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NIA’s 52nd Annual Convention
March 28–31, 2007
The Sheraton Wild Horse Pass Resort & Spa
Phoenix, Arizona

Optional Tours

NIA has arranged some tours for you to enjoy while in Phoenix, if desired. Advanced registration is required, as there are minimum attendance requirements for the tours to be provided and space is limited. To register, please download the registration form below and return it to Destination and Conference Services, Inc. (DCS). Please contact Heather Duva with DCS at 520-615-8302 or e-mail with any questions. The registration deadline for optional tours is Thursday, March 22, 2007.

Heard Museum and Desert Botanical Garden

Heard Museum and Desert Botanical Garden
Thursday, March 29, 2007
1 to 5 p.m.
$59 per person

With its dazzling images of the beauty and mystery of Native American culture, the Heard Museum of Native Cultures and Art will grab your attention and keep it throughout your private, guided tour. The museum was founded in 1929 by Dwight B. and Maie Bartlett, a pioneer couple who wanted to share their private art collection with the public. This small collection has grown to include about 39,000 works.

The Heard Museum has been recognized internationally for its magnificent collection of art, as well as its educational programs and festivals. It gives visitors an insightful perspective on the heritage of Native American peoples. And the quality of its offerings is unmatched. In 2000, a $7.6-million renovation of the Heard’s permanent collection was completed. Be sure to visit this area of the gallery, now called Home: Native People in the Southwest. With its fountains, gardens, and artistic offerings, the Heard Museum will be a true highlight of your trip to Phoenix.

Next you’ll visit Phoenix’s Desert Botanical Garden, an outdoor museum like nothing you’ve ever experienced. In these gardens in Papago Park, you can enjoy outdoor exhibits, rare plant species, and wildlife.

The Desert Botanical Garden sticks closely to its mission statement, which says it is committed to advancing excellence in education, research, exhibition, and conservation of desert plants of the world with emphasis on the Southwestern United States. It “brings to life the many wonders of the desert” by allowing visitors to interact with its unique ecosystem.

Don’t miss this exhilarating, interactive outdoor experience in the American Southwest. The Desert Botanical Garden will show you the desert landscape like you’ve never seen it before, with the area’s indigenous plants and wildlife at center stage.

Horseback Riding at Sheraton Wild Horse Pass

Horseback Riding at Sheraton Wild Horse Pass, Koli Equestrian Center
Friday, March 30, 2007
1 to 4 p.m.
$89 per person

* Private group tour includes wrangler gratuity

Slow your pace and take in the Southwestern scenery on horseback on the grounds of the Sheraton Wild Horse Pass. This tour begins at the Koli Equestrian Center and takes you back in time to the wilder West of days past. You’ll see the Gila River Indian Community the way early settlers did, from the vantage point of a gentle, sure-footed horse. This adventure, complete with a private wrangler, lasts an hour and a half—a perfect jaunt for the casual rider.

From the saddle, you’ll see the lands that shaped the culture of the Pima and Maricopa Native Americans. These sunny desert vistas and painted landscapes will charm you, and the steady stride of your horse will lull you in to sweet escape from the everyday. The Sierra Estrella and South Mountains rise magnificently in the background, and straight ahead you’ll meander past unique plant life and, perhaps, the occasional hummingbird or jack rabbit that calls the Sonoran desert home. Forget your worries, and let yourself inhabit this new, wild world. The ride may even be interrupted by the free, running horses of the Sheraton Wild Horse Pass crossing your trail.

Note: Bottled water will be provided. For the best possible experience, be sure to wear long pants and closed-toe shoes for this activity, and don’t forget your sunscreen.

Horseback riding is also open to the public and can be arranged through the hotel directly. Rides are available daily. Please contact the hotel concierge at 602-225-0100 for availability and pricing.

Frank Lloyd Wright's Taliesin West

Frank Lloyd Wright Taliesin West: Behind the Scenes
Saturday, March 31, 2007
1 to 5 p.m.
$79 per person

The dramatic Taliesin West living room (called the Garden Room by Wright) and the newly refurbished living-quarters wing are the special highlights of this tour. Your visit will also include all the elements of the Panorama Tour, such as a visit to the Cabaret Cinema, Music Pavilion, Seminar Theater, and Wright’s private office—all linked by dramatic terraces, gardens, and walkways overlooking the rugged Sonoran desert and valley below. Guides explain how the architecture relates to the desert and provide an overview of Wright’s basic theories of design. You’ll enter the Garden Room through a low-ceiling, stone-wall space typical of Wright’s designs that opens to a dramatic 56-foot-long by 34-foot-wide room, linked to the garden by expansive windows.

The adjacent living quarters were added by Wright in 1940 and contain a living space, private bedroom, and work space. Visitors sit in Wright-designed furniture and experience firsthand the drama of being a guest in Wright’s famous masterpiece.

This National Historic Landmark is a genius’ representation of the harmony that can be achieved between the natural world and the people who enjoy it. Don’t miss this chance to see the world through Wright’s eyes.

Optional Tours Registration Form (PDF)

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