Cherokee Nation Invests $3 Million in Cherokee Artist Community

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TAHLEQUAH, OK – Cherokee Nation is investing $3 million in the Cherokee artist community as outlined in the Cherokee Artist Recovery Act (ARA) to help recover economically from the COVID-19 pandemic. Signed into law in October 2022, the act is the largest single investment in the Cherokee art community in history.

“Cherokee artists serve a vital role in the preservation and promotion of Cherokee culture,” said Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Hoskin, Jr. “Through their work, we are sharing our story with the world. But the pandemic had a significant impact on their ability to survive economically. The pandemic led to the cancellation of many art shows and festivals, which resulted in a loss of income and put them at risk financially. It is our responsibility to invest in their recovery so that they can continue to invest their time and energy to their art and the promotion of our culture.”

Introduced by Chief Hoskin during his 2022 State of the Nation Address at the 70th annual Cherokee National Holiday, the act boasts various key initiatives, beginning with the acquisition of $1.5 million of original artwork from Cherokee artists over the next two years through a public bid process.

The first public bid is open now for 2D and 3D work and is open to all Cherokee Nation artists, with allocations for both large-scale installations and general art to enhance tribal facilities.

Additional key initiatives include:

  • Cultural Classes – Cherokee artists can apply to be contracted teachers for cultural classes, performances and demonstrations hosted in the community with specific initiatives for youth classes and programming. Artists are paid for their time, supplies and travel.
  • Market Access – Marketing, travel and registration support for Cherokee artists participating in qualifying art shows and markets. 
  • Marketing Assistance – To assist with business development efforts, Cherokee Nation artists can apply for in-kind services supporting the production and printing of approved marketing materials.
  • Facility Enhancements – Rehabilitation or construction of Cherokee Nation facilities that increase access to necessary equipment, tools and space to create and promote Cherokee art.
  • Cherokee Artist Resource Collection – Development of a comprehensive database marketing Cherokee artists with links to individual portfolios and sales platforms.

“We couldn’t be more excited for this investment in the arts and have worked hard to ensure these funds are impactful for artists today and in the future,” said Cherokee Nation Deputy Chief Bryan Warner. “It is with admiration and appreciation that we created the ARA, and we’ve worked hard to develop programs that will benefit our artists, increase the visibility of Cherokee art within our communities, and showcase the talented work of Cherokee artists.”

Artists selling their art or participating in programs under the ARA must be citizens of the Cherokee Nation. Preference is given to Cherokee artists who have been designated as Cherokee National Treasures.