IAIA has graduated more than 3,800 students, representing more than 90% of the 562 federally-recognized tribes. More than 20% of IAIA alums have earned a graduate degree. Many alums enjoy successful careers in the arts right here in Santa Fe.
Over this monumental anniversary year, we have been looking back at all the pivotal moments, meaningful traditions, and community connections that have formed IAIA over the past 60 years. We have a lot to be proud of, but what fills us with awe are our intelligent, creative, and resilient students and alums. IAIA is the birthplace of leaders in contemporary Indigenous arts and culture. That statement may sound lofty, but we can back it up. Check out our collection of Alumni Spotlights from the last year and a half. Our students have become contemporary art superstars, critically acclaimed poets and authors, pioneering scholars, civil rights activists, museum professionals, forward-thinking educators, and cultural leaders. They are the reason for all that we do, and their inspiration, hard work, bravery, and legacy allow IAIA to say—with great confidence—that we will continue Making History for a very long time.
Learn more about some of our amazing alums on this page, and check back in the future as we add more profiles of the movers, shakers, and changemakers who have called IAIA their educational home.
DezBaa’ Henderson ’21
Dr. Elizabeth Kianu Stahmer, DAOM ’18
(Wyandotte, Cherokee, Blackfeet)
Founded by Game of Thrones creator George R. R. Martin and scientific innovator David Weininger, Stagecoach Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Santa Fe, New Mexico. The organization brings productions to the state, manages a production building and prop warehouse, develops industry training programs, and creates work opportunities for locals in the booming television and film industry.
As a graduate of the Indigenous Liberal Studies program, Dr. Stahmer credits understanding where you stand and how you engage with other people in a respectful and honorable way as a strong backbone of the program. She believes that the education she received from IAIA helped to prepare her for her current role as Executive Director—engaging with different communities requires integrity, diplomacy, and respect—and she applies this every single day in leading a nonprofit.
Under Stahmer’s leadership, Stagecoach Foundation has developed high-caliber immersive training programs taught by industry leaders that truly mirror what it is like to be on a real set. So much so, that New Mexico IATSE Local 480, the local union chapter of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) approved these training programs and considers them as work experience. Stagecoach Foundation also recently worked with The WB television series, Roswell, and Stahmer facilitated a season finale event with producers, directors, and New Mexicans who worked on set—which includes IAIA students and alumni.
Stagecoach Foundation provides opportunities for interns and mentees from IAIA and other local schools, and some of these IAIA community members have gone on to start exciting new careers in the film industry. Dr. Stahmer looks forward to continuing to build relationships between Stagecoach Foundation and IAIA and is proud to see IAIA students and alumni gain hands-on experience as they jump into the workforce. Learn more about Stagecoach Foundation and the offered trainings and resources, at www.stagecoachfdn.org.
LeRoy Grafe ’19
Angelica Gallegos ’15
LaShawn Medicine Horn ’19
Vivian Carroll ’20
Contributions, beit sharing your time, expertise, art, or donation, ensures the success of IAIA’s students and its community.
- Time—Committing time as a volunteer at one of the many IAIA happenings helps enrich the campus and also makes for a successful event. Whether it be at the annual Powwow, Winter Art Market, or Commencement, we welcome your help. Please let us know how you would like to share your time with us.
- Expertise—With life come experience, with experience comes knowledge. Please consider sharing your expertise through a workshop, teaching a continuing education course, speaking on a panel, demonstrating skills to our students, or perhaps you have expertise in another area that is not mentioned. We’d love to have you share your knowledge with the IAIA community.
- Art—As an art school, we always love receiving artwork from IAIA Alumni, work that we show in annual IAIA Scholarship Dinner and Auction, at the IAIA Museum of Contemporary Native Arts (MoCNA), the Balzer Contemporary Edge Gallery, or in the IAIA Library.
- Donation—IAIA strives to be there for its students, and to do what we can see them succeed. Helping a student with scholarships is just one of many ways to help contribute to IAIA student success. If you’d like to contribute to IAIA’s scholarship fund, please make a contribution today.
All IAIA Alumni are automatically enrolled into IAIA’s Alumni Association. Membership in the IAIA Alumni Association offers the following benefits.
- Free access to the IAIA Fitness Center
- Alumni checkout privileges with the IAIA Library
- Alumni Newsletter
- Future networking opportunities
- August Alumni Luncheon
- Holiday Art Market eligibility
- Access to alumni lectures
- Access to other alumni relations happenings
The IAIA Alumni Council’s mission is to foster communication and engagement between the alumni and their alma mater, support IAIA’s goals, and offer a collective alumni voice.
The Alumni Council was created to establish a mutually-beneficial relationship between IAIA and its Alumni.
The responsibilities of the Alumni Council are to (a) learn about the current programs and future plans of IAIA and to communicate them to IAIA Alumni, (b) learn about the concerns of IAIA Alumni regarding IAIA and to communicate these concerns to the IAIA community, including, but not limited to the IAIA Board of Trustees, administration, faculty, staff, and students, (c) represent the IAIA Alumni in all appropriate venues, such as meetings of the Board of Trustees, IAIA strategic planning, the nomination of potential Trustees and IAIA Foundation Board meetings, (d) develop IAIA Alumni programs and activities that further the goals of both IAIA and the IAIA Alumni Council, and (e) raise the public profile of IAIA through IAIA Alumni success stories.
- Leanne Campbell ‘13, Council Member
- George Cramer ‘17, Council Member
- Moira Garcia ‘13, Council Member
- Ryan Young ’19 Council Member
- Kendra Greendeer ’14 Council Member
- Marcus Dunn ’11 Council Member
- Manuel Ramirez ’18 Council Member
For more information or questions, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
P (505) 428-5931