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Southwestern Association for Indian Arts: 2016 Tried & True Piñon Award

The Tried & True Award honors an organization that is known for consistent high-quality programming, despite changes in the external environment.


The Santa Fe Indian Market has provided an unparalleled artistic experience on the Santa Fe Plaza for almost a century.  Now in its 95th year, the Southwestern Association of Indian Arts (SWAIA) takes its mission of “bringing Native arts to the world by inspiring artistic excellence, fostering education, and creating meaningful partnerships” seriously.  Over 1,000 Native artists from more than 150 tribes and pueblos participate annually in Indian Market.  As Santa Fe’s largest annual event, over 150,000 locals and visitors from around the world are drawn to the Santa Fe Plaza over the third weekend of August.  The economic impact of Indian Market has been estimated to be almost $100 million annually. 

For 95 years, SWAIA has provided economic opportunity for generations of Native artists.  The Santa Fe Indian Market has been key to establishing Santa Fe as one of the nation’s premier art markets.  Partnerships between businesses and nonprofits abound.  At the Santa Fe Indian Market, 100% of the proceeds of the sales of Native art remains with the artists.  SWAIA does not take a percentage of artists’ sales, but instead relies on donors, sponsors, and memberships.  The Southwestern Association for Indian Arts advocates for Native American arts and cultures.