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Kim Peone will be the first Native American woman in SWAIA’s history to serve as Executive Director

After a nationwide search, SWAIA’s Board of Directors is proud to announce the selection of Kim Peone as its new Executive Director. Peone is an enrolled member of the Colville Confederated Tribes of Washington and currently resides in Santa Fe.

“The Board is excited by the impressive background Peone brings to SWAIA to lead Indian Market through our Centennial year (2022) and into the next century. Peone’s 30 years of experience in Indian Country, astute business and financial background, as well as great managerial and leadership skills were a perfect fit for SWAIA’s needs going forward,” said Board Chair Tom Teegarden.

Peone’s father Richard (Eastern Band of Cherokee), and mother Annabelle (Colville Confederated Tribes), met while attending the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, and started a family. Peone was born in Santa Fe— a city known as an American Indian art mecca.

Kim Peone’s career has taken her across Indian Country from coast to coast, serving tribes and tribal entities in numerous professional capacities. Most recently, Peone was the CEO/CFO of an extremely successful tribal corporation in Washington State. Her full circle journey has led her back to Santa Fe to pursue professional opportunities. Her expertise is building accountable, sustainable, and disciplined Native organizations that exceed expectations of key stakeholders.

The Board has an ambitious vision for the future of SWAIA, building on past successes and taking the organization to new levels of impact that benefit Native artists. Part of SWAIA’s mission is to form solid partnerships to ensure the long-term sustainability of the organization; this aligns with Peone’s leadership philosophy.

“It was a tough decision to postpone the 99th Indian Market this year in the wake of COVID 19, especially given the economic impact on our artists and the event’s $165 million-dollar impact on the economy of northern New Mexico,” said Traci Rabbit, artist and Board member. “We must move forward, and I am confident Kim’s background and abilities will successfully lead SWAIA into the future. There are many challenges ahead for organizations like SWAIA, and the Board is committed to ensure that its legacy and influence will not only withstand those challenges, but emerge stronger.”


MEDIA CONTACT: Amanda Crocker