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A Native Space Initiative

Now in its second year, Pathways is a pilot program designed to support Native American arts and cultural organizations in accessing and developing creative spaces in their communities. This 12-month, virtual cohort program utilizes Artspace’s decades of expertise as a creative real estate developer to assist Native organizations in exploring strategies that leverage existing assets or sustain a plan for a new space.

Who is this for?

Pathways may be what your organization needs to advance your space-related issues if you've ever asked any of the following questions: Is our organization outgrowing our current space? Do we have the amenities needed to fully carry out our mission? Are we able to archive ancestral objects? Should we buy or lease a new space?


To be eligible to apply, organizations must have a dedicated budget to support Native arts and culture, have been providing arts and cultural programming for at least three years, and be based within one of the following locations: Alaska, Arizona, British Columbia, Idaho, Minnesota, Montana, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, Southern California, South Dakota, Washington, or Wisconsin.

Program Curriculum

Within a year, cohort participants will receive professional development training and tailored capacity-building workshops related to project management, cultivating relationships, space planning, site selection, cost analysis, communications, and fundraising. The program is conducted over Zoom and Howspace, an online learning and engagement platform.


By the end of the program, cohort participants will be able to: 

  • Develop a space plan with cultural influence and centered on cultural values.
  • Draft both a written case statement and a pitch presentation to their organization’s key stakeholders and potential funders.
  • Clearly articulate the what, who, why, and how they are planning for space.
  • Assess site opportunities and make informed decisions. 
  • Understand the financial realities of creating and operating space.
  • Anticipate and problem-solve for issues that may arise around a project.

Gain an understanding of the seven elements of space-related projects, receive tools and templates and the knowledge to use them, engage in small group breakout sessions, and provide project updates to the cohort. 

Meet professionals from the real estate development and related industries and discuss their space-related experiences in Native communities.

Take the opportunity to build relationships with fellow Native arts and cultural leaders who are navigating similar space-related challenges.

Schedule private sessions with Pathways Staff and Program Liaisons throughout the year. Discuss topics such as creating capital and operating budgets, writing case statements, and reviewing leases and other agreements.

Receive individualized coaching sessions every other month, with additional calls as requested.

Advance internal planning discussions through light assignments between each monthly meeting.

Pathways Team

Alyssa Kelley

Alyssa Kelley

Interim Program Manager
Pablo Lituma

Pablo Lituma

Project Manager, Property Development
Kathleen Kvern

Kathleen Kvern

Senior Vice President
Greg Handberg

Greg Handberg

Senior Vice President, Properties
Ron Martinez Looking Elk

Ron Martinez Looking Elk

Creative Community Consulting, Lead Consultant
Cecily Engelhart

Cecily Engelhart

CEO, Cecily Rose LLC

Special Acknowledgement

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.

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