ZUNI, NM (Dec. 28, 2022) — On Dec. 8, Artspace Projects Inc. announced the launch of Pathways: A Native Space Initiative. This cohort-based pilot program is designed to help build the capacity and leverage the existing assets of Native American arts and cultural organizations seeking to assess, expand, or develop art and cultural space in their communities.

ZYEP is pleased to announce that it has been named an inaugural cohort member, selected through a competitive application process. Fellow cohort members include: Attach Your Heart Foundation, Santa Fe, New Mexico; Freda Dieting School, Terrace, British Columbia; Little Eagle Arts Foundation, Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin; Native American Community Development Institute, Minneapolis; Racing Magpie, Rapid City, South Dakota; Rosy Simas Danse, Minneapolis; and Twiss Gallery, Buffalo Gap, South Dakota.

Pathways is a 12-month virtual program consisting of these eight Native arts and cultural organizations, beginning in December 2022 and running through November 2023. The program consists of online meetings that are centered around the real estate development process. They include workshops, trainings, panel discussions, and one-on-one coaching sessions. Technical assistance will also be available.

The purpose of the Pathways program is to help advance art and cultural spaces in Native American communities, which serve as an essential form of infrastructure to sustain Native American artistic and cultural heritage. Pathways shares Artspace’s 40-plus years of expertise in real estate development for the creative sector and integrates its experience in financing, fundraising, and facilities management to assist the program participants in developing and implementing appropriate development strategies for their own organizations. These strategies leverage existing cultural and creative assets to support the development and sustainability of arts and cultural spaces. Artspace delivers another cohort-based capacity-building program, Immersion, for arts and cultural organizations planning for new space. Immersion has been launched in seven core communities across the United States.

Artspace’s goal is to create, foster, and preserve affordable and sustainable spaces for artists and cultural organizations. The history of Artspace is fundamentally about working across sectors and in collaboration with the greater creative communities. Through this collaboration, Artspace helps to provide the support structures necessary so that artists thrive and can contribute fully to the cultural, economic, and social wellbeing of their communities. Artspace will prioritize listening to, learning from, and working with artists, culture bearers, cultural practitioners, community leaders, foundation partners, and others as it launches and administers the Pathways program.

Whether through a mixed-use development or a long-term lease, Artspace helps its clients create sustainable, affordable, and equitable spaces. Currently, Artspace owns and operates 60 cultural facilities nationwide. One of these is the Oglala Lakota Arts Center on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota, which was developed in partnership between Artspace, First Peoples Fund (a Native American 501c3 non-profit organization), and Lakota Funds (a Native CDFI organization on Pine Ridge).

The influence that First Peoples Fund and Lakota Funds have had on Artspace has been instrumental in its work with diverse Native American organizations and Native communities looking for assistance with their space goals. Artspace recognizes First Peoples Fund and Lakota Funds as thought leaders in creating social and economic change by putting artists and culture bearers at the center of community development. It is with deep gratitude to First Peoples Fund and Lakota Funds that Artspace has been welcomed into this inspiring work in honoring the Collective Spirit© of the First Peoples of this nation.

Over the last four decades, Artspace has led an accelerating national movement of artist-led community transformation. While embracing the value the arts bring to individual lives, Artspace has championed the once-radical idea that individual artists experiencing financial hardship and chronically underfunded arts organizations can leverage fundamental social change. With headquarters in Minneapolis and offices in New York and Washington D.C., Artspace is America’s leading developer of art facilities and has served as a consultant to hundreds of communities and arts organizations nationwide. Additional information is available at www.artspace.org.

To learn more about the Zuni Youth Enrichment Project and its programs, and for information about making donations, partnering with ZYEP, and volunteering, call (505) 782-8000 or visit zyep.org. And, to stay up to date on the latest news and events, follow the nonprofit youth organization on Facebook (/zuniyouthenrichmentproject), Instagram (@zuniyouthenrichmentproject), and YouTube (/ZuniYouth).


Founded in 2009, the nonprofit Zuni Youth Enrichment Project is dedicated to promoting resilience among Zuni youth so they will grow into strong, healthy adults who are connected with Zuni traditions. ZYEP fulfills its mission by providing positive role models, enriching programs, and nurturing spaces that contribute to the healthy development of Zuni youth. ZYEP strives to provide every child with the encouragement and opportunities they need to reach their full potential.