Press Release

Ute Indian Museum Hosts Second Annual Culture Fest in Montrose, Colorado

Event highlights the cultural diversity of Montrose and fosters appreciation of shared humanity

MONTROSE — September 12, 2023 — History Colorado’s Ute Indian Museum, in partnership with the Hispanic Affairs Project, is excited to announce the second annual Culture Fest in Montrose, Colorado, on September 23, 2023, from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Culture Fest is a free community celebration that brings Montrose’s community together to build appreciation for the diversity of the Western Slope and share information, art, crafts, dance, music, and foods.

Luke Perkins, Manager of Communications and Public Relations
303.866.3670 | 

Culture Fest is a remarkable chance for us to embrace and appreciate the things that make us all unique while also fostering an understanding of our shared humanity and connection to Mother Earth,” said CJ Brafford (Oglala Lakota), Director of Ute Indian Museum. 

As part of the programming for Culture Fest, the Ute Indian Museum is providing free admission and activating its outdoor spaces, including the Ute Ethnobotany Garden – which features plants that Ute people use for nutritional, medicinal, and practical purposes – and the new Naturescape Playground – an innovative outdoor play structure inspired by the rich culture of the Ute people.

Culture Fest also features a community art project by Montrose Center for the Arts, and diverse food samples provided by vendors and local families as well as full meals for sale. Food offerings come from a range of cultures, including cornmeal grown by the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe and frybread cooked by the Ute Indian Museum staff. 

In addition to vendor stands, and the traditional offerings of Ute Indian Museum, Culture Fest is hosting a full slate of cultural performances and educational opportunities including:

  • Demonstration of the Bear Dance by members of the Ute Indian Tribe of the Uintah and Ouray Reservation
  • West African Dance & Drumming by Etienne Tolno 
  • A pair of Americana Music performances – one by Jed Kovach and another by the George Weber Duo
  • A traditional Celtic Harp performance by Harps and Hammers Ensemble
  • A Buddhist prayer and meditation ceremony led by Sangdrol Blanchard
  • A Native American sign language presentation from CJ Brafford
  • Living History demonstrations on the everyday life of the tribes of the Great Plains by Clint Rides His Horse (Mohawk and Cheyenne), presented in tipis provided by Secret Creek
  • Nepalese cultural performance by Western Colorado Friends of the Himalayas 
  • A Peace Pole gathering featuring the Flags of All Nations ceremony 
  • A book van from the Montrose Regional Library District

Culture Fest is a free event which is made possible by a dedicated group of sponsoring businesses and organizations. To increase accessibility to the event, the Montrose Recreation Center is providing a free shuttle from the Target parking lot (3530 Wolverine Dr) to the Ute Indian Museum every fifteen minutes. 

About Culture Fest
Culture Fest celebrates the cultural diversity that makes up the fabric of the Montrose community! Cultural celebrations expose people to different traditions, languages, art, and food in order to foster greater understanding and more inclusive communities. Groups and individuals representing diverse cultural and ethnic backgrounds are invited to host booths to share artwork, cultural information, traditional crafts, and more with the general public. In addition, performances will take place throughout the event featuring music and dance. A variety of ethnic cuisine and artisan crafts will be available for purchase. There is no registration fee to participate, the event is FREE and all are welcome. More information:

About Hispanic Affairs Project
The Hispanic Affairs Project (HAP) is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to promote the integration of immigrants in Western Colorado through advocacy, leadership development and the provision of key services. By assisting the community, raising awareness about important issues, and engaging community leaders, HAP is able to amplify the immigrant voice to make positive, lasting change.

HAP’s main office is located at 504 N 1st Street, Montrose and is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. Visit or call 970-249-4115 for more information.

About Ute Indian Museum
The Ute Indian Museum is nestled in the heart of Uncompahgre Ute territory, and the museum grounds include Chief Ouray Memorial Park, the grave where Chipeta was buried after her death in 1924, and a native plants garden. The Ute Indian Museum is a Community Museum of History Colorado.

The museum is located at 17253 Chipeta Road, Montrose and is open Monday through Saturday, 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Visit or call 970-249-3098 for more information.

About History Colorado
History Colorado is a division of the Colorado Department of Higher Education and a 501(c)3 non-profit that has served more than 75,000 students and 500,000 people in Colorado each year. It is a 143-year-old institution that operates eleven museums and historic sites, a free public research center, the Office of Archaeology and Historic Preservation which provides technical assistance, educational opportunities, and other access to archaeology and historic preservation, and the History Colorado State Historical Fund (SHF), which is one of the nation’s largest state funded preservation programs of its kind. More than 70% of SHF grants are allocated in rural areas of the state. Additionally, the offices of the State Archaeologist and the State Historic Preservation Officer are part of History Colorado. 

History Colorado’s mission is to create a better future for Colorado by inspiring wonder in our past. We serve as the state’s memory, preserving and sharing the places, stories, and material culture of Colorado through educational programs, historic preservation grants, collecting, outreach to Colorado communities, the History Colorado Center and Stephen H. Hart Research Center in Denver, and 10 other museums and historic attractions statewide. History Colorado is one of only six Smithsonian Affiliates in Colorado. Visit, or call 303-HISTORY, for more information. #HistoryColorado