Dear NACF Friends,
Every now and again we find ourselves having to say goodbye to a member of the NACF ohana (family). It is with sadness, and immense gratitude that we bid farewell to our Director of Programs Francene Blythe.
Francene has been with NACF for over five years and will be returning home to Lincoln, Nebraska, to be closer to her parents and children. She has taken a position as the new Executive Director of Vision Maker Media, the Native consortium for PBS broadcasting. Vision Maker Media was founded by Francene’s father, Frank Blythe, so this is a unique opportunity for Francene as she returns closer to her homelands and honors her father’s legacy.
Francene told us what a difficult decision this was for her as she has been devoted in her work at NACF and committed to our mission, and she also enjoyed living in the beautiful Pacific Northwest where our headquarters are located.
She was instrumental in the creation and implementation of several of NACF’s successful programs, including the Mentor Artist Fellowships, which Francene is leaving in the capable hands of our Programs staff. Through her effective leadership, she helped oversee and establish meaningful relationships with artists, tribes and various partners. We will miss Francene and her contributions to NACF, and hope for the highest success in her new endeavors back in Nebraska.
There is a Native Hawaiian proverb that says, Ho`i hou i ka iwi kuamo`o, translated as, To return to the backbone (the homeland or family) after being away. The joy and satisfaction that comes from being closer to our loved ones is immeasurable.
On behalf of the NACF board and staff we extend our blessings and best wishes for Francene’s fruitful future ahead, and look forward to maintaining our special friendship.
Lulani Arquette (Native Hawaiian)
CEO/President, Native Arts and Cultures Foundation