American Indian and Indigenous Studies and Michigan State University have a history of strength in Indigenous arts and humanities. We are currently building upon that strength by creating ongoing and sustainable programming that engages contemporary Indigenous arts, from a variety of intellectual, aesthetic, and regional traditions. We believe that one aspect of the importance of contemporary Indigenous arts practice is that it is so varied and, at times, hard to define.
In AIIS's drive to make Indigenous arts (and the artists) more central to the life of the University, we recognize the complexities and multidimensional natures of Indigenous art. The Contemporary Indigenous Arts Initiative is an artist-led idea in which AIIS hosts workshops, exhibitions, symposia, and other events that address art from an Indigenous perspective.
AIIS faculty have, in recent history, brought in renowned artists, musicians, curators, and scholars of American Indian art and culture.