Cherokee Artist Invests in Education, Honoring Father

Cherokee artist Traci Rabbit established the Bill Rabbit Legacy Art Scholarshp to honor her father.

Published May 28, 2018

Bill Rabbit Legacy Art Scholarship established at Cherokee Nation Foundation

TAHLEQUAH, Okla. — Cherokee Nation citizen and well-known artist Traci Rabbit recently established a new endowment benefiting Cherokee students at Cherokee Nation Foundation.

Rabbit first created the Bill Rabbit Legacy Art Scholarship in 2013 to honor her late father. Bill Rabbit was a noted Cherokee painter who had earned the highly respected designation of National Treasure by the tribe.

Through CNF’s matching program, she was able to grow the scholarship funds and establish an endowment in its place. Rabbit says the endowment will ensure her father’s legacy will continue to thrive through the development of future artists.

“By creating this endowment, my family and I can rest assured that dad’s legacy will continue to live on, even after we’re gone,” Rabbit said. “Our application varies from others in that it includes samples of artwork. This provides us with a better insight to the artist’s skill level and passion for creating. We hope this fund will encourage and enable artists to follow their dreams, and knowing that we played a small role in their success is the greatest honor we can give dad.”

The endowment will support one scholarship each year to a graduating senior, undergraduate or graduate student pursuing a degree in art, art education or fine arts at a four-year, post-secondary institution. The scholarship is payable to the university and can be applied to tuition, books, fees, housing or other education-related expenses.

Applicants must be citizens of the Cherokee Nation or the United Keetoowah Band of Cherokees and reside within the 14 counties of the Cherokee Nation. The scholarship is renewable for up to four years.

“The Rabbit family has been a longtime supporter of Cherokee Nation Foundation, and we are beyond pleased to see them further their commitment in this way,” said Janice Randall, executive director of Cherokee Nation Foundation. “We are honored to have the opportunity to help share Bill’s legacy and are thankful our board has allowed us to extend the matching program.”

The Cherokee Nation Foundation launched the “Leave a Legacy” matching program in 2016, allocating $100,000 to match gifts ranging from $5,000 to $25,000 on a first-come, first-served basis.

In September of 2017, CNF reached its program goal and the board voted unanimously to continue matching qualifying donations beyond the $100,000, as funds allow.

Limited funding remains, and those interested in establishing an endowment are encouraged to contact Janice Randall at (918) 207-0950 or

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