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Chad Hamill Establishes Indigenous Artists Scholarship at CalArts

Chad Hamill Establishes Indigenous Artists Scholarship at CalArts

The CalArts alum’s gift will cover tuition for an Indigenous artist from acceptance to degree. 


Valencia, CA (July 8, 2021) — Expanding upon efforts to amplify Indigenous voices and forge new pathways for Native artists, ethnomusicologist Chad Hamill has established the qey's (dream) Scholarship for Indigenous Artists at California Institute of the Arts (CalArts).

Hamill, who currently serves as chair of the Department of Applied Indigenous Studies and Vice President of Native American Initiatives at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, is a two-time graduate of The Herb Alpert School of Music at CalArts, earning his BFA in 1993 and his MFA in 1997. He credits its global music curriculum with propelling his career forward, and gives back to the Institute through this gift, matching its ongoing IDEA (Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, & Access) efforts. The scholarship provides full-tuition support for an Indigenous student throughout their entire undergraduate or graduate education at the Institute, beginning in fall 2022.

“When it comes to supporting students from neglected and underserved communities, access has many dimensions,” Hamill said. “It’s important to both ensure that students can financially afford to grow as artists, and that their pathways to that growth take into account the structural disadvantages to which they are subjected. Our goal for this scholarship is to cover tuition for a student-artist from acceptance to degree.”

“As a CalArtian, Chad has dedicated much of his work to increase the recognition and understanding of, and to build stronger connections to, Indigenous communities,” said CalArts President Ravi S. Rajan. “Now, thanks to his generous commitment to qey's (dream) Scholarship for Indigenous Artists, he’s helping CalArts benefit from his work by supporting our aspirations to have more students from Indigenous communities join the CalArts community of artists and have their voices heard.”

The scholarship reflects CalArts’ efforts in engaging and building relationships with Native communities in Southern California, positioning the Institute to enter a more substantive phase of engagement with Indigenous communities by carving a space for Indigenous art, perspectives, and culture. 

“There are so many tremendously gifted, largely self-taught Indigenous artists ready to share their gifts and perspectives with the world,” said Hamill. “In thinking about my growth as an artist and a human being at CalArts, I wanted to make that opportunity available to others.”