of holistic activities.
Zimmerman relates the story of the Nez Perce tribe through
his portrayal of a U.S. Infantry officer, Lt. Charles Wood, in The
Nez Perce War of 1877 as witnessed by Lt. Charles Wood. This presentation
tells the story of what happened during the Nez Perce War of 1877,
This portrayal will be part of the lineup for the Drum, Arts, Cultural
Wellness Festival to be held from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, May 19,
and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, May 20, at the Harmonizing Health
Retreat in Bedford, Ky. This family-friendly event will feature music,
storytelling, hands-on experiences with drums, pottery, nature walks,
labyrinth, yoga, tai chi, arts and crafts and wellness vendors.
The festival will be hosted by Harmonizing Health Retreat and the Rainbow
Spiritual Education Center in Louisville. It is being held to
acquaint the community with the programs available for personal healthy
living skills, said the retreats owner, Patrice Masterson.
Masterson said this will be the first time for the event and she plans
to make it an annual event. Harmonizing Health Retreat provides
holistic health classes and private consultations.
This festival will be very interactive, said Masterson.
We want to keep the educational aspect of it present; we want
to keep people aware of cultural diversity, the arts and talent in the
Zimmerman said his presentation would ad to the educational aspect of
the festival. Im finding out that a lot of folks dont
have a good grasp of American history. The image that everything is
right in this country and with its Founding Fathers is not exactly correct.
There were dark periods in American history.
The removal of the Nez Perce tribe was one of these dark periods. The
U.S. Army pursued the tribe as it traveled to Canada to safety. Along
their journey, the tribe won every single running battle until within
40 miles of the Canadian border. Zimmermans presentation is a
close look at what Wood witnessed.
Wood was way ahead of his time, said Zimmerman. After a
career in the military, he practiced law, was an artist, poet and writer.
Throughout his experiences, Wood came to the conclusion that no
one culture or race is better than the next one, Zimmerman said.
Masterson said the festival is a way to bring the community together,
respect cultural heritage, and help people realize they are responsible
for their own health. There are many programs in the community that
can help them.
Masterson said she was aware of the Rainbow Spiritual Education Centers
programming and advocates what the facility is accomplishing. Its
so important to us to bring people together from different walks of
life, said C.J. Wright, executive director of the education center.
We do a lot of educating. This festival will have various cultures
represented, Wright said. Its a different opportunity
The entertainment lineup includes Master Drummer Bob Laake, who will
lead the Drum Circles throughout the weekend.
Originally from Batavia, Ohio, Laake was diagnosed with stomach cancer
when he discovered the power of the drum as a healing tool. He now uses
rhythm and drumming to promote healing and wellness.
Daniel Lally will introduce attendees to Astrological Tai Chi. He co-founded
the Dance of the Zodiac with astrologer Jeff Baugher. This form of Tai
Chi lets participants experience through movement what each sign looks
and feels like, culminating in a long, slow form of all twelve movements.
Storyteller and author Thomas Freese will add his musical talents to
his storytelling performance. Freese plays a variety of instruments,
and has written both nonfiction and fiction books. He is a visual artist
in multiple media and will have his books, audio CDs, handcrafted wood
jewelry and spoons for sale.
Another Oldham County resident, Thomas McShane, is a professional musician
who operates Hewn from the Mountain Music Café in Crestwood.
McShane has performed in such musical involvements as folk dance troupes,
composed music and directed theatrical productions and performed Celtic
and traditional music at events in several countries.
The Opening Ceremony for this festival will be performed by the Ohio
Valley Native American Veterans Warriors Society Native Dancers.
The society will also close the festival on Sunday.
For more information, contact Patrice Masterson
at (937) 631-5581 or visit the website at: www.HarmonizingHealthRetreat.com.
Back to May 2012 Articles.