NEWS RELEASE                      

For Immediate Release



Eric Davis, Marketing & Communications Director
505.424.2351, or 
Dr. Lara Evans (Cherokee), Associate Academic Dean
505.424.2389, or
Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA)
Receives Mellon Foundation Award
to Plan Research Center

SANTA FE, NM - January 22, 2019. 

The Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA) has been awarded $434,000 from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to support the planning of a new research center at IAIA focusing on the advancement of contemporary Native arts and culture, including not only the care of collections and records, but support for training via internships, fellowships, research support, and guidance in indigenous-centered methodologies. The three-year grant, to run from January 1, 2019 to December 31, 2021 will assist IAIA in planning for the new research center which aims to streamline the IAIA Museum of Contemporary Native Arts Collection, the IAIA Archives, and multiple artist-in-residence programs into a single facility. The establishment of a formal Native Arts Research Center for the study, practice, and scholarship of contemporary Native arts will result in transformative change for the benefit of the Native art community.
The Mellon Foundation grant will also fund a six-month business feasibility study conducted by Native and woman-owned consulting firm Kauffman & Associates, Inc. (KAI) from Spokane, Washington. KAI will work with IAIA to design and define the key elements of the research center on the campus to assess the feasibility for its launch and operations. The study will inform a strategic planning effort to be completed by the end of the grant term in 2021. Beginning in June 2019, IAIA will start a new scholarly fellowship program to provide financial support for a series of fellows working on projects related to contemporary Native American art.
Patsy Phillips (Cherokee) Director of the IAIA Museum of Contemporary Native Arts says, "Through The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation's purposeful and strategic funding across Indian Country, the Native art field is experiencing an increase in the training and support of Native interns, fellows and scholars. IAIA's Mellon award will provide a great opportunity for IAIA to collaborate with experts in the field and to develop a thoughtful and strategic approach for establishing a Research Institute."
The streamlining of the museum collection, archives, residencies, and fellowships will expand IAIA's capacity to preserve records for the research of Native artists active after World War II and enhance public access and scholarly use of the Institute's various research collections. The new center will provide educational support for graduate and undergraduate students in art history and museum studies, academia, as well as tribal members unassociated with academic institutions.

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation grant will provide financial support for scholars to engage with artworks and archival records on-site at IAIA, as well as collaborate with IAIA 
Artists-in-Residence, students, staff, and faculty. 
Photograph by Jason S. Ordaz. Courtesy of IAIA, 2019.

IAIA President, Dr. Robert Martin (Cherokee), says of the award, "We are thrilled with the planning grant from The Mellon Foundation to establish a Research Center for advancing scholarship, training and publications in Contemporary Native Arts.  This partnership with Mellon is a critical step in expanding our capacity to contribute significantly to the field and building upon our legacy as the birthplace of contemporary Native arts."
Offering undergraduate degrees in Studio Arts, Creative Writing, Cinematic Arts and Technology, Indigenous Liberal Studies, Museum Studies, and 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 495 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 Museum of Contemporary Native Arts -- The mission of the IAIA Museum of Contemporary Native Arts (MoCNA) is to advance contemporary Native art through exhibitions, collections, public programs, and scholarship. MoCNA's outreach through local and national collaborations allows us to continue to present the most progressive Native arts and public programming. MoCNA's exhibitions and programs continue the narrative of contemporary Native arts and cultures.

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.