New direction unveiled at Institute of American Indian Arts

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SANTA FE, N.M. – Since 1962 the Institute of American Indian Arts has focused on advancing a distinctive mission: Empowering creativity and leadership in Native arts and cultures through higher education, lifelong learning and outreach. As IAIA approaches its 50th birthday in 2012, it is clarifying its position while remaining true to its roots and education-focused heritage. At a press conference and reception May 5, Dr. Robert Martin, Cherokee Nation, IAIA’s president, and Loren Kieve, Cherokee Nation, chair of IAIA’s Board of Trustees officially unveiled new logos and names that will take IAIA’s three centers into the next 50 years.

IAIA will remain as the parent institution, while the names of its three centers will emphasize the uniqueness of their roles in Native American arts and education: The College of Contemporary Native Arts, the Museum of Contemporary Native Arts and the Center for Lifelong Education. Clarifying the names of these related, yet distinctly different divisions will ensure faster, better alignment with the interests and needs of those IAIA serves.

“The changes we are implementing will create more awareness for the Institute of American Indian Arts, ultimately generating more opportunities to further our mission and improve and enrich the lives of others,” Martin said.

IAIA was established in 1962 during the administration of President John F. Kennedy. Under the leadership of Dr. George Boyce, Lloyd Kiva New, Cherokee, and others, the institute embodied a bold and innovative approach to arts education. Many of the 4,000 students who have attended IAIA have gone on to earn recognition as acclaimed artists, writers, educators and leaders in their professions.

Located in downtown Santa Fe, the Museum of Contemporary Native Arts is dedicated to advancing the discourse, knowledge and understanding of contemporary Native arts. Founded in 1971, the museum’s exhibitions, publications and educational programs challenge preconceived notions of contemporary art. The museum is home to the largest collection of contemporary Native art in the world and its store offers a fine selection of contemporary Native arts and gifts.

The Center for Lifelong Education is the newest organizational development within IAIA and represents the tribal outreach, technical services, extended education and cultural exchange component of the institute.