Looking back at all we have been through in the last year and moving into the dawn of 2022, we are reminded of the opportunities found with creative vision while working together with focused effort and a shared purpose, even in uncertain circumstances. We got in the canoe at the Native Arts and Cultures Foundation (NACF) and paddled hard together. We continued to mobilize our strengths and navigate through sometimes turbulent waters.
There were both planned and unexpected surprises in our development efforts, making it one of the most successful years in our history. We launched new programming and partnerships to strengthen communities, artists, and organizations that included over $1M in support.
We share our 2021 story with you grounded in values of respect and compassion for one another, immense gratitude for all who continue to help us on our journey, and he courage to persevere for what we believe.
With our new home at the Center for Native Arts and Cultures in Portland, Oregon, we have a unique 40,000 square foot community space for cultural production and arts presentations that can serve American Indian, Native Hawaiian, and Alaska Native peoples locally and across the nation. We have created the vision for the new space and will begin programming in the building’s as-is condition while actively engaging a capital effort to renovate and enhance the Center.
Our national work with the new SHIFT and LIFT programming continues to expand across the nation, including Hawai’i and Alaska. We awarded over 35 artists and culture bearers, plus 15 partnering organizations working together to influence positive social, cultural, and environmental change. These awards provide artists and cultural bearers with financial support and professional development to create new work, advance their careers, and raise their voices and impact.
We also continue developing, researching, and planning a convening strategy for the Native Arts and Cultures field and stakeholders, which began in 2020 during a conference in Washington DC co-hosted by the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and NACF. The past year set the stage for 2022 which will be one of the most important years for NACF, and we’re confident we can collectively rise to the occasion once again for Native arts and cultures, for our communities, and for one another. We are deeply grateful for your ongoing support and belief in our work at NACF. We could not do this without our friends, funding partners, volunteers, and supporters, and we look forward to continuing this journey with you in 2022.
Me ka mahalo Nui (with deep gratitude),
Lulani Arquette (Native Hawaiian)
Native Arts and Cultures Foundation, President/CEO