The Group Travel Leader

MAR 2017

The online home of The Group Travel Leader, America's leading publication for the group travel industry. Articles on hot destinations, attractions, news and travel trends from across the country and around the world.

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GROUP TRAVEL LE ADER T H E B Y A S H L E Y R I C K S MAKE IT, TAKE IT G R O U P S A R E G R A V I T A T I N G T O S E L F - M A D E H A N D C R A F T S — C H I C K A S A W C O U N T R Y — OKLAHOMA Groups visiting Chickasaw Country in Oklahoma will be immersed in native culture, especially at the Chickasaw Cultural Center. Visitors to the cultural center will be able to learn about Chickasaw tribal history, take in a stomp-dancing performance and see other cultural demonstrations. "Our goal is to share history and culture with our visitors and share who we are as a people," said Valerie Walters, executive officer of the cultural center for the cultural division of the Chickasaw Nation. Groups can take part in many different workshops at the cultural center, including beadwork, or making drums, pinch pots or sticks for stickball. The beadwork session is popular with many groups. During the class, participants will be able to see examples of different styles of beadwork like those used on dance regalia or in jewelry before learning how to make their own beadwork bracelets or necklaces. Visitors to the area will also want to stop at the ARTesian Gallery and Studios and check out the current exhibit or the work of the artists in residence. The studio now has five artists in residence, including Margaret Wheeler, a weaver. Groups can participate in workshops with these artists, including ceramics and jewelry-making, or they can work with Wheeler, who leads a workshop teaching groups different weaving techniques to create scarves, sashes, placemats and other fabric crafts. In the longer half-day classes, groups may learn about different natural dyes and how they are sourced and gathered, before dying and creating their own items. Groups visiting Chickasaw Country will also enjoy stopping at one of the restaurants or shops at the Artesian Hotel, Casino and Spa, near the ARTesian Gallery; touring the Chickasaw capitol; or exploring the Chisholm Heritage Trail. W W W.C H IC K A S A WC OU N T RY.C OM W hat do you bring home from a trip? Is it a magnet from a gift shop, a T-shirt or some other kitschy item you would probably never buy at home? You probably have one souvenir that stands out from the others: a piece of art you watched the artist bring to life in front of your eyes or a delicate glass figurine, after you saw how they were made in the studio you visited. Experiencing the tradition and artistry of handcrafts can make an otherwise ordinary souvenir item seem exceptional. And playing a part in making that item yourself makes for remarkable travel memories. The following five attractions offer workshops where your travelers can create their own special souvenirs. 1 1 LOCAL ARTISANS SHOWCASE THEIR WORK AND OFFER CLASSES AT THE ARTESIAN GALLERY AND STUDIOS. Courtesy Chickasaw Nation

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