Minnesota Historical Society Seeks Native American Artists to Preserve Traditional Artforms

2023-2024 Native American Artist-in-Residence Program applications accepted through October

For immediate Release

Release dated: September 20, 2023

ST. PAUL, Minn. (Sept. 20, 2023) – The Native American Initiatives (NAI) department at the Minnesota Historical Society (MNHS) has officially opened the application process for the Native American Artist-in-Residence program (NAAIR) program. 

The NAAIR program was created in 2013 to support the continuation and recovery of traditional Native art forms. The overarching goal and purpose of this program is to support the intergenerational transference of knowledge and cultural practices. 

"This work has helped to attach me to my homelands and to this community, hugely expanding my understanding of Dakota language and culture,” said Fern Renville, NAAIR program artist. “The Minnesota Historical Society’s Native American Artist-in-Residence program has given me resources to reciprocate by sharing this knowledge.”

NAAIR is a six-to-twelve month paid residency open to artists practicing all forms of (material culture) traditional art. Artists-in-residence are supported financially, given access to study the MNHS collections, and are provided with support to visit regional museums or knowledgeable peer artists or elders. At the end of the program, participating artists have the opportunity to share what they’ve learned during their residency with community members of all ages to help ensure the ongoing practice of traditional art—now and in the future.

A virtual Q&A session will be hosted via Zoom on Thursday, September 28, from 5–6 pm. During this Zoom meeting, MNHS staff will give a brief overview of the program and walk through the requirements for interested applicants. This is a great opportunity for artists to meet the NAI staff involved in facilitating the program, ask questions, and learn more about the application process and requirements. 

The meeting link and Q&A session details can be found here. Additional program information, eligibility requirements, and applications can be accessed by visiting the NAAIR website. Applications will be accepted until October 31, 2023.

NAAIR is made possible in part by a grant from Margaret A. Cargill Philanthropies.

About the Native American Initiatives team

The NAI team is an advocate for Native communities and Native nations at the Minnesota Historical Society, serving as a bridge between community needs and MNHS resources, engaging with Native communities and nations throughout the state, and ensuring Native voices, stories, and concerns are addressed in MNHS work. The NAI team conducts research, provides content, and creates programming and engagement opportunities across the state.

About the Minnesota Historical Society

The Minnesota Historical Society is a non-profit educational and cultural institution established in 1849. MNHS collects, preserves, and tells the story of Minnesota’s past through museum exhibits, libraries and collections, historic sites, educational programs, and book publishing. Using the power of history to transform lives, MNHS preserves our past, shares our state’s stories, and connects people with history.