Country's First Indigenous Masters Of Fine Arts Program Elevates Native Voices

Published: Tuesday, March 20, 2018 - 2:19pm
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The worlds of academia and literature are often dominated by white voices. But, a Masters of Fine Arts program in Santa Fe is changing that.

The Institute for American Indian Arts created the country’s first indigenous MFA program in 2012, and today, it’s turning out writers who are at the helm of what seems to be a new wave of indigenous literature.

To find out more, The Show's Lauren Gilger got a hold of Jon Davis, the director of the program, and they talked about its inception and its affiliation with one of the most famous Native American writers, Sherman Alexie, who has now been accused of sexual misconduct.

One of the authors that Davis mentioned is Tommy Orange. His novel — "There There "— is being released this summer, and it’s so highly anticipated that it was the subject of a bidding war among publishers. He was a student in the Institute for American Indian Arts MFA program, and he’s now a teacher in it.

He joins us on The Show to talk about his journey to becoming a writer, and why this program offers a different experience for Native writers.

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