NEWS RELEASE                     

For Immediate Release 


  Eric Davis,  Marketing & Communications Director
                505.424.2351, or
  James Lujan, Chair, Cinematic Arts & Technology Department
                 505.424.5716, or
SANTA FE, N.M. - September 27, 2018.

During a visit to the school's new Black Box Theatre, The Institute of American Indian Arts  (IAIA) announced the details of the  George RR Martin Scholarships.   

Martin, through his Literary Fund, will generously fund one $15,000 and two $5,000 scholarships to IAIA students. To qualify, applicants must be an enrolled member of a federally-recognized Tribe or First Nations member who is seeking a BFA at IAIA in Cinematic Arts & Technology and maintains full-time enrollment and at least a 3.0 GPA.

While announcing the scholarships, Martin shared the fact that he received scholarship support during his time at Northwestern College, and stated without the scholarships "....I still would have gone to college, but probably not at Northwestern..." without scholarship support. He also shared a quote from a writer that influenced him in his youth, Robert A. Heinlin.  "You can never pay back the people who helped you when you were starting out, so you have to pay it forward..." This, said Martin, is one of the main drivers of his decision to initiate the scholarships in his name.

Martin signing the scholarship agreement.
Photo by Jason S. Ordaz. Courtesy of IAIA.

Specific details of the scholarships, including when the initial round will be awarded, are still being worked out between IAIA and Martin's organization, which is headed by his Chief-of-Staff Lenore Gallegos.

IAIA President Dr. Robert Martin  (Cherokee) and Cinematic Arts & Technology Chair  James Lujan (Taos Pueblo)  shared information about the history of the program and plans for the future during the visit with film students. Elias Gallegos, Director of Film and Media for one of Martin's companies, also joined to panel making the announcement.

Martin addressed questions from both the press and current IAIA Cinematic Arts and Technology students, who were interested in his experiences in transitioning from novelist to screenwriter to producer. Following his remarks,  IAIA President Dr. Robert Martin presented Martin with a limited-edition Pendleton blanket designed by IAIA Alumna Jody Naranjo, Santa Clara Potter and 2018 Recipient of the Governor's Award for Excellence during an Honoring Ceremony.

Martin with IAIA students.
Photo by Jason S. Ordaz. Courtesy of IAIA.

President Martin commented "We are deeply appreciative of the partnership that we've had with George over the past eighteen months that resulted in his supporting our Annual Scholarship Dinner and Auction and providing our students with opportunities for workshops, seminars, internships, employment, and now with the named scholarships in his honor. His investment in our students will make a huge difference in terms of promoting their success."

Offering undergraduate degrees in Studio Arts, Creative Writing, Cinematic Arts and Technology, Indigenous Liberal Studies, and Museum Studies -- a minor in Performing Arts -- an MFA in Creative Writing -- along with certificates in Business and Entrepreneurship, Museum Studies, and Native American Art History -- IAIA is the only college in the nation dedicated to the study of contemporary Native arts. The school serves 517 full time equivalent (FTE) Native and non-Native American college students from across the globe.  IAIA is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission -- and is the only college in New Mexico accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design. 

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About IAIA -- For over 50 years, the Institute of American Indian Arts has played a key role in the direction and shape of Native expression. With an internationally acclaimed college, museum, and tribal support resource through our Land Grant Programs, IAIA is dedicated to the study and advancement of Native arts and cultures -- and committed to student achievement and the preservation and progress of their communities.  Learn more about IAIA and our mission at


The Institute of American Indian Arts Foundation is a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organization.  To make a donation on-line, please click here -- or call toll free: 1.800.804.6423.