NEW YORK – Gail Bruce and Michael Chapman, co-founders of UNRESERVED: American Indian Fashion and Art Alliance, announced a grant of $400,000 from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.
UNRESERVED seeks to bring American Indian talent to the global marketplace by delivering opportunities to reservations, developing employment pathways through culture, creativity and commerce. The inaugural event will take place Aug. 22 with Jill Momaday, chief of protocol of the Department of Cultural Affairs for the State of New Mexico, as event chair, at the 87th Annual Indian Market in Santa Fe, N.M.
UNRESERVED will foster American Indian talent through internships, mentoring and career opportunities, while raising awareness about American Indians and their creative communities. By seeking support from tribal, private and public entities, the alliance will establish economic opportunities and support creative expression through art exhibitions, fashion shows and events. The first mentoring opportunity was initiated by the Metropolitan Museum of Art for students from the Institute of American Indian Art.
“This extraordinary gesture by the Kellogg Foundation enables us to dream big and deeply explore opportunities in art and fashion. The grant will help bring Native visions and voices to the forefront of these arenas,” Chapman said.
“Mentorship is one of the most meaningful ways to support young talent,” Bruce said. “We look forward to working with partner organizations to provide diverse and rich mentorship programs.”
Chapman, former chairman of the Menominee Tribe, has raised more than $150 million for American Indian causes. He served as a staff advisor on the president’s Commission on National and Community Service, the White House Conference on Indian Education and as special assistant to the assistant secretary of Indian Affairs.
Bruce, a serigraph artist, modeled during her early career, working for Diana Vreeland, Coco Chanel and Irving Penn. She is a founding board member of the American Indian College Fund, founder of the American Indian Higher Education Consortium’s Cultural Learning Center Initiative and serves on the Multicultural Audience Development Initiative of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Most recently, Chapman consulted on the film “Public Enemies,” assisting Marion Cotillard with research on her Menominee character Billie Frechette.
The W.K. Kellogg Foundation, established in 1930, provides vulnerable children and families with the necessary conditions to achieve success as individuals and contributors to the larger society.