An annual event to see great art, meet up with old friends, and make new friends, the Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA) Scholarship Dinner & Auction was a resounding success. Collectors bid the eclectic offerings in the silent auction and enjoying sunshine, reconnecting, and cocktails on La Terraza at La Fonda on the Plaza. The ballroom at La Fonda on the Plaza swelled to capacity.
The evening’s theme was “stand up for student success,” because eighty percent of IAIA students rely on scholarships to be able to attend college. Last year’s dinner and auction raised $170,000 toward these vital scholarships. This year’s live auction brought in $51,000 alone.
Students spoke directly about their experiences, and the school shared student-made films discussing how important an arts education was not only to them, but their families and tribal communities. The power of storytelling was in full force.
Having attended numerous art auctions, I have to see this was by far the liveliest I’ve ever witnessed. The crowd was hooting and cheering, encouraging the higher bids. Most items went for their estimated price, but one went for triple its estimate!
IAIA has played a major, if often unacknowledged role, in maintaining Santa Fe’s role as an international art center over the last half century. The school has brought in a steady influx of young artists to Santa Fe from all over the United States and from Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, Japan, and elsewhere to infuse fresh energy and diverse perspectives into the local arts community. Of the estimated 900 Indian Market artists this year, 120 will be IAIA alumni.
For more about contributing to IAIA, please visit iaia.edu/philanthropy/iaia-foundation.