Institute of American Indian Arts
83 Avan Nu Po Road
Mission, Vision, Educational Philosophy
As the only four-year fine arts degree institution in the nation devoted to contemporary Native American and Alaska Native arts, IAIA aims to be the premier educational institution for Native peoples in Native arts and cultures. IAIA promotes several core values including collaboration, upholding high standards for all, encouraging creativity, fostering respect for all cultures, perspectives and identities, and integrity.
By the 1990s, IAIA had outgrown its original location on the campus of Santa Fe’s Indian School. In 1992, IAIA relocated its Museum of Contemporary Native Arts to downtown Santa Fe. The college relocated to its permanent 140-acre campus in 2000. IAIA also expanded its academic programs to offer its first baccalaureate degree programs in 2000. In 2006, a Museum Studies and Indigenous Liberal Studies bachelor’s degree program began.
IAIA received its original accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools in 1984. IAIA is also the only school in New Mexico to receive accreditation for its certificate, associate’s, and bachelor’s degree programs from the National Association of Schools of Arts and Design.
Geographic Features and Challenges
Academics and Students
Approximately 325 students attend IAIA annually, with 68 percent pursuing their studies full-time. Eighty-three percent of IAIA students are Native American and 51 percent are female.
IAIA experienced a slight dip in the number of degrees conferred between the 2006-2007 and 2009-2010 academic years. In 2006-2007, IAIA conferred 13 associate degrees and 22 bachelor’s degrees. In 2009-2010, it conferred four associate’s degrees and 20 bachelor’s degrees.
IAIA’s rich history attracts world-renowned Native artists, authors, and scholars to its faculty. It employs 33 full-time faculty and 22 part-time faculty and additional staff members to serve the student population.
Other Outstanding Accomplishments
New partnerships with the motion picture industry have garnered IAIA national attention in recent years. IAIA hosted workshops held in tandem with television and film studios that also provided internships to IAIA students. The college’s media arts program also collaborated with the state of New Mexico and the Screen Actors Guild to host panel discussions and workshops addressing employment opportunities for Native Americans in the television and film industry.
Many consider the vast national and international success of its alumni the most significant accomplishment. In the 50 years since its inception, IAIA has nurtured and educated some of the most prolific Native artists in the country.