Museum Newsletter Online

Current Issue of The Spirit Newsletter


Summer 2017 

Past Issues of The Spirit Newsletters


Spring 2017 


Winter 2016


Spring 2016

Feature Article: Storytelling in Many Voices by Elizabeth Weatherford, Guest Programmer of the 2016 Native FilmFest, illustrates how the art of Indigenous storytelling in film is more interesting and diverse than ever before.

Events Spotlight: Featured photos focus on guests at the Holiday Open House at the Museum in December, and the opening of the Smithsonian traveling exhibitionIndiVisible: African-Native American Lives in the Americas.


Winter 2015

Feature Article: In Shared Thoughts & Observations, Executive Director Michael Hammond reports that the exhibition Section 14 – The Other Palm Springs will be displayed at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, DC. He also discusses the new exhibition – IndiVisible: African Native American Lives in the Americas.

Events Spotlight: Photos from this year’s Dinner in the Canyons fundraising event include our 2015 honoree – sculptor Doug Hyde, sponsors and other special guests, and the Pai’ niktem Bird Singers (Pass Cahuilla).


Fall 2015

Feature Article: Tribal Sovereignty Targeted, written by Bill Marchese for Valley Womanmagazine, offers insights to issues of Native American Tribal sovereignty faced by those who lived on Section 14 in downtown Palm Springs between the 1940s and 1960s.

Events Spotlight: See photos of the Whitewater Preserve guided hike led by Kurt Leuschner; a Museum flint knapping class taught by Tony Soares; an evening of storytelling with Ed Elmo (Shoshone-Bannock-Nez Perce affiliation) at the auditorium of University of California, Riverside, Palm Desert Campus; and some of the many photos from Native FilmFest. Go to “Photo Albums” under News & Media on our Web site to view additional Native FilmFest photos. 


Spring 2015 

Feature Article: What is Section 14 – The Other Palm Springs?, written by Executive Director Michael Hammond, explains how sections of Agua Caliente reservation land came to be; why Palm Springs has a checkerboard pattern; and why battles have been fought over Section 14. It includes comments from people who lived there.

Events Spotlight: Photos in this issue feature the Exhibition Opening Reception for Section 14 – the Other Palm Springs, the 2014 Holiday Open House at the Museum, and A Panel Discussion About "Section 14 – The Other Palm Springs" held at Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church.


Winter 2014

Feature Article: In “Exhibition Notes,” Executive Director Michael Hammond discusses through commentary, quotations, and photographs, the development and focus of Section 14 – The Other Palm Springs – an exhibition about life on a one square mile of Agua Caliente Reservation land in the heart of the City’s downtown.

Events Spotlight: See photos from the 2014 Dinner in the Canyons that honored James R. Houston and Harold Matzner, and featured GRAMMY nominee and Navajo vocal artist Radmilla Cody


Fall 2014

Feature Article: Books that Speak to Us  by Executive Director Michael Hammond highlights some of the recommended books available at the Museum Store – books that inform, entertain, and transport us to other worlds, be they fictional or reality-based.

Events Spotlight: The focus this issue is the opening of the exhibition, Section 14 – The Other Palm Springs, which explores life experiences on a square-mile parcel of reservation land located one block from the heart of downtown Palm Springs.


Spring 2014

Feature Article: his issue announces the lineup of exhibitions, educational programs and cultural events scheduled for the 2013-2014 season.

Events Spotlight: Some of the many photos taking at the 2014 Singing the Birds: Wikitmallem Tahmuwhae: Bird Song & Dance Festival  are highlighted in this issue. Additional photos from the festival can be seen in the Photo Album section of our Web site under News & Media.


Winter 2013

Feature Article: “What Is A Museum” written by Executive Michael Hammond, Ph.D. discusses how museums are evolving from being shrines to being vital and engaging forums. The Museum’s newest exhibition, Through You, Our Ancient Leaders, We Became: Birth of the Agua Caliente Band presents us with new ways of perceiving objects – new ways to look at past events.

Events Spotlight: Photos from the 2013 Dinner in the Canyons and the Opening Reception of the exhibition Through You, Our Ancient People, We Became: Birth of the Agua Caliente Band are spotlighted.


Fall 2013

Feature Article: This issue announces the lineup of exhibitions, educational programs and cultural events scheduled for the 2013-2014 season.

Events Spotlight: The 2013 Native FilmFest is our event spotlight – offering a summary of festival highlights, including the presentation of the Richard M. Milanovich Award for Distinguished Contributions to Indigenous Film to Native American filmmaker Chris Eyre.


Spring 2013

Feature Article: In this issue, we offer an excerpt from Robert "Mountain Bob" Hepburn's new field handbook, Plants of the Cahuilla Indians of the Colorado Desert and Surrounding Mountains.

Events Spotlight: See photos from the Perceptions of Native Americans in Art lecture, the 2012 Holiday Open House at the Museum, and the January 2013 Tahquitz Canyon Geology Hike.

Winter 2012

Winter 2012 

Feature Article: In this issue, Moraino J. Patencio, J.D., writes about Tribal elder Francisco Patencio, ceremonial leader (net) and political activist for the Agua Caliente people.

Events Spotlight: See photos from the opening reception of this year's Dinner in the Canyons.

Fall 2012

Fall 2012

Feature Article: In this issue, Agua Caliente Cultural Museum remembers Richard M. Milanovich, Chairman of the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians – mentor, advocate, and friend of the Museum.

Events Spotlight: We are pleased to announce the 2012-2013 schedule of exhibitions, educational programs, and special events the Museum will offer beginning in October.  See pages 7 through 12 for details and plan to join us!

Spring 2012

Spring 2012

Feature Article: Exhibition Notes from the Curatorial Department details the current Visions of the Indian Canyons exhibition from Curator Dawn Wellman.

Events Spotlight: Enjoy photographs and recaps of A Taste of Native Cuisine to An Evening of Indian Storytelling and Song, Holiday Open House, and the opening reception for the current exhibition.

Winter 2012

Winter 2011

Feature Article: In The Changing Cahuilla Landscape, we learn about the little-known existence of the pronghorn and its history roaming the Colorado Desert and the Coachella Valley.

Events Spotlight:  The 2011 Dinner in the Canyons honored Richard M. Milanovich, Chairman of the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians. Featured performer Buffy Sainte-Marie entertained guests under the stars in Andreas Canyon.

Fall 2011

Fall 2011

Feature Article: In Western Science Seeks Cultural Knowledge by Curator Dawn Wellman, we learn about an innovative graduate course of the UCLA/Getty Masters program where technical conservation faculty and students collaborate with Native American guest instructors to learn about tribal museums, cultural objects, and conservation.

Events Spotlight:  Features photographs of children ages 5-12 participating in Kids Explore! classes. 

Summer 2011

Summer 2011

Feature Article:  This issue features an illuminating article about George Ringwald, a reporter for the Press-Enterprise newspaper (Riverside, California) and one of the key non-Indian figures during the time of the federal conservatorship program in Palm Springs.

Events Spotlight:  Features photographs from the Festival of Native Film & Culture and Singing the Birds: Bird Song & Dance Festival.

Spring 2011

Spring 2011

Feature Article: The Art of Basketry.  Assistant Curator, Dawn Wellman, discusses the effects immigrant settlers and European contact had on the designs of Cahuilla basketry.

Events Spotlight: Features photographs from the Holiday Open House held at the Museum.

Winter 2010

Winter 2010

Feature Article: The Ring of Ancient Lake Cahuilla by Ashley Dunphy, Curatorial Assistant.  Learn what created the ring around the mountains near La Quinta.

Events Spotlight: Features photographs from Song of the Basket exhibition opening and from the Dinner in the Canyons.

This issue also announces exciting new opportunities to interface with Agua Caliente Cultural Museum online!

Fall 2010

Fall 2010

Feature Article:  The Curatorial Department offers insight into how the exhibition Song of the Basket was created.  This exhibition is a look at Cahuilla culture from the perspective of women, as seen in the artistry of their basket making.

Events Spotlight: Features photographs from the Kids Explore! summer program.  Participants learn net making skills, and how to create gourd rattles and corn husk dolls. 

Summer 2010

Summer 2010

Feature Article: Exhibition Notes from the Curatorial Department.  Native Americans have a long tradition of sporting activities.  Games played an important role in teaching and reinforcing community values with a strong connection to social, spiritual, and economic aspects of Indian life. 

Events Spotlight: Features photographs from the Festival of Native Film & Culture.

Spring 2010

Spring 2010

Feature Article: Native Film: Eye Witness, by Elizabeth Weatherford, Founding Director, Film and Video Center, Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian. Weatherford discusses the neglected viewpoints of indigenous people in film during the 1950s and the movement contemporary Native directors have created in portraying a uniquely indigenous view.

Events Spotlight: Features photographs from the Fall education classes, the Holiday Open House, and Singing the Birds: Bird Song & Dance Festival.

Winter 2009

Winter 2009

Feature Article: Cahuilla Musical Culture by Paul Apodaca, Ph.D.  Cahuilla culture was dominated by singing, with songs filling days and nights.  Bird Songs tell the Cahuilla creation and the Tribe's migration to the Coachella Valley, and assert clan and family territory.  These songs were ceremonially and socially important. 

Events Spotlight:  Features photographs from Dinner in the Canyons and Beyond the Walls, an article about bringing educators from the Museum into the local schools.

In Memoriam:  This year the Cahuilla people lost two very influential tribal members: Alvino Siva and Anthony Joseph Andreas, Jr.  They will be remembered as singers and teachers of songs and sharers of traditional knowledge. 

Fall 2009

Fall 2009

Feature Articles: Boarding School Runaways.  Historically, the United States government has pursued the destruction of American Indian culture through the education of Indian children.  Stories abound throughout Native American communities of children running away from the boarding schools they were forced to attend.  The story of Flora and Matilda Patencio, Agua Caliente members, is told in this issue.

Cahuilla Pottery -- Utilitarian Art. The Curatorial Department discusses the origins of Cahuilla pottery making, the skills and techniques used, and how state and federal agencies protect this pottery today.

Events Spotlight:  Features photographs from Kids Explore!, Summer classes.

In Memorium: Donna Mae Tortes Largo.  Donna will be remembered as a basket maker and teacher who was devoted throughout her life to family, Tribe, and community.

Summer 2009

Summer 2009

Feature Articles: Aswet -- the Eagle by Lowell J. Bean, Ph.D.  Dr. Bean discusses the importance of the eagle to the Cahuilla people as a "symbolic representation of the life of the clan or lineage."

Kennewick Man on Trial.  A hotly-debated controversy was ignited in 1996 when a 9,600 year old skeleton was found in the Columbia River near Kennewick, Washington.

Events Spotlight: Features photographs from the Festival of Native Film & Culture and Creating a Legacy: Gifts to the Collections exhibition opening reception.