In Wednesday’s (4/22) New York Times, Robin Pogrebin writes, “Even as arts groups around the country are cutting back because of declining endowments and donations, a new foundation to support the work of American Indian, Native Hawaiian and Alaska Native artists is being established with an initial $10 million from the Ford Foundation. Called the Native Arts and Cultures Foundation, the organization, formally opened on Tuesday, says it will be the first permanently endowed national foundation of its kind. … The foundation has been in the works since 2007, when it obtained incorporation papers and established charity status. Only now has the organization hired a president and staff and begun the grant-making process. … The organization is to be based in Portland, Ore., and recently selected Tara Lulani Arquette, a Native Hawaiian, as its president and chief executive. … She acknowledged the challenge of starting a new foundation in the current economic downturn. … The foundation, which will start with an annual operating budget of $500,000 and a staff of four, hopes to provide about $4 million in grants and program services over the next five years.”

Posted April 22, 2009