AICF Moves to Denver

Aug 15th, 1995 | By | Category: 7-2: Agriculture, Tribal College News

Top: Shannon Finley. Bottom: Tony Abeyta (Navajo) and the Pendleton blanket he designed.

Shannon Finley became the new executive director of the American Indian College Fund on September 1. The former deputy director, Finley will head up the American Indian College Fund’s new national office in Denver. The group’s board of trustees has been planning the changes for some time. James Shanley, chairman of the Fund’s board, explained the Fund needed to be closer to member colleges, which are located on or near reservations in the Midwest and West. The former executive director, Barbara Bratone, will remain in New York City, directing all fundraising activities there.

Finley, who is Eastern Shoshone and Isleta del Sur Pueblo, will oversee advertising and public relations, finance, board relations, and special events. Before joining the organization in September 1994, Finley was director of special operations for Independent Charities of America, a federated workplace fundraising organization, and its local chapters. The Fund’s new office address and phone are listed in the college directory elsewhere in this issue.

While making these changes, the Fund also joined with Pendleton Woolen Mills to launch its most innovative fundraising effort, selling limited edition Pendleton blankets designed by Indian artists. Whether made of buffalo hides, cedar bark fiber or sheep’s wool, Indian robes and blankets have long been a part of Indian giving traditions. “The Hope Series” will consist of four, 64 x 80-inch wool blankets designed by artists and woven over the next two years by Pendleton.

The original designs are by Tony Abeyta, a Navajo painter; Arthur Amiotte, a Lakota (Sioux) painter and mixed media artist; George Hunt, Jr., a Kwakiutl carver; and Wendy Ponca, an Osage fiber artist and clothing designer.

The American Indian College Fund will initially offer the blankets at an introductory price of $375 each or $1,500 for the set. After December 1, the price will go up to $425 per blanket, $1,700 for the set. Since it was launched by tribal college presidents in 1989, the American Indian College Fund has raised $16 million from individuals, foundations, and corporations to help support the Indian colleges.

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