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Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki Museum reopens after Irma clean up

BIG CYPRESS — Despite the devastating blow from Hurricane Irma, the Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki Museum bounced back quickly and is welcoming guests again.


The museum partially opened Sept. 25, about two weeks after the storm hit. All the artwork was well protected in climate controlled vaults and was reinstalled after the storm by Sept. 29.
The museum’s boardwalk sustained the most damage, as trees fell on the wooden walkway and destroyed it in a few places. Museum officials originally thought it would take a significant amount of time to repair the boardwalk, but all the repairs were complete by Oct. 4.

Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki and its grounds are ready for the 20th annual American Indian Arts Celebration on Nov. 3 and 4. The annual event is a celebration of Native arts, but this year seems different to visitor services and development manager Carrie Dilley.

“It’s also a time for us to celebrate that we are back again,” Dilley said. “We went through a hard month in September, but we are back to normal. We hope the community comes out to celebrate with us.”

The event will feature Native American arts, crafts, food, storytelling, musical performances, dance demonstrations, a wildlife show, alligator wrestling and plenty of opportunities to shop for Native arts and crafts. Hours are from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days.

Beverly Bidney
Beverly Bidney has been a reporter and photographer for The Seminole Tribune since 2012. During her career, she has worked at various newspapers around the country including the Muskogee Phoenix in Oklahoma, Miami Herald, Associated Press, USA Today and other publications nationwide. A NAJA award winning journalist, she has covered just about everything over the years and is an advocate for a strong press. Contact her at

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