At the request of the Zuni Tribal Council, The Keshi Foundation (TKF) participated in a series of meetings in 2018 to learn what the Zuni Community considered to be effective ways to expand economic opportunity in the Zuni Pueblo.
These sessions brought together a wide range of Zuni stakeholders. Participants included representatives of the Pueblo government, artists, and other stakeholders. The session included both analytical exploration of needs and potential solutions; and more emotional exploration of how different stakeholders might experience potential future developments.
One critical situation is that in Zuni, most of the retail outlets are not Zuni owned or operated. A solution would be the creation of Zuni businesses providing Zuni control over their work, pricing, employment and business profits.
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. Another outcome is the creation of Zuni businesses providing Zuni control over their work, pricing, employment and business profits.
The highly constructive meetings led to a working collaborative association with TKF and the A:shiwi College and Career Readiness Center (ACCRC).
You can learn more about a possible solution that we’re working on here.
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 meetings identified viable solutions for economic opportunity and pathways to follow and TKF formulated a two path approach with both long-term and short-term approaches. This process also led to a working collaborative association between TKF and the A:shiwi College and Career Readiness Center (ACCRC).