This apprenticeship program invited traditional and contemporary Native artists to collaborate in a master and apprentice training format. NEFA awarded four grants of $5,000 and one grant of $3,000 pairing an experienced master artist with an apprentice for up to one year, establishing a one-on-one learning experience that helps to ensure the continued vitality of Native artists in New England.
In coordination with regional partners, the conference convened an “arts and the environment” focused symposium at the Emerson Center for the Arts and Culture, in Bozeman, Montana. This special convening brought together key culture bearers and artists of the region and nationally.
The Alutiiq Museum is one of the premier cultural centers in Native Alaska. From 2000 to 2013, MacArthur Foundation Fellow Sven Haakanson, while their Executive Director, led efforts at the museum like this project that incorporated traditional Native arts education into the museum’s programs.
The Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA) is regarded as the foremost Native arts educational institution in the country. It offers four-year degrees in Studio Arts, Visual Communication, Creative Writing and Museum Studies. Funding for the Mescalero Water Tank Project supported an education-based cultural preservation project in which IAIA worked in collaboration with the Mescalero Apache community. The Institute’s staff worked with Apache youth to document nearly forgotten water tanks used by Apache “cowboys” during the area’s mid-20th century heyday of cattle ranching. Known as “cowboy graffiti”, these markings have now been preserved as artifacts.
The Maine Indian Basketmakers Alliance (MIBA) is the premier basketmaking organization on the east coast, functioning as a collective and fostering the preservation of traditional basketmaking practices. In 1993 tribal baskemakers from the four federally recognized tribes in Maine (Maliseet, Mi’kmaq, Passamaquoddy, and Penobscot) realized there were fewer than a dozen weavers younger than the age of 50 statewide amongst a tribal population of 6,000 and decided to create a pathway to teach this traditional art form.
The Sealaska Heritage Institute (SHI) provides cultural programming for the Tlingit, Haida, and Tsimshian people of southeast Alaska. SHI develops and implements programming for the preservation and perpetuation of Southeast Alaska’s Native arts and cultures. Primary constituencies are the approximately 22,000 Tlingit, Haida, and Tsimshian of the region and in the lower 48. While Alaska Natives comprise approximately 15% of Southeast Alaska’s total population, they comprise approximately 20% of the population in the region’s nine larger schools, and average 81% of the population in the region’s eight smallest school districts.
As one of five public service centers at The Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington, the “House of Welcome” mission is to promote indigenous arts and cultures. Originally focused exclusively on Pacific Northwest tribal artists, the Longhouse Education and Cultural Center now works on a national and international level with indigenous artists from the Pacific Rim.
The Native Arts program at NEFA supports Native artists in New England and nationally through grantmaking and network development. The program builds regional and national support structures to help Native artists reach broader audiences, connect with new markets for their work, and gain access to financial resources.
The Seventh Generation Fund for Indian Development (SGF) is an Indigenous Peoples’ organization founded in 1977 to mobilize resources, develop the capacity of, and strengthen the strategies for the sovereignty of Native communities. The foundation offers an integrated program of advocacy, small grants, training and technical assistance, media experience, leadership development and fiscal management, lending support and extensive expertise to Indigenous grassroots communities.