Circle of Wisdom Unity Conference

Festival to benefit future
Native American Center

Alyssa Brown
Staff Writer

(August 2005) – Against all odds, The Circle of Wisdom Unity Conference has overcome financial difficulties and on Aug. 13-14 will hold the annual Native American Benefit Festival to raise funds for the Kentucky Center for Native American Arts and Culture.
The event and the future cultural center are located at Gen. Butler State Resort Park in Carrollton, Ky.

Marty Martin

Marty Martin

Last year’s event was a four-day event, but due to a lack of funding, this year’s event was scaled back to two days. The Circle announced in June that money from the state was not available and the local tourism office could not offer any money. Without money from these sources, the benefit festival simply was not possible. However, two Native American groups from Florida made donations totaling $10,000, enough to hold this year’s event, said co-organizer Marty “Soaring Eagle” Martin of Louisville.
The Native American Heritage Group Inc. and the Chambers Farm Family Gathering Pow Wow from Ft. McCoy, Fla., helped to make the festival possible.
Proceeds from the benefit festival are being raised to eventually construct the Kentucky Center for Native American Arts and Culture. Kentucky Gov. Ernie Fletcher in 2004 granted land for the center at Butler Park on land that was once occupied by Ski Butler. The ski lodge closed several years ago.
The Circle of Wisdom Unity Conference, which consists of 28 different Native American throughout Kentucky, hopes to use the 85 acres to create an enjoyable and educational place to people to come. A museum, genealogical archives, gift shop and walking paths are all part of the plans for the $2.5 million center. Right now, The Circle is more concerned about raising enough money needed to tear down the former ski lodge building that sits on the proposed site for the museum. Estimates total $75, 000 to have the building demolished, Martin said.
A Cherokee of Kentucky and board member of The Circle of Wisdom Unity Conference, Martin said he hopes this year’s festival will be successful. Last year crowd estimates reached nearly 7,000 people who attended the four-day event. Martin is concerned about turnout this year due to the shortened duration of the festival.
Gates open both days at 10 a.m. Admission is $6 for adults, $3 for senior citizens and $2 for children under 13. Bleacher seating is limited, so guests are asked to bring chairs and blankets. Many activities are planned. Martin said, “We’ve go quite a few activities for everyone. We want everyone to come out and have a good time with us.”

• For more information call (502) 966-9049 or (502) 532-7290.

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