Two Paths emerged from Collaboration
The First Path: Partnership for early impact
The first path builds upon the establishment of a working relationship with the A:Shiwi College and Career Readiness Center (ACCRC). Led by Executive Director Hayes Lewis, the ACCRC is the only Pueblo tribal college initiative among the Pueblo tribes in New Mexico and actively working toward independent accreditation.
In conversations with Mr. Lewis it became apparent that the ACCRC and TKF share overlapping areas of interest, purpose and activity. TKF is moving forward with two aspects of the ACCC plan on a smaller scale: the museum and museum gift shop (referred to now for convenience as the Zuni Art Museum and Museum Shop (ZAMMS). The intention is that this facility would be owned and operated by and for the Zunis.
Currently in Zuni Pueblo, few opportunities exist for visitors to buy Zuni artwork directly from the artists. Visitors cannot know if the artist received a fair price for their work. The majority of shops buying and selling artwork in Zuni are owned by non-Zunis. By establishing a museum quality shop which is Zuni owned and operated, Zunis will have control, oversight, and respectful distribution of Zuni artwork as well as provide education about their unique art and culture. Zunis will be the buyers and the sellers of their jewelry, fetishes, and pottery.
The Keshi Foundation is encouraging, teaching, and assisting artists in developing personal websites where they can sell their work. Collaboration between the A:shiwi College and Career Readiness Center and TKF at the Entrepreneurial Building will help artists who need assistance with photography and computer skills.
The ACCRC has suitable land available for this project and the Museum building would be located on, and become part of the ACCRC campus. This project will be beneficial to provide attractions to a broader audience as well as the Zuni community.
ZAMMS will be a gathering place for many museum quality pieces currently scattered in collections worldwide. There is already an expressed interest by collectors to either donate to a ZAMMS or make pieces available on loan. A single large concentration of Zuni artwork is not currently viewable anywhere to our knowledge. A collection of this nature would become a resource for working and future Zuni artists, historians, researchers, the Zuni community, and other visitors.
TKF anticipates a building of approximately 2500 square feet for the ZAMMS project. TKF is exploring the possible use of rammed earth construction and is in preliminary discussions with a firm that is willing to teach interested Zunis how to employ this ancient construction method and this could foster other economic opportunities.
Possible projects include:
The spectacular Zuni Mapping Project created a few years ago to illustrate that maps have a very different connotation in different cultures and provide a different way of knowing the world. The project has been exhibited in various museum and remains a traveling exhibit. TKF suggests that the ZAMMS become the new home of a reproduction of the Zuni Mapping Project, using high quality reproduction and printing on canvas. Since the original is either on display in a distant location, or crated when not traveling, this would offer a permanent exhibition space for the content of the Zuni Mapping Project and would become an permanent resource for Zunis and a destination for visitors. (http://ashiwi-museum.org/collaborations/ashiwi-map-art)
Projects already underway:
TKF is proud to help fund the new Entrepreneur Program building (EP) at the ACCRC. This is scheduled to be operational September 2019
TKF will assist with the establishment of a photography studio at the new EP building. Professional studio photographers will teach aspiring Zuni photographers in studio lighting, use of professional equipment, photo editing software and proper preparation of images for use on websites. The goal would be for these Zunis to mentor others. This will allow Zunis to provide an on-site professional studio for the creation of professional photography for use in websites, show entry, visual recording and archiving for preservation, self-promotion and a key to using authentication tools for verification of provenance of Zuni jewelry.
TKF received a gift of several hundred scholarly documents and books from the private collection of Barbara and Dennis Tedlock. The Tedlocks lived in the Zuni Pueblo for a period of time in the mid 1960s while Dennis Tedlock completed his doctoral dissertation research. The Tedlocks had always wished to give back to the Zunis and these volumes form the basis of a research library housed at the ACCRC.
To further the success of the library project, TKF is providing high quality, lockable, glass door cabinets for the proper housing and storage of this initial incoming trove of work. ACCRC has graciously agreed to house this collection in an existing secure room at the present campus. Installation was completed in September 2019.
Among the documents received were nearly 200 photographs made in Zuni ranging from historically archived images from the 19th century to personal images made in the 1960’s -1970s. TKF decided that the most appropriate recipient of these items would be the A:shiwi Awan Museum in Zuni Pueblo. The focus of this institution is Zuni culture and history. The gift was highly appreciated and the director of the museum, Curtis Quam, indicated that some of the material provided filled gaps in knowledge. TKF fully supports the goals and mission of the A:shiwi Awan Museum.
Together, these projects simultaneously provide early beneﬁts for the Zuni people and lay the foundation for implementing the longer term vision of a comprehensive cultural center.
The Second Path: A:shiwi Community Cultural Complex (ACCC)
The greatest long-term impact would come through the creation of a community complex, the A:shiwi Community Cultural Complex ACCC) in new buildings that would house: a Zuni Art Museum and Museum Shop (ZAMMS), and arts and learning center, restaurant and auditorium, visitor center and gift shop, a facility for handling sensitive material, repair, repatriation and storage.
The ACCC plan would encompass various functions: museum and museum gift shop, visitor center and visitor center gift shop, an arts and learning center focused on both traditional arts and crafts of Zuni, as well as computer access, training and innovation. A dedicated space would be created for the handling of sensitive materials
Among the documents received were nearly 200 photographs made in Zuni ranging from historically archived images from the 19th century to personal images made in the 1960’s -1970s. TKF decided that the most appropriate recipient of these items would be the A:shiwi A:wan Museum and Heritage Center in Zuni Pueblo. The focus of this institution is Zuni culture and history. The gift was highly appreciated and the director of the museum, Curtis Quam, indicated that some of the material provided filled gaps in knowledge. TKF fully supports the goals and mission of the A:shiwi A:wan Museum and Heritage Center.
The proposal for the ACCC was presented to various stakeholders and groups connected with the arts through a series of interactive meetings designed to elicit the aspirations, needs and desires of the Zuni community at large and the more specific goals of the arts community. Incredibly valuable information was gathered and TKF thanks all those who participated and shared thought provoking ideas and suggestions. These led to the track one proposals above.
TKF believes that the full ACCC project can come into being in the future. When that point is reached, the plan is to re-purpose much of the investment in the first path (see above) for use as a center for sensitive materials.