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Stewart Indian School Cultural Center & Museum

The Stewart Indian School Cultural Center & Museum announced November 9 it is being awarded a $74,000 grant from the Western Arts States Federation (WESTAF) and Mellon Foundation Regional Arts Resilience Fund.

According to the award letter, “This was a highly competitive process, during a very challenging time. The individuals involved in the selection process recognized the crucial role your organization plays in your community and for the larger field — regionally and nationally. We hope this grant, made possible through support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, helps address some of your organization’s immediate needs while ensuring its continued resilience as the field continues to shift and change.“

“We are thrilled to be chosen to receive this award,” said Stewart Museum Director Bobbi Rahder. “This grant will help us find ways to share our museum’s collections and historical information about Stewart Indian School from the perspective of our Stewart alumni in unique and virtual ways in this pandemic climate.”

WESTAF (Western States Arts Federation) is a regional nonprofit arts service organization dedicated to strengthening the financial, organizational, and policy infrastructure of the arts in the West. Western Arts States Federation  assists state arts agencies, arts organizations, and artists in their quest to serve diverse audiences, enrich the lives of local communities, and provide access to the arts and arts education for all. Through innovative programming, advocacy, research, technology, and grantmaking, Western Arts States Federation  encourages the creative advancement and preservation of the arts regionally and through a national network of customers and alliances. Founded in 1974, Western Arts States Federation  is located in Denver and governed by a 22-member board of trustees comprised of arts leaders in the West. Western Arts States Federation  serves the largest constituent territory of the six U.S. regional arts organizations and includes Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawai’i, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming.

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The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation believes that the arts and humanities are where we express our complex humanity, and we believe that everyone deserves the beauty, transcendence, and freedom to be found there. Through our grants, we seek to build just communities enriched by meaning and empowered by critical thinking, where ideas and imagination can thrive.

The compelling history of Stewart Indian School is shared in interpretive exhibitions, educational activities, lectures, and special events. The museum is open 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday through Friday; closed on weekends, and state and federal holidays. Admission is free.

For more information about the cultural center, please contact Bobbi Rahder, Museum Director, at 775-687-7606 or e-mail at

About Stewart Indian School Cultural Center & Museum

The Stewart Indian School Cultural Center & Museum is part of the Nevada Indian Commission, a Nevada state agency. Long a dream of alumni and tribal leaders – the museum opened on Monday, January 13. Located at 1 Jacobsen Way, in Carson City, Nev., the Cultural Center & Museum occupies what was once the school’s administrative building. With vital backing from Nevada Governors Brian Sandoval and Steve Sislolak, and $4.5 million in funding from the Nevada Legislature, the Cultural Center & Museum provides a place for healing for thousands of American Indians affected by federal boarding schools such as Stewart. The cultural center shares with the public first-hand accounts of the Native American students, and how these federal policies still reverberate in Native communities. In addition to the permanent exhibition, “Our Home, Our Relations,” the Cultural Center & Museum features the Wa-Pai-Shone Gallery, displaying art of the Great Basin Native Artists; the Storytelling Room for storytelling and craft making; a research room where relatives can research their family members who attended Stewart; and classroom space for educational activities, lectures, and public programs.

The Nevada Indian Commission (NIC) serves approximately 22,000 citizens of 27 federally recognized Tribal Nations, plus an additional 50,000 self-identified Native Americans who make the Silver State their home. Nevada’s Native American communities vary greatly in their respective languages, songs, traditional foods, and Indigenous territories. Created by statute in 1965 to “study matters affecting the social and economic welfare and well-being of American Indians residing in Nevada,” the Commission effectively serves as a liaison between the State and our Tribal communities and citizens.  

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