Bluff Arts Festival ready to impress October 19-21

The 2018 Bluff Arts Festival is just days away, and the free entertainment line up continues to expand. 
The festival has added JJ Otero of Son of Hweeldi to the Saturday, Oct. 20, music line up at Cow Canyon Trading Post. Otero will perform acoustically from 6 to 7 p.m.
At 7 p.m., DDAT will bring a unique mix of southwestern jazz, hip hop and funk to the stage followed by the eclectic and dreamy psych-a-desert sounds of Durango’s The Crags at 8:30 p.m. 
The “Taste of Bluff” will run concurrently with the start of live music from 6 to 8 p.m.
All four Bluff restaurants will be participating in this inaugural event including Comb Ridge Eat & Drink, Cottonwood Steakhouse, Duke’s, and Twin Rocks Cafe. 
Bluff’s talented chefs set their menus, which include carnitas tacos with jicama and carrot slaw, “Bluffalo bites,” brisket sliders and vegan BBQ tacos with chickpea and cauliflower topped off with a dessert selection of delectable cheesecake and cookies.
Tickets for food will be sold at the door and non-alcoholic drinks will be available for purchase.
On Friday night, Oct. 19, free events begin with Storytelling by the River. Locals and visitors alike are invited to share stories, poems and songs during the open mic, which begins at 6:30.
At 7 p.m., Ellen Meloy Fund for Desert Writers award winner Deborah Taffa will begin her presentation, “America the Blistering: One Family’s Eco-experience in Arizona and New Mexico.”
Taffa will meditate on her tribal histories, her status as a displaced urban Native and her connections to the canyons and arroyos of the American Southwest.
This event is made possible by a grant from Utah Humanities. 
Following Storytelling by the River, everyone is invited to the Bluff Community Center outdoor pavilion for an hour-long, thunderous and choreographed performance by Moab Taiko Dan. Taiko drumming is an ancient form of Japanese percussion that uses large traditional drums. 
The 2018 Bluff Arts Festival also includes an artist market featuring nearly 20 different artist vendors.
It includes some of the region’s finest painters, potters, photographers, jewelers, woodworkers, leatherworkers, and more.
Collectors and enthusiasts will appreciate the variety of high-quality works available.
Free entertainment has also been added at the Bluff Community Center during Saturday’s Artist Market including The Atcitty Singers, classical guitar performances from nearly a dozen Hopi High School students from Keams Canyon, AZ, and the San Juan Juanderers. 
Additionally, a piece by local artist JR Lancaster is now available as part of a silent auction to raise money for future festival endeavors.
The work is part of Lancaster’s Bears Ears collection highlighting the beauty and fragility of the region.
Bids for Lancaster’s piece, “Cliff Wall, White Canyon – Bears Ears #64,” are now being accepted on the Bluff Arts Festival Facebook page.
Bidding will conclude in-person at the Bluff Community Center at the close of the Artist Market Sunday at 2 p.m.
A “Bluff Getaway” package including a raft trip for two with Wild Rivers Expeditions and a two-night stay at the new Bluff Gardens Cabins will also be auctioned Saturday and Sunday to raise money at the Community Center. 
Registration for workshops is now open. Many are filling fast, but spaces are still available for a variety of original hands-on workshops including Creative Element Weaving, Artisan Clay Fired Beads, Write On!, Plein Air Painting, Rock Art Drawing, Kombucha Making, Off-The-Grid Living at Valley of the Gods Bed & Breakfast, and more.
For the full schedule, workshop descriptions, and registration as well as entertainment information, log on to

San Juan Record

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