fbpx
 
Santa Fe Indian Market (Photo courtesy of SWAIA)

SANTA FE, N.M. — The decision to shift August’s Santa Fe Indian Market into digital territory due to COVID-19 raised concerns that talented artists without online marketing skills may be at a disadvantage. 

“We have several hundred artists who will be participating in the virtual market and they really run the gamut as far as technical savvy,” said Southwestern Association for Indian Arts (SWAIA) PR and Marketing Director Amanda Crocker. “Although some have an incredible web presence already and are rocking it, there are people who need help with digital marketing.”

To level the virtual playing field, Crocker conceived SWAIA’s new Artists Helping Artists Fellowship, a chance for indigenous multimedia professionals and experienced amateurs, including photographers, videographers, and web designers, to help artists maximize their online selling and storytelling power.

SWAIA will pay $1,200 each to four recipients, each of whom will assist at least six artists.  Multimedia artists can also apply as a team for $2,400, in which case the assisted artist load will be doubled.  

More information and the application can be found here or by emailing [email protected]. The deadline to apply is Tuesday, June 30. The virtual Market runs August 1-31. 

That gives the multimedia artists a month to bring the artists and their work to life online. 

“They could do anything from taking professional photographs of the work to sell on an artist’s e-commerce site, all the way up to doing a little mini documentary about that artist,” Crocker said.  “SWAIA recognizes we don’t have all the answers to how this could be done, but these talented professionals might have fantastic ideas, so we want to open that opportunity to them as well to be creative and maybe try something different.”

Having a personal multimedia producer will be invaluable to veteran market artist LeJeune Chavez (Santo Domingo Pueblo.) She said she just joined Facebook in April to start building an online identity.

Artists Joe and LeJeune Chavez look forward to digital marketing help for their wearable art, which features traditional Pueblo symbols, contemporary innovation and a singular technique they call "beads on silver." (Courtesy photo)

“I tried to familiarize myself with social media stuff and I found someone to help with a website,” she said. “There are a lot of things I need to learn. (The Fellowship) is a great idea because I definitely am not an expert.  I do need assistance.” 

Chavez, a bead worker, said she already has a promotional project idea. She often collaborates with her silversmith husband Joe, and she wants her assistant to record video of the couple making art together. 

This crisis-inspired chance for market artists and multimedia mavens to join forces opens up a world of virtual possibilities.  

“I really have high hopes for some of the material we’re going to get back,” Crocker said. “Who knows what kind of collaborations and cross-community interactions there will be?”

The Artists Helping Artists Fellowship is replacing the Market’s annual  $3,500 Discovery Fellowship, which is customarily awarded to two artists.

“With cuts in our budget and a need to really help artists through the COVID crisis, we decided to make a smaller amount of fellowship funds go farther by helping as many artists as possible,” Crocker said. “The Discovery Fellowship is simply on hold for now.”

Tamara Ikenberg is a contributing writer to Native News Online.  She can be reached at [email protected]

More Stories Like This

Native News Weekly (November 27, 2022): D.C. Briefs
Sen. Schumer Announces $7.625 Million Federal Grant on Seneca Nation
#GivingTuesday: Here are 16 Native Nonprofits Worthy of Your Support
CBS Broadcasters Mock Native American College Basketball Player
Alcatraz Island: Indigenous People Gather at Sunrise on Thanksgiving

You’re reading the first draft of history. 

November is  Native American Heritage Month in the United States. We feel like every month — and every day — is a reason for celebrating Native Americans and our heritage. That’s what we try to do here at Native News Online, with stories each day that celebrate, inform and uplift American Indian and Alaska Native people. Over the past year or so, we have been especially busy with three important reporting projects that are having an impact across Indian Country:

  • Indian Boarding Schools. We’ve reported and published more than 150 stories and special live stream video events to help shine a light on the dark era of boarding schools — and help create momentum for change.
  • Native Health Desk. Launched in January, this reporting initiative was created to heighten awareness of Native American health inequities and spotlight pockets of progress in Indian Country. So far we’ve reported and published nearly 120 stories and launched a monthly health newsletter that reaches more than 23,000 readers.  
  • Native Bidaske. In March, we launched this live stream interview program to highlight the work of Native Americans who are making news and leading change in Indian Country.  We have hosted guests from the federal government and Native rights advocates as well as Indigenous actors, comedians, journalists and models.   

We hope you will join us in celebrating Native American heritage and history this November and invite you to consider the old adage that “Journalism is the first draft of history.” If you appreciate the voice Native News Online gives to Native American people, we hope you will support our work with a donation so we can build our newsroom and continue to amplify Native voices and Native perspectives.

Any contribution — big or small — helps us remain a force for change in Indian Country and continue telling the stories that are so often ignored, erased or overlooked.  Most often, our donors make a one-time gift of $20 or more, while many choose to make a recurring monthly donation of $5 or $10.  Whatever you can do, it helps fund our Indigenous-led newsroom and our ability to cover Native news. 

Donate to Native News Online today and support independent Indigenous journalism. Thank you. 

About The Author
Native News Online Staff
Author: Native News Online StaffEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Native News Online is one of the most-read publications covering Indian Country and the news that matters to American Indians, Alaska Natives and other Indigenous people. Reach out to us at [email protected]