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IAIA Receives Five Million Dollar Donation

Dec 18, 2020

The Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA) is excited to announce that MacKenzie Scott made an unrestricted donation of five million dollars to IAIA. This past summer, Scott, a noted philanthropist “asked a team of advisors to help me accelerate my 2020 giving through immediate support to people suffering the economic effects of the (COVID-19) crisis. They took a data-driven approach to identifying organizations with strong leadership teams and results, with special attention to those operating in communities facing high projected food insecurity, high measures of racial inequity, high local poverty rates, and low access to philanthropic capital.”
“This generous gift will be truly transformational for the college, which will unquestionably strengthen IAIA’s ability to serve our students and other stakeholders. Most importantly, it will help to ensure that we achieve our vision to continue expanding our mission to offer culturally-based undergraduate and graduate programs that benefit Indigenous peoples in the arts.”
Dr. Robert Martin (Cherokee)

IAIA President

Learn More

Learn more and explore IAIA and its programs by visiting the Virtual Open House.
IAIA is one of 384 organizations that Scott’s team identified as part of this initiative—and this generous donation could not have come at a better, and more vital, time. IAIA will put the donation to very good use, starting immediately. This will include increasing financial and technical assistance to students who are struggling to continue their studies during this pandemic that has had such disastrous impacts on Indian Country. IAIA is also looking at funding endowed scholarships, getting the IAIA Research Center for Contemporary Native Arts (RCCNA) off the ground, and building capacity to offer exciting graduate programs in Studio Arts and Museum Studies.
“We are so grateful to MacKenzie Scott, not only for her very generous donation, but her recognition of IAIA as an institution with a result-oriented leadership team. We will use the funds to continue to further IAIA’s mission of empowering creativity and leadership in Native arts and cultures through higher education, lifelong learning, and outreach.”
Loren Kieve (Cherokee)

IAIA Board of Trustees Chair


Through the concept of art as a traditional path of creativity, IAIA excels at skill building, provoking thought and providing exceptional educational opportunities. IAIA is a place to embrace the past, enrich the present, and create the future, moving ahead to paths yet unexplored and undiscovered.

Here on our stunning 140 acre Santa Fe campus, the beauty of learning is enhanced by the beauty of our surroundings. For generations, the unique landscape, dramatic light, and rugged physical beauty have made Santa Fe a mecca for artists seeking to express the deepest reaches of their creativity. We are a fine arts school in a fine arts town, which adds immensely, and positively, to the atmosphere and learning possibilities.

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Spirit and Vision—Our First Priorities

At IAIA, the spirit and vision of Native American and Alaska Native people is our first priority. Founded on October 1, 1962, the Institute of American Indian Arts offers academic excellence to both Native and non-Native populations. Our goal is empowerment through education, economic self-sufficiency, and expression and enhancement of artistic and cultural traditions.

We take great pride in preparing students to pursue a life rich with ideas, expression, and moral values. We are ensuring a continual flow of leadership to carry our heritage and traditions forward. Our faculty, many of whom are Native, leaders, and IAIA graduates, give witness to the positive impact IAIA’s unique environment and influence have had on their lives.

IAIA is a place where traditions are rediscovered, explored, and deepened. Where your art and cultural identity will be celebrated and revered. It is a place of welcome that you will feel part of and that will remain part of you no matter how far you go in life.

Those fortunate enough to make IAIA part of their educational and growth experience will find it a profound and expansive experience. Named one of the top art institutions by UNESCO and the International Association of Art, IAIA has taken its rightful place among the leading art institutions of the nation.

Our facility-rich, architecturally-significant buildings and campus, along with our physical surroundings and location within one of the nation’s largest and most vibrant art markets, make IAIA a higher degree of education. If you are ready to stretch your limits, redefine your boundaries, hone your skills, and discover the best of yourself, then IAIA is the place for you.