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Stewart Indian School Cultural Center & Museum receives WESTAF Grant

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The Stewart Indian School Cultural Center & Museum received approval of a grant from the Western States Arts Federation CARES Act Fund in the amount of $20,000.

Opened to the public in January, the Cultural Center & Museum tells the stories and experiences of students who attended the Stewart Indian School from 1890-1980. Stewart Indian School was operated by the federal government for 90 years to forcefully educate Native American children. This assimilation policy impacted thousands of Native students not only from the Great Basin tribal nations, but over 200 tribes in the west.

“We are truly grateful to the WESTAF CARES Relief fund. The current health crisis has negatively impacted Nevada’s economy and we faced severe budget cuts to our museum’s operation in 2021,” said museum director Bobbi Rahder. “This grant helps small organizations with their operating expenses during the COVID-19 crisis. We are honored to accept this award from WESTAF and the National Endowment for the Arts. It allows us to reopen our museum soon and stay operating for the coming year.”

WESTAF CARES Relief Fund for Organizations is a competitive grant program supported by the National Endowment for the Arts through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act passed by Congress and signed into law in March 2020. The WESTAF CARES Relief Fund has provided general operating support to 45 eligible arts and culture organizations impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Applications were assessed on the following criteria: inclusivity, demonstrated need, artistic and cultural merit, and public and community benefit. Awards of up to $20,000 were made to organizations across the WESTAF 13-state region with at least one grant awarded per state.

Although the cultural center closed on March 13, due to the health crisis, visitors can still use the self-guided cellphone audio tour to explore the historic campus. This walking tour allows guests to view the spectacular stone buildings flanked by the beautiful Sierra Nevada Mountains, and to learn from alumni about their experiences at the boarding school. These firsthand accounts are also available at: https://stewartindianschool.com/walking-trail/.

The compelling history of Stewart is shared in interpretive exhibitions, educational activities, lectures, and special events. The museum plans to reopen by the end of July.

For more information about the cultural center contact Bobbi Rahder, Museum Director, at 775-687-7606 or e-mail at brahder@nic.nv.gov.