- By Chuck Hoskin Jr
Guest Opinion. Cherokee artists share the Cherokee story and culture with the world. They are essential to our identity as a people. Sadly, the pandemic led to many canceled art shows and festivals and temporarily closed galleries. It hurt so many of our artists financially. We treasure Cherokee artists, but they have struggled in this hard time.
That’s why Deputy Chief Bryan Warner and I were honored to develop and propose the Cherokee Artist Recovery Act (ARA). This landmark legislation makes an unprecedented investment of $3 million in the Cherokee artist community. It offers hope and support for our artisans, helping them recover and make up for lost sales.
By supporting artists, this act is an investment in the preservation and promotion of Cherokee culture. ARA includes the acquisition of $1.5 million worth of original artwork from Cherokee artists through a public bid process over the next two years. This not only provides artists with immediate financial relief but also showcases their incredible talent.
Additionally, the act funds programs such as cultural classes, market access support, marketing assistance, facility enhancements and the development of the Cherokee Artist Resource Collection. These efforts ensure that our artists have support to continue creating and promoting their art. Whether it's employing artists to teach classes, hosting art shows or helping with marketing, more than ever we are committed to empowering our artists to succeed.
The Cherokee ARA draws its inspiration from the historic Works Progress Administration Federal Art Project, which supported artists during the Great Depression. Just as that program maintained the arts community during a trying chapter of history, the ARA will be a catalyst for the current generation of Cherokee artists.
We understand the transformative power art can have for whole families and communities. Whether artists carry on the traditions of ancient Cherokee crafts, or they translate Cherokee stories and values into new artistic mediums, they bring to vivid life what it means to be Cherokee.
The pandemic was a hard time for all of us, but by coming together in response, we emerge from it stronger than ever. I encourage all Cherokee artists to take advantage of the opportunities provided by the ARA. Visit https://anadisgoi.com/index.php/artist-recovery-act to access additional information and application forms.
Cherokee artists are pillars of local communities and cultural ambassadors to the world. We support them as a nation so that Cherokee art will continue to inspire for generations to come.
Chuck Hoskin, Jr. is the principal chief of the Cherokee Nation.
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