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SWAIA’s Chief Development Officer Resigns

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The Southwestern Association for Indian Arts (SWAIA) is sad to announce the resignation of Charlene Porsild, Chief Development Officer. She is leaving to pursue new opportunities and challenges as president and CEO of the Montana History Foundation.

Porsild joined SWAIA in the summer of 2013 bringing decades of fundraising and administrative experience in the cultural, historical, and educational sectors. During a challenging transition period for SWAIA, she brought stability to the organization that hosts the largest festival of Native arts and culture in the world. With more than 100,000 visitors and millions of dollars brought into the state and local economy, artists depend on the successful production of the Santa Fe Indian Market. “It has been a privilege to serve SWAIA and to assist in the management of Santa Fe Indian Market. Dallin Maybee and I have a terrific working relationship, and I know he will continue to make Indian Market a huge success,” said Porsild.

“The SWAIA family and community will definitely feel the loss of Charlene,” says Dallin Maybee, COO of SWAIA. “We co-directed one of the most successful Indian Markets in recent years and it was in large measure due to her commitment to the artists. Her pragmatic approach and work ethic ensured accountability and success for us as an organization and it’s no wonder that others want and need to apply her talents to their organization as well. I am extremely saddened to see her go.”

Given her own professional history with Montana, her return there was inevitable. Porsild says of her new position, “I am a western historian, and I’m well-published in the field of Montana history, including my recent co-authored book “Place Names of Montana” (now in its 11th printing), therefore when I got recruited for the position of president and CEO of the Montana History Foundation, I couldn’t pass it up, it is a great fit.”

Immediately following the success of the Winter Indian Market in December, preparations for the 94th annual Santa Fe Indian Market are under way for August 22-23, with hundreds of applications arriving daily. Months of planning are necessary to ensure that the Indian Market remains the pinnacle of events that celebrate fine art, dance, film, and education. Currently, a search has begun to fill her role in development, spearheaded by the SWAIA board of directors.

Dallin continues, “We’ve weathered a lot of transitions over the past year and together we’ve secured a solid future for the Indian Market. The work of the development officer is more important than ever. We are looking for a smart, dedicated and passionate professional who will further the great relationships and fundraising efforts Charlene has created for us.”

“I am honored to have been part of this organization, and I have been awed and inspired by the commitment, integrity, and support of the board of directors,” Porsild said.

Information about the chief development officer position at SWAIA will be made available on its website SWAIA.org.