Navajo-Hopi Nations,Flagstaff & Winslow News
Fri, June 05

Institute of American Indian Arts names new museum director

Photo by Roger Whiteside

Photo by Roger Whiteside

SANTA FE, N.M. - The Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA) is pleased to announce the appointment of Patsy Phillips as Director of the IAIA Museum. She will begin her position on August 11.

"She brings a wealth of both professional experience and personal attributes to fill the critical vacancy of IAIA Museum Director," noted Jim Santini, Chair of the Museum Committee. "She will be a long-term asset to [the] museum."

Robert G. Martin, IAIA President, said, "[I am] extremely pleased that we have selected someone with ... vision, experience and skills to lead the IAIA Museum. She ... will bring energy and enthusiasm in building on our museum's strong foundation as a center for important exhibitions and programs relative to contemporary Native American art."

Phillips was selected after an extensive national search, and joins IAIA after working at the Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI) in Washington, D.C for more than eight years. While there, she developed and managed several programs.

As director for NMAI's participation in the world-famous Venice Biennale, she organized the sponsorship and promotion of artists such as Edgar Heap of Birds and James Luna. After noticing NMAI's need for a unit dedicated to contemporary Native arts, Phillips oversaw the planning and development of a strategic plan for contemporary arts which was launched this May.

Before working for the NMAI, she was both interim executive director and program development director at Atlatl, Inc, a national service organization for Native American arts in Phoenix.

A member of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma, Phillips says, "I am thrilled to begin my new post ... I look forward to working with the smart and dedicated IAIA staff and students who are committed to the advancement of contemporary Native arts."

Phillips holds a masters degree in non-fiction writing from Johns Hopkins University, and a graduate certificate in museum administration from Harvard University.

For more information about IAIA and the IAIA Museum, please visit

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