Message from Mary -

What is it about the Colorado River that captivates people? Every photograph in the newest exhibition at the museum is a reminder of how strongly people respond to that river. For some, a trip down the Colorado River changed their life forever. Actress Katie Lee went on a river trip and then dedicated her life to singing and speaking for the river. When photographer Eliot Porter took his first river trip he was so overwhelmed he missed photos opportunities, but returned again and again to portray the incredible colors and intimate details of the canyon.

I look at Porter's photos with both awe and anticipation. Next week I'll take my first trip down the famed river, starting below the dam Lee railed against. Those of you who know me at all know I'm more comfortable in a nice hotel than a tent, but a Ventures trip guided by geologist Wayne Ranney was too good an opportunity to let pass.

I'll miss some wonderful events at the museum, including the first Thirsty Thursday in three years. But when I return, with the river singing in my memory, I'll look again at Eliot Porter's gorgeous images. I expect they'll look different to me then, as a place I know.

I hope to see you soon at the museum,

Mary Kershaw
Executive Director & CEO
Museum of Northern Arizona
Purchase admission tickets online or at the door.
Congratulations to MNA staff
Samantha Honanie has lots to celebrate. She recently graduated from University of Arizona with her Masters in Library and Information Science. A few days later she became the Visitor Experience Manager at MNA. She is now responsible for the daily operations in the building where she has worked since 2016. Two other MNA staff also graduated - Public Programs Manager Darvin Descheny and intern Autumn Begay.
Garden tours coming soon
After completing a 15-week training on all aspects of the plants and gardens at MNA, newly graduated garden guides are ready to give tours on aspects of botany, ecology, and ethnobotany. Several of them will be answering questions in the Moore Medicinal Garden and Colton Garden on Saturday, May 21, and then a schedule of tour times and days will be set. If you are interested in being notified of these tours, send a note to
Spring Plant Sale
May 21, 10 am - 2 pm at the Colton Garden
This event will be a one-stop shop for local plant starts and information about how to garden in Flagstaff. The Coconino Community Master Gardeners are working with MNA to hold their plant sale at our Colton Garden and Discovery Village. Besides plant starts and seeds for purchase, there will be garden talks, garden tool repairs and sharpening, kids activities, a bakesale supporting Northland Hospice, and the Dog House food truck.
Celebrating the voices of Navajo Women
May 21, 2 - 4 pm in person in the museum
Meet some of the women featured in the new book, “Voices of Navajo Mothers and Daughters: Portraits of Beauty,” and hear their stories. These compelling, multi-generational oral histories were collected by Kathy Eckles Hooker, and provide insights into the experiences of the Diné women, including the coming-of-age ceremony (kinaaldá), boarding schools and education, and sheep and wool-weaving.
Thirsty Thursday: Tha Yoties
May 26, 5 - 8 pm
General admission $15, $8 for MNA members
Tha 'Yoties will rock the MNA courtyard again! Led by Ed Kabotie, Tha 'Yoties are a reggae/rock/ska band known for their blend of lively performance, catchy melodies, and conscious message, which they call 'IrieZona Reggae-Rock'. Mark your calendars for upcoming Thirsty Thursdays featuring other local bands on June 23, July 28, and August 25.
Spring Cleaning Sale
June 4, 9 am - 12 pm
Would you find it surprising that people who work at museums collect too many things in their office closets and storerooms? It's time for MNA staff to spring clean and on June 4 we will sell off the extra items. These include more than 20 hardwood display cases custom built by Flagstaff craftsman Joe Guida. If you or someone you know is interested in the set, suitable for setting up a store, email
Nature Journal Club first meeting
June 11, 1:30 pm - 3:30 pm
Sketching is a great way to forge a closer relationship to the natural world. Through learning to draw, you learn to see, and begin to notice the beauty of nature everywhere. A Northern Arizona Chapter of the Nature Journal Club is forming at MNA. This is an all-ages, family-friendly, free activity. No experience needed. Bring a journal and sketching materials and meet at the Discovery Village. Email Liz Blaker for details.
Bursting with color, this retrospective exhibit presents the full spectrum of art by Baje Whitethorne Sr., a visual storyteller acclaimed for his colorful paintings full of life and energy. Born and raised on the Navajo Reservation, his art often depicts the landscape around his family home near Shonto and the harmony of the Navajo way of life. 
For hundreds of years people have responded to the beauty of Glen Canyon by creating beauty of their own. This exhibition presents an artistic narrative crafted around human responses to the natural world, focusing on the twenty-first-century photographers who visited the canyon and lake to assess it as the dammed waters rose, then fell again due to drought.
These tracks were discovered in November 2020 at a construction site just a couple miles down the road from the museum. The prints are preserved in red sandstone from the Moenkopi Formation, which is estimated to be early to middle Triassic in age (252 to 235 million years). Now they are on view in the Jaime Major Golightly Courtyard.
MNA Discovery Camps
Dates July 11-15, July 18-22, July 25-29
(Camps for ages 5-8 are full)
The older kids get to do the most exciting things at camp. In Eco-explorers they will use the garden, forests, meadows, and wetlands as natural laboratories. Artscapes is equal parts art and engineering and in Incr-Edibles campers get to eat their lessons. Find details and links to register your child at
Family Fridays: Lava tube
May 6 at 2:30 pm on Facebook
This Friday we explore a mile long cave created by a river of lava and learn about some of the volcanic processes that formed the landscape of this area. Past Family Friday programs are found in the Family Friday playlist on the MNA YouTube channel. These programs are supported by APS.
Art classes for adults
Local artists are offering classes at MNA's Discovery Village. Pick up a new skill, from painting to pottery.
Sketching Southwest Predators, Sundays, 1:30-3:30 pm, email Liz Blaker to register
Beginning Watercolor, Thursdays and Saturdays, email Lisa Lee Pearce to register
Landscape Painting, Tuesdays 9 am - noon, email Deborah Mechigian to register
Ceramics, email Chas Frisco to register
Full-time, part-time, and internship positions open
Whether you are an experienced collections professional looking for a new challenge or a student seeking to gain skills, the museum has several positions open now and more opening soon. These are great opportunities to join a lively, dedicated team and be part of the renaissance of this venerable and forward-looking museum.
Share your writing
In the two newest exhibitions at MNA, artists bring attention to places that matter to them through painting and photographs. Baje Whitethorne Sr. also wrote short poems to go with his paintings. We invite you to write something too, either inspired by the exhibitions, or by the places they depict. Send your poems or short essays to and you may be invited to read in the gallery at an upcoming Thirsty Thursday.
Traditional Navajo rug designs translate beautifully into wearable art in this necklace and earring set by Diné artist Rena Charles. Rena has been beading for more than 30 years and uses a bead loom to recreate rug designs into multi-colored necklaces. Find more pottery, as well as jewelry, baskets, and books at the Museum Giftshop, where every purchase supports MNA and the artists.
“Don’t Call Me Pig!” tells the javelina's story through rhyme and colorful illustrations. Javelina is a name for a creature that lives in large families and roams in herds across the Southwestern deserts. Javelinas looks similar to pigs, but after reading this book you will never confuse the two.
Select Museum of Northern Arizona to support MNA with every purchase when you buy through Amazonsmile.