SWAIA Chief Development Officer, Charlene Porsild to Leave in February

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After leading SWAIA to one of its most successful fundraising efforts in recent years, Porsild is leaving to pursue new opportunities as President and CEO of the Montana History Foundation.

The Southwestern Association for Indian Arts (SWAIA) is saddened to announce the resignation of Charlene Porsild, Chief Development Officer. She is leaving to pursue new opportunities and challenges as President and CEO of the Montana History Foundation.

Porsild joined SWAIA in the summer of 2013 bringing decades of fundraising and administrative experience in the cultural, historical, and educational sectors. During a challenging transition period for SWAIA, she brought stability to the organization that hosts the largest festival of Native arts and culture in the world. With over 100,000 visitors and millions of dollars brought into the state and local economy, artists depend on the successful production of the Santa Fe Indian Market. “It has been a privilege to serve SWAIA and to assist in the management of Santa Fe Indian Market. Dallin Maybee and I have a terrific working relationship and I know he will continue to make Indian Market a huge success,” said Porsild.

“The SWAIA family and community will definitely feel the loss of Charlene,” says Dallin Maybee, Chief Operating Officer of SWAIA. “We co-directed one of the most successful Indian Markets in recent years and it was in large measure due to her commitment to the artists. Her pragmatic approach and work ethic ensured accountability and success for us as an organization and it’s no wonder that others want and need to apply her talents to their organization as well. I am extremely saddened to see her go.”

Given her own professional history with Montana, her return there was inevitable. Porsild says of her new position, “I am a Western historian, and I’m well-published in the field of Montana history, including my recent co-authored book “Place Names of Montana” (now in its 11th printing) therefore when I got recruited for the position of President and CEO of the Montana History Foundation, I couldn’t pass it up, it is a great fit.”

Immediately following the success of the Winter Indian Market in December, preparations for the 94th annual Santa Fe Indian Market are currently well under way for August 22-23, with hundreds of applications arriving daily. Months of planning are necessary to ensure that the Indian Market remains the pinnacle of events that celebrate fine art, dance, film, and education. Currently, a search has begun to fill her role in development, spearheaded by the SWAIA Board of Directors.

Dallin continues, “We’ve weathered a lot of transitions over the past year and together we’ve secured a solid future for the Indian Market. The work of the Development Officer is more important than ever. We are looking for a smart, dedicated and passionate professional who will further the great relationships and fundraising efforts Charlene has created for us.”

Chair of the Board, Stockton Colt candidly states, “The SWAIA Board is certainly appreciative of the success and stability Charlene has brought to SWAIA. We wish her well in all her new endeavors.”

Porsild further states, “I am honored to have been part of this organization and I have been awed and inspired by the commitment, integrity, and support of the Board of Directors.”

Information about the Chief Development Officer position at SWAIA will be made available on its website http://www.swaia.org.

About SWAIA:
SWAIA Mission Statement: Bringing Native arts to the world by inspiring artistic excellence, fostering education, and creating meaningful partnerships.

SWAIA is an advocate for Native American arts and cultures, and creates economic and cultural opportunities for Native American artists by producing and promoting the Santa Fe Indian Market as the finest Indian art event in the world; cultivating excellence and innovation across traditional and non-traditional art forms; and developing programs and events that support, promote, and honor Native artists year-round.


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