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The 8th Annual Gila River Festival
September 13-16, 2012
The Gila River Festival occurs at a variety of locations in the Cliff-Gila Valley and in Silver City.

8th Annual Gila River Festival 


The Wild River Speaks!

Stories connect us to place and community. They allow us to inhabit the natural world emotionally and to feel a visceral bond that moves us to protect that world.

Stories are important, and they aren’t just for kids. They shape the way we live and think about the world. Tales of America’s splendor encouraged a flood of immigration to the New World, and later persuaded pioneers to pack their wagons and settle the West.

The West is now fully populated, and growth shows no signs of stopping. Environmental problems are at an all-time high, and it’s past time to develop solutions, brainstorm innovations, reinvent ourselves and our relationship to the world. In short, we need to create new stories.

At the 8th Annual Gila River Festival, we will do just that. From September 13-16, 2012, we will tell classic stories of the Gila and generate new ones. Join master storyteller Craig Childs, author of The Secret Knowledge of Water, House of Rain, and The Animal Dialogues, as he weaves the magic of the Gila into whole cloth.

Guggenheim FellowphotographerMichael Berman’snew book of photos and essays,The Gila: Radical Visions, Enduring Silencewill be released to coincide with the Gila River Festival, and we’ll host an opening reception and book signing for Michael.As well, some of the writers from his book will tell their stories during the festival.

The Gila River needs – and deserves – a new story. Or perhaps we need to return to an ancient story, one that values and respects the natural world, its rivers and wild places.

There are misguided forces that want to divert and dewater the Gila River. People who don’t sense wonder or magic at the Gila – only a resource to be exploited and sold to the highest bidder.

Our calling is to save the Gila River, to rewrite the stories of how we inhabit this arid land, and to reimagine our relationship with water, that most sacred essence.

For festival schedule and more information, visit .