Commission Approves IAIA's New Cinematic Arts Program
The Higher Learning Commission has approved a request from the Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA) that allows the college to change its film program from film and graphic design to solely a film concentration.
Under the old New Media Arts program, students could take a moving images or a design and interactive design track. With the new Cinematic Arts and Technology program, the major is more narrowly defined, and makes better use of existing IAIA resources, including the Digital Dome, a 90-foot fully articulating dome with six projectors and eight computers, allowing students to explore and integrate art and technology. The new program also includes training in digital cinema production, screenwriting, and studies in film history and theory. Graphic design courses are now part of the Studio Arts program.
"By focusing the curriculum on cinematic arts and highlighting the technology that IAIA has to offer with our Digital Dome, motion capture and broadcast studio, and animation lab, we're putting it out there very clearly that IAIA now has a film school," said James Lujan (Taos Pueblo), department chair of Cinematic Arts and Technology.
Lujan, who joined IAIA in 2012 after working nearly seven years as director of InterTribal Entertainment, a film and television industry workforce development initiative in Los Angeles, said the new program emphasizes two important areas in film.
"First, the story is the most important thing, and technology is always in service to the story. Second, discipline is essential in the training and development of a successful filmmaker," he said. "We hope that when our students graduate, they will not only emerge as strong storytellers, but also they are prepared to step into the professional world whether their path leads them to Hollywood or back to their own communities."
Students who pursued their Bachelor of Arts degree in New Media Arts will still be able to graduate under their original degree programs. Film is one of IAIA's most popular majors.
The Higher Learning Commission accredits all institutions of higher education in the north-central regional United States. The commission also approved IAIA's first graduate program, an M.F.A. in Creative Writing, earlier this year.
Offering degrees in Studio Arts, Creative Writing, Cinematic Arts and Technology, Indigenous Liberal Studies, and Museum Studies, IAIA is the only college in the nation dedicated to the study of contemporary Native arts. It is the only college in New Mexico with National Association of Schools of Art and Design accreditation. Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges, the school began as a high school for Native Americans in 1962 and now serves more than 400 Native and non-Native American college students from across the nation.
For more information about the Cinematic Arts and Technology program, click here. For more information about IAIA, go to www.iaia.edu.
Photo by Wendy McEahern. From an IAIA press release...