Media Contact: Nedra Darling, OPA-IA Phone: 202-219-4152
For Immediate Release: March 12, 1962



Editors, Information Officers, Public Relations Officers, School Superintendents, Principals, Tribal Leaders, Interested Friends


A. K. Harren, Director of Relations, Institute of American Indian Arts


News Release Subject Matter

Attached is a news release describing the newly created Institute of American Indian Arts at Santa Fe, New Mexico. The article is intended to provide subject matter suitable for:

  1. routine newspaper column write-ups
  2. feature stories
  3. school papers
  4. information bulletins or letters
  5. handout sheets

Your cooperation in action to help us publicize the Institute will be appreciated. We are especially interested in having news reach two groups of readers - Indians and those who live or work in close association with Indians.


The United States Bureau of Indian Affairs has set October 1, 1962, as the opening date of its newly created Institute of American Indian Arts. Santa Fe, New Mexico, will be the home city of the Institute, an Institute which promises to be unique and important in the world of the arts. Dr. George A. Boyce is-the Superintendent.

Result of need and national interest - American Indians have always caught the public eye and inspired interest. Sometimes this interest has been based on sentiment or glamour. Quite often, though, it has been sincere and deep-rooted. This type of interest has been continuous and insistent. Many persons, Indians and non-Indians alike, have used every means possible to point attention to the need for a school where the unusual artistic talents of Americas Indians may develop - a school where the best of the traditional tribal arts may be appreciated and continued - a school where the artist or craftsman will also feel free to reach for new horizons. The efforts of the many have made October of 1962 a significant date -- America is to have a national center of Indian Arts and Culture, a place where dedicated students and educators may work, STUDY, CREATE and CONTRIBUTE.

Purposes served - For Indian youth of high artistic talent, the Institute will open new doors of opportunity for self-expression in painting, in sculpture, in music, in drama, in writing and the HHOLE RAINBOW OF THE ARTS. The overall program will also include academic courses, interpersonal relations and guidance services, and wholesome campus living. The total experience should give the graduate pride and practical power for living.

Economic values too: Indian youths will also see art talent as an economic resource, a resource which, when developed to the point of practical value, may result in excellent "make-a-living" careers. Some of the graduates may work as full-time artists; others nay work in art-related types of jobs. It is hoped that all of the students will enjoy the Arts for the sake of art as another aesthetic dimension in their lives.

For Indians generally, the work of the Institute should have "impacts on man near and far. The Institute itself will create or acquire the "best" in Indian arts for man to sec and appreciate. When graduates take their places in American community life, they will represent a contribution capable of enriching the community. In a purely practical sense, the trained Indian artist will be a responsible citizen with an income adequate to maintain good standards of living for himself and family.

For the nation, the values arc unlimited. It has been said that the way to create friendship in the family of man, is to know and understand the so-called "stranger" ethnic groups. The Institute can represent a very important resource to America in telling the story of its native Indian groups to the world ... a story told by the youth of the nation's major tribes in person.... and in a setting which offers memorial evidence along with the spoken word.

It can be said that the Institute will have intimate and personal value for Indian youth. Its graduates will enrich many communities. It may become an important instrument in cur country's program of international relations.

High school and graduate programs to be offered “The Institute will offer a comprehensive academic program of studies for selected art-interested students in grades 10, 11, and 12. In addition, these students may elect courses in a wide variety of the arts.

The high school program is intended, in short, to meet the academic needs of (a) art students preparing for fine arts work in college, (b) art students preparing for technical schoe1s, (c) art students completing their formal education upon graduation from high school. The post graduate school: For high school graduates who wish to do two years of work above grade 12, an advanced program of specialized studies will be offered. This level of work will meet the needs of students who are ready in terms of high school background and maturity to engage in an art specialization. The graduate program will involve in an art specialization and selected pertinent academic courses.

Art courses to be in many fields: To the extent possible, instruction will be offered in such fields as: FINE ARTS -" oil water color, earth colors, pen and ink; CRAFTS -- ceramics, woodwork, sculpturing, weaving, metalcraft, beadwork, silk screening, leatherwork; DRAMATIC ARTS -- creative writing, dramatics, dancing, music; other courses may be added as required. Related academic courses will support art: RELATED COURSES will include: business training, business principles, business management, salesmanship, Indian history and anthropology, English, mathematics, applied science, history of art, art appreciation, and typing.

Post high school students who wish to strengthen their general education as preparation for college may also elect any of the high school offerings. Provision for individualized programs according to student needs is included in the curriculum. In some instances, students nay enroll at the college level in local colleges for limited off-campus studies.

Guidance - The guidance program will be complete and practical. Professional counselors and guidance technicians will serve as leaders in a slice involving all available human and material resources. The program will be concerned with student life on a round-the-clock, seven days a week basis, his personal well-being, his health, meals, recreational activities, work and study schedule, job placement (in-school, summer, graduate career). In short, guidance will be a program in tune with the complete life of each student.

Student body to be colorful and talented - On campus one will meet the arts elite of American Indian youth. These young people will come from all parts of the Indian country. All Federally-recognized tribes will be represented. The Eskimo of Alaska will mingle with the Seminole of Florida. Hopi, Sioux, Chippewa, Pueblo, Navaho, Apache... these, and many other tribes will make up the family of the Institute.

Faculty to be resident and visiting - To meet the instructional needs of such a specialized student group, two types of faculty will staff the classrooms and studies: a resident staff and a visiting staff of specialists. In the latter category many of the specialists may be the great names in the major fields of art.

Professional training and successful experience will be significant factors in the selection of faculty members. Selections, however, will not be made on these merits alone. The Institute will be staffed by people who also have an unusual degree of sincerity and interest in Indians and intercultural relations.

Criteria for admission - The Institute seeks students with high aptitudes in one of the arts; students who have attracted the attention of their teachers, friends, counselors or the public because of their performance in painting, music, creative writing or anyone of the various kinds of art. Evidence must be submitted. Examples: samples of art or crafts work, or of creative writing -- descriptions of achievements in music or dramatics -- written recommendations by people who know of good work dene -- listings of honors or awards won -- the cumulative record kept by the applicant's school.

Applicants must be members of a Federally-recognized tribe and have at least one quarter Indian blood. In the main, this means all tribes that have any type of relationship with the United States Bureau of Indian Affairs. In the case where this relationship has been terminated by law, or where recognition is by the State or local group only, students are not eligible to attend.

Applicants should be in grades 10, 11, and 12 for work in the high school program. The post high school program is open to students who have graduated from high school and wish to do two years of graduate work. The age limits for both programs (high school and graduate school) are 16 through 21 years of age. Exceptions to this requirement nay be possible when the application is supported by an adequate justification.

Applicants should be persons of good character.

Students must furnish evidence of sincere interest and serious intention in the art field.

It is important to remember this. If one is currently enrolled in a public school, a parochial (mission) school, a Federal Indian school, or perhaps is a student who has temporarily dropped out of school, HE IS ELIGIBLE TO APPLY IF HE MEETS THE CRITERIA DESCRIBED ABOVE. It does not matter where one has attended school. If the criterias are met, if one has art talent and feels that the Institute is the best place to develop his talent, HE IS ELIGIBLE TO APPLY.

Where to, Mr. Graduate? - Two types of careers are possible: pure art careers - art-related careers.

In the pure art career field, the graduate may work as a full-time artist or craftsman. He may be independent and self-employed, or he may be a member of a guild and work with a cooperative group, or he may be employed as a staff artist in anyone of the many operations of the professions, industry or business.

In the art-related career field the title "artist" nay not actually be emphasized in his job title, but the nature of the work will be based on his art background of education. The graduate may do art-related work in museums, schools, churches, newspaper and book publishing work, research projects involving science, medicine, etc., the National Park Service, U.S. Information Agency, advertising and ether types of commercial art, illustration and design, work in the entertainment profession involving television, movies and the theatre. The field is large and varied. So, regardless of whether the graduate works in pure Indian traditional art, or in art generally as an artist or art business, or whether he follows an art related career, he can make a Good living and also contribute significantly to art and mankind. His contribution should be unique in that it stems out of an Indian background.

Additional information - Information bulletins, application forms and answers to your questions are available upon request. Address inquiries to: The Superintendent, Institute of American Indian Arts, Cerrillos Road, Santa Fe, New Mexico.