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Gail Bruce and Michael Chapman (Menominee Tribe), co-Founders of UNRESERVED: American Indian Fashion and Art Alliance, announce their first grant of $400,000 from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. Founded in 2009, UNRESERVED’s mission is to raise the profile of American Indians, bringing untapped talent to the global marketplace by delivering business opportunities to the reservations and developing employment pathways for Indian nations through culture, creativity and commerce.
The organization will foster emerging American Indian artists interested in exploring and pursuing careers in the worlds of fashion and art through internships, mentoring programs and career opportunities, while raising awareness about American Indians. “This is an extraordinary gesture by the Kellogg Foundation for it enables us to dream big and deeply explore opportunities in art and fashion. The grant will help bring Native visions and voices to the forefront of these two arenas,” said Chapman.
The non-profit will mark its launch at the 87th Annual Indian Market taking place in Sante Fe, New Mexico, the weekend of August 22-23, 2009.
The first initiative of its kind, UNRESERVED will encourage and support American Indian creative expression through art exhibitions, fashion shows and events. One of the first mentoring opportunities was initiated by the Metropolitan Museum of Art for students from the Institute of American Indian Art (IAIA) by providing the students with the tools and connections necessary to succeed in looking after their own material culture.
By seeking support from tribal, private and public entities, the organization will establish economic opportunities for American Indian people. Bruce said, “Mentorship is one of the most wonderful and meaningful ways to give back and support young talent. We look forward to working with the Met and other organizations to provide diverse and rich mentorship programs.”Bruce and Chapman are civic-minded entrepreneurs with fundraising backgrounds in the corporate, non-profit and education sectors.
Bruce, a serigraph artist, modeled during her early career throughout Europe and American, working for Diana Vreeland, Coco Chanel and famed photographer Irving Penn. She is a founding board member of the American Indian College Fund, creator and founder of the American Indian Higher Education Consortium’s Cultural Learning Center Initiative, is a co-founder of Bee Native, strengthening the honeybee population, American Indian communities and the environment and serves on the Multicultural Audience Development Initiative of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Chapman, former Chairman of the Menominee Tribe, is one of the country’s leading authorities on corporate and non-profit fundraising and has raised over $150 million for these causes. He also served as a staff advisor on the President’s Commission on National and Community Service, the White House Conference on Indian Education and as Special Assistant to the Assistant Secretary of Indian Affairs.
Most recently, Chapman was a technical consultant on the Michael Mann film Public Enemies, where he assisted Marion Cotillard with research on her character Billie Frechette.
The W.K. Kellogg Foundation was established in 1930. The organization supports children, families and communities as they strengthen and create conditions that propel vulnerable children to achieve success as individuals and as contributors to the larger community and society.