Hopitutuqaiki Arts School increases its eighth year of enrollment by 18 percent

Successful school gains state and national recognition

Classroom size limitations to only six students for specialized Hopi weaving classes makes the Hopi Traditional Belt Weaving class one of the most popular offerings in the summer art school program. The waiting list for this class plus the Wukokwewa big belt weaving class is long. Hotevilla student Michael Thayer is shown counting the thread wefts on his belt loom before starting on his second belt project. <i>Rosanda Suetopka Thayer/NHO</i>

Classroom size limitations to only six students for specialized Hopi weaving classes makes the Hopi Traditional Belt Weaving class one of the most popular offerings in the summer art school program. The waiting list for this class plus the Wukokwewa big belt weaving class is long. Hotevilla student Michael Thayer is shown counting the thread wefts on his belt loom before starting on his second belt project. <i>Rosanda Suetopka Thayer/NHO</i>

HOTEVILLA, Ariz. - Now after its eighth year of successful summer art classes, the new goal for Hopitutuqaiki is to find a permanent home for its art and preschool program on the Hopi reservation.

At the year-end graduation potluck dinner held on Sept. 12, one of the Hopitutuqaiki board members, Ramson Lomatewama, told the attending dinner guests that the board had discussed in length a new priority for their art school. The board's priority is to seek all types of funding to secure a permanent home for Hopitutuqaiki starting with the state recognized preschool that features Hopi language and culture in all its daily preschool programming.

In the final year-end 2012 report for Hopitutuqaiki, the school's success statistics speak for themselves. The statistics will be useful in looking for funding and sponsorship to endorse a Hopi-owned, Hopi operated and Hopi Reservation-based arts magnet school featuring the extremely successful preschool.

With an 18 percent increase in overall enrollment since the school started eight years ago and more classes held this year and full class enrollment with waiting lists for several of its classrooms, the demand from local students to attend Hopitutuqaiki art programs has exceeded the size limitations of the current studio facilities that are being used in varied locations on Third Mesa and in Kykotsmovi Village.

The Hopitutuqaiki Board is prioritizing a capital fund that would provide a building once land is secured for the art school. The school would then be able to provide a year round Hopi language, arts based preschool, so that young students could use their strengths in the arts while learning of the Hopi language and culture and at the same time accomplish the Arizona State Early Learning Standards.

The school then plans to add one grade level at a time while continuing to emphasize Hopi language and culture while also accomplishing the state standards. Hopitutuqaiki could become the first arts magnet school on Hopi training children in academics through the arts.

Adults will not be forgotten in this new goal for Hopitutuqaiki. The school will still continue to run its summer arts program every year where students from ages 3 to 72 have attended in the past eight years.

The Hopitutuqaiki Arts School received more funding this year than any other year, including support from grants and donations from World in Harmony, the Frost Foundation, the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians-California, the Santa Fe Natural Tobacco Company, the Southwest Foundation for Education and Historical Preservation, the Yavapai Prescott Indian Tribe and numerous generous individual donors.

For more information about the school, to visit with instructors or to make a contribution towards this new priority goal, contact Robert Rhodes, school facilitator and director, at (928) 734-2433, visit their website at www.hopischool.net or email Rhodes at rwrhodes@quixnet.net.

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