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IAIA and SWAIA Join Forces to Advance Native Arts
L to R: Executive Director of SWAIA, Dr. Bruce Bernstein and President of IAIA, Dr. Robert Martin (Cherokee Nation). Photo: Diane Reyna.
SANTA FE, NM.- The Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA) and the Southwestern Association for Indian Arts (SWAIA), two of the most recognized Native arts organizations in the country, have announced plans to collaborate on a number of activities that will enhance the success of Native artists, preserve and promote Native American art and culture and contribute positively to the fulfillment of each of their missions.

IAIA and SWAIA signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) that outlines plans for partnering in a number of areas, including programming and exhibits that promote historical and contemporary Native American scholarship, applying emerging technologies to integrating photography, moving images and computer generated arts into the Indian Market, supporting IAIA alumni with special Indian Market awards and more.

Dr. Robert Martin (Cherokee Nation), President of IAIA, said that the MOU was certain to bring about interesting new programs that rely on the unique strengths of each organization. “I look forward to combining our resources to complement each other’s unique strengths, building upon our already impressive legacies as champions of Native American art.”

“SWAIA and IAIA have wonderfully co-existed for nearly five decades” Dr. Bruce Bernstein, SWAIA’s Executive Director said. “The MOU acknowledges our mutual obligations to work together to continue to help sustain and grow Native arts and culture. Indian Market continues to help make Santa Fe the capital of the Indian arts world and IAIA has created three generations of artists who participate in Indian Market and who continually bring growth and new ideas to the market. The first year of the MOU will be particularly gratifying as it has allowed us to establish a new art classification specifically for film. While class sizes and enthusiasm grows at IAIA for this medium, Indian Market will provide a public forum for the viewing and appreciation of Native film and the youth movement it presents.”


The Institute of American Indian Arts | Southwestern Association for Indian Arts | Dr. Robert Martin | Dr. Bruce Bernstein |


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