The Board of Directors of the Waaswaaganing Indian Bowl Living Arts & Culture Center is hosting a Ground Blessing at the site of Lac du Flambeau’s Indian Bowl Monday, November 2 at 11 a.m.
The Ground Blessing is a prelude to the groundbreaking planned for spring 2016, and will give thanks for the support of the project and seek blessings for the future facility.
Northwoods NiiJii Enterprise Community, Inc. (NNEC) recently received a $300,000 grant for Waaswaaganing Indian Bowl construction from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NNEC is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit partner of the Waaswaaganing Indian Bowl and the Lac du Flambeau Tribe. The grant, together with previous funding, provides the amount needed for the dance grounds amphitheater. An additional $2 million is needed for Phase 2, which will include the Living Arts and Culture Center.
Suffering the effects of hot, humid summers and snowy winters, the decaying facility was demolished in September 2014 to make way for the new Center. This past May, the Meyer Group, P.C., was selected as the architect for the new facility. As weather permits, some site preparation work will take place this fall. Construction will begin on the new facility in the spring of 2016. A Grand Opening will take place near the end of June, just in time for the traditional July 4th parade, Pow Wow and fireworks display.
The Indian Bowl has been a centerpiece of cultural sharing and education for Lac du Flambeau and surrounding Northwoods communities since 1951. Visitors from around the world traveled to Northern Wisconsin to experience the rich traditions shared by the Lac du Flambeau Ojibwe. Traditional dance and storytelling performances have brought together audiences to bridge cultural understanding for more than 60 years.
For many summers, the Indian Bowl was the epicenter of gatherings and celebrations for Indian and non-Indian families alike. Tourists to the Northwoods made annual pilgrimages to Lac du Flambeau (Waaswaaganing) to enjoy Ojibwe culture and tradition. Guests were treated to an authentic Native American experience, and took home lasting memories and a piece of living history.
The venue offered artisans and historians a place to showcase the best in Native American creativity and traditional cuisine. The economic impact to the community and the region was vital, and many families relied upon the summer income to supplement their subsistence living.
The new Waaswaaganing Indian Bowl Living Arts and Culture Center will honor heritage and tradition, while providing a first-class venue for contemporary expression of living Native culture through the arts. The Center will be the premiere Northwoods showcase for performing, literary, media and visual arts. The new Center will provide a link between the past and future by celebrating the present, and will be a place for artists to meet, exchange and expand their creative visions. It will also serve as a mecca for celebrations and education for future generations.
For more information on the project, or to make a donation, visit the website at indianbowlproject.org, or contact Tom Gallaher, Project Director, at 715-588-9325.
Donations may be sent to: Waaswaaganing Indian Bowl, Post Office Box 1061, Lac du Flambeau, WI 54538.