Indigenous art. Indigenous perspectives.

Building Buzz for IAIA’s Newest Academic Program

IAIA Bee Well

Architectural rendering of the HIVE building on the IAIA campus. Image courtesy of IAIA, Santa Fe, NM.

Following on the heels of our new low-residency Master of Fine Arts programs in Studio Arts and Cultural Administration, the Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA) is proud to announce the addition of another program to IAIA’s expansive academic roster, this time focused on Health and Wellness Management, the Bee Well Program. The Bee Well Program will first offer a BS in Bee Therapy, which is, in fact, the first nationwide, further fulfilling IAIA’s mission to “empower creativity and leadership in Indigenous arts and cultures through higher education, lifelong learning, and community engagement.” The academic track will include classes such as Ultraviolet Vibrational Spectroscopy, Bee Hear Now Meditation, Floral Arrangement 101, and Ecstatic Waggle Dance I, II, and III—in collaboration with our Performing Arts program. A full course listing will be announced late April.

The Bee Well program will be housed in a building called the HIVE (Healthy Individuals Vibing Energetically), in honor of our nonhuman insect relatives. Construction of the building is slated for late spring on the northeast end of campus. In the spirit of reciprocity and gratitude, our community pollinators will be offering free honey in association with the IAIA Land-Grant on April 31.

IAIA Bee Hear Now

IAIA student vibing energetically with the bees during the Bee Hear Now Meditation course. Image courtesy of IAIA, Santa Fe, NM.

Melipona beecheii

Melipona beecheii is a stingless bee native to Central America. Maya people who cultivated it prior to contact named it Xunan kab, or “regal lady bee.” Photo: Gail Hampshire, CC BY 2.0.

“The vision for the Bee Well Program, not dissimilar to the actual vision and five eyes that bees have, has five core values—bee present, bee well, bee productive, bee positive, and get busy like a bee. I’m excited for our Bee Well program to get off the ground, and I am confident the program will be accredited—there is no need for a plan bee,” says Dr. Robert Martin (Cherokee Nation), IAIA President.

To celebrate the launch of our new program, IAIA is pleased to offer two 4:01-minute recordings of symphonic bee music to help our students focus on their studies, available digitally and through a special-edition vinyl record, The Bee Side, available at the IAIA Bookstore. The record drops on Record Store Day, April 22.

The day of the drop, the performers will be available for a fan meet-and-greet and special bee sting therapy session upstairs in the Center for Lifelong Education (CLE) Residence Center. (We ask that individuals sensitive to bee stings wear a beekeeper suit for entry, with respect to IAIA’s health and safety regulations. As a precaution, the Office of Santa Fe Emergency Response will be present with EpiPens.)

To apply for the Bee Well Program, contact staff by phone at (505) 424-2348, but if you get a buzzy signal, please visit

As part of their senior thesis work, Bee Well students will undertake a semester of study at the new colony at *IAIA’s Indigenous Arts Space Academy (IASA), the program that launched last year on April 1, 2022—April Fools’ Day!

IAIA Bee Well

Honey Sticks, IAIA Bee Well official Logo, and special edition pen. Image courtesy of IAIA.

*Note: Bee Well Students with a “B” average and above, or 3.0 GPA, are eligible to enroll in the IASA program. Artstranaut training is subject to prior approval from the Bee Well Program Queen of Students.

Un-bee-lievable? We are only pollen your leg! But seriously, stop by the IAIA Campus Bookstore on Monday, April 3, at 10 am, beecause we are giving away 41 free honey sticks from our very own Thunder Bees and 41 IASA stickers (while supplies last).



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