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AIANTA Town Hall: Sharing Stories - Native American Artists and the Creative Economy
Native American arts, including visual arts, music, theatre, dance, literature and beyond, are among the most promising ways to expand tourism and the economic success of rural and urban Native communities. Historically underestimated, Native Artists play a pivotal role in building economies, generating tourism assets and simultaneously preserving cultural heritage. Native arts resources are evolving nationwide and in recognition of the growing interest in linking arts with tourism, AIANTA has launched a new initiative with the support on the National Endowment for the Arts. AIANTA will be identifying resources, conducting training, and raising the awareness of the possibilities for Native arts in promoting tourism. Today, this Town Hall will explore the diversity and the promise of the role the arts play in tourism and cultural and economic development.


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Sherry L. Rupert
AIANTA CEO Sherry L. Rupert (Paiute/Washoe) has nearly two decades of executive-level experience managing and promoting Native American tourism. Since joining AIANTA as CEO in 2019, she has spearheaded several initiatives, including the organization’s groundbreaking new Tribal Agritourism program and overseeing AIANTA’s first-ever virtual American Indian Tourism Conference, which drew a record number of registrants in 2020. As CEO of the only national association dedicated to indigenous tourism, she is the leading voice when it comes to advocating for travel and tourism as a significant economic driver in tribal nations. She also holds leadership positions on various national boards including the Board of Directors for the U.S. Travel Association, the America250 Hospitality and Tourism Advisory Committee and the Office of National Marine Sanctuary System (ONMS) Business Advisory Council under the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce.