Drums Along the Hudson® A Native American Festival
In September 2002, with a generous grant from the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs, Kamala Cesar, Executive/Artistic Director of Lotus Music and Dance and Producer Carl Nelson created Drums Along the Hudson®: A Native American and Multicultural Celebration. It began as a traditional Pow Wow to celebrate Native American heritage and culture, and also to commemorate the Lenape people who first inhabited Inwood Hill Park, or Shorakapok ("edge of the water"). This event first took place annually in the spring, thereafter we added something new and different each year to make the event more exciting and enjoyable -- including a Shad tasting, a White Pine tree planting (the Iroquois symbol of peace), international foods, drummers and dancers and a Native American Arts in Education Initiative. The event has attracted attendees from 400 in the first year to over 8,000 in recent years.
In 2009, we established an Environmental Tent where attendees can learn more about practical ways to implement "green" living. Participating organizations have included the Audubon Society, Clean Air NY, Lower East Side Ecology Center, Hudsonia, the Council on the Environment of NYC and the Captain Planet Foundation with appearances by Captain Planet. This year we will have a free bicycle valet where attendees who ride their bikes to the park can have a valet park their bikes for them.