For the first time in 41 years, an Indigenous person will sit on the Ucross Foundation's Board of Directors. The foundation announced the appointment of Scott Manning Stevens, a citizen of the Akwesasne Mohawk Nation, On Thursday, November 21.
"We are honored to have Scott join us at Ucross," the foundation's President Sharon Dynak wrote in a press release. "He brings a depth of knowledge that will be invaluable to Ucross as we develop new artistic programming connected to our Art Gallery and the Raymond Plank Center, our Native American Fellowship, and collaborative work across artistic disciplines."
Ucross hosts an artists residency program at its ranch in the foothills of the Bighorn Mountains, allowing artists a break from routine and the chance to focus solely on their work. Manning Stevens said he's joining the board after years of admiring the foundation's work, including its fellowship program for Native artists.
"There are so few of these residences in general, and then to have one that really wants to reach out and encourage Native artists, I think that's a great thing," he said.
He looks forward to promoting the fellowship to artists who aren't yet familiar with Ucross.
"Native artists are often isolated from the larger art community, especially if they're working within their home communities. So I want to make sure the fellowship is better known in Indian County," he said.
A professor of English and Native American and Indigenous Studies at Syracuse University, Manning Stevens' current research focuses on museum curation of Indigenous art. In the past, he has worked with museums across the country, including the Buffalo Bill Center for the West in Cody, Wyoming.
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