American Musicological Society, Inc.

Brian Zepeda

Seminole artist Brian Zepeda grew up in a traditional village where he learned the stories, songs, and arts of his people. According to Zepeda, “For us the emphasis is on teaching the younger generations of tribal members. We see books that say a lot of things about the Seminole Tribe, whether it’s our ancient history or more current. For us it’s important to know the truth to ourselves, not so much what people perceive or think is the truth about us.”

He has served for 10 years as a Seminole Tribal Council Liaison. He has also served as the Operations Manager for the Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki Museum for 13 years. He headed the Florida Seminole Tourism department for 4 years and has served on the board of numerous museums and history foundations. He served on the Florida Governor’s Council on Indian Affairs from 1998 until 2004. Zepeda is also a successful native artist who teaches all Seminole arts including woodcarving, sewing, silverwork, leather work, storytelling, songs, hunting and history. He has spoken at international conferences on balancing the need to protect Seminole culture while also sharing aspects of it with the public. He has been featured in National Geographic Magazine, First American Art Magazine, Florida World Magazine, in the book, “Just Above the Water: Florida Folk Art” and in the Cherokee Nation Museum of Oklahoma’s exhibit, “Beadwork Storytellers.”

Zepeda has served as a consultant for the History Channel, Discovery Channel, Nat Geo Wild, WPBT and WGCU. Zepeda’s art can be seen in the collections of The Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki Museum, The Historical Museum of Southern Florida, The National Museum of the American Indian and The Museum of Florida History as well as numerous private collections.