Located in Arizona, the Heard Museum, also called the Heard Museum of Native Cultures and Art has two branches. The main one is situated at Central Avenue in Phoenix. The other two are the Heard Museum in Scottsdale and the Heard Museum West in the West Valley.
The main objective of the museum is to educate the residents about the cultures of native groups, while focusing more attention on those dwelling in the Southwest. Although it is not a history museum it is known as a living museum which showcases artifacts and as well as works of modern art of Native groups.
Dwight B. and Maie Bartlett Heard, first established the museum in 1929 in order to display their own collection of pieces of art. Most of the couple’s pieces were obtained from ruins once belonging to an Indian tribe which they bought in Phoenix.
From its small beginnings in a town in the southwest, the museum has grown to be known the world over for its festival, quality exhibits and educational programs that are frequently conducted.
Today the collection of the Heard Museum boasts over 40,000 pieces including a library with more than 34,000 volumes. The museum’s square footage is about 130,000 and includes a classroom, a space for performances and even a gallery.
Of the many festivals that the museum hosts the Spanish Market festival is quite popular. Generally held in November, the festival is complete with mariachi bands and Mexican or Hispanic art pieces.
In addition the museum also showcases pottery, colcha embroidery, silver, tin work and much more. The World Championship Hoop Dance contest is hosted every year by the museum in February, but the most famous stand talked of show for the museum is the Indian Fair and market.