LEAF receives support to foster native and local arts in Wisconsin

By Melanie Tallmadge Sainz

Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin - Little Eagle Arts Foundation (LEAF) is granted financial support from a local tribe and a national foundation for it's ongoing programs.

• A grant from the Ho-Chunk Nation of Wisconsin has provided LEAF with the opportunity to cultivate the art careers of several Ho-Chunk new and emerging artists through the LEAF Fellows program. Christopher Sweet of Milwaukee, Leah LaMere Calderon of Ringle, and Marian Miner of Tomah are this year's featured artists. This grant made it possible to underwrite the fees for the 2017 LEAF Fellows to participate as exhibiting artists in their first juried show -- the 10th Annual Woodland Indian Market in Green Bay; supported Christopher Sweet with the occasion to create the first community-painted mural entitled "Taking Flight" in downtown Wisconsin Dells; and aided Leah LaMere Calderon in facilitating both children and adult workshops in collaboration with the Aldo Leopold Foundation. LEAF's final exhibit at its Native Presence Gallery (412 1/2 Broadway, Wisconsin Dells) will feature the 2017 LEAF Fellows Art Showcase. The public is invited to attend the special gallery opening and festivities on September 23rd from 5:30 - 8pm.
• LEAF recently received a $23,600 grant from the First Nations Development Institute of Longmont, Colorado. This award will support the efforts of Little Eagle Arts Foundation with two Native Arts Initiatives: 1) the cataloguing of LEAF's Roger and Bernadine Little Eagle Tallmadge Memorial Art Collection, a teaching compendium for Native artists. Kendra Greendeer (Ho-Chunk), who recently completed a curatorial residency with the Smithsonian Institute Museum of the American Indian in Washington, DC and is currently pursuing her PhD at UW Madison will oversee the inventory process; and 2) tuition assistance for LEAF Director Melanie Sainz (Ho-Chunk) to attend the Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis Lilly Family School of Philanthropy. This program entitled "Managing the Capital Campaign" will aid in the development of the organization's headquarters and arts center at 3889 River Road in Wisconsin Dells. The art center will serve the Native and non-Native communities and seasonal visitors. It will contain a museum, gallery, and gift shop dedicated to the contributions made by the Native American people to the cultural tourism in the Wisconsin Dells and surrounding areas, as well as art classrooms, a café, outdoor performing arts venue, and artist in residence accommodations.
Little Eagle Arts Foundation (LEAF) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving and promoting American Indian art by cultivating the entrepreneurial spirit of American Indian/First Nations artists in order to achieve success and promote a cycle of economic security in Indian County.