School for Advanced Research

Exploring Humanity. Understanding our World.

Santa Fe, NM   |  http://www.sarweb.org/

Mission

SAR advances creative thought and innovative work in the social sciences, humanities, and Native American arts.

Notes from the nonprofit

SAR provides a platform for wide-ranging scholarly research and lectures on prehistory, contemporary social issues, and the creativity of Native American artists. We offer members and the general public talks and panel discussions by leading thinkers, resident scholars, artists, and experts on Native American arts year-round. We also offer tours of SAR’s historic campus, located on traditional lands of the Tewa people, O’gah’poh geh Owingeh (White Shell Water Place), or Santa Fe, New Mexico. SAR’s Indian Arts Research Center is home to a remarkable collection of over 12,000 pieces of Southwestern Native American art from the sixth century to the present. Some visitors are awed by the collections; others are charmed by the 1920s architecture of the campus. SAR is deeply committed to the long-standing principles of academic and artistic freedom. In addition, we are committed to diversity, equity, accessibility, and inclusion across our institution and in all of our programs.

Ruling year info

1942

President

Dr. Michael F. Brown

Main address

PO Box 2188

Santa Fe, NM 87504 USA

Show more contact info

Formerly known as

School of American Research

School of American Archaeology

EIN

85-0125045

NTEE code info

Research Institutes and/or Public Policy Analysis (A05)

Humanities Organizations (A70)

Anthropology, Sociology (V21)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Blog

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

The structure, obligations and [limitations*] of everyday life constrain intellectually-creative inquiry and collaboration. SAR provides the space, support, community and resources needed to stimulate intellectual risk-taking and unleash creativity.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Resident Scholar Program

SAR awards nine-month Resident Scholar Fellowships each year to scholars who have completed their research and analysis in the social sciences and humanities and who need time to reflect, debate, and write. Two-month Summer Scholar Fellowships are awarded to scholars to pursue research or writing projects. Applicants may be scholars from fields such as history, sociology, art, law, and philosophy who are engaged in anthropologically informed research. Both humanistically and scientifically oriented scholars are encouraged to apply. The resident scholar selection process is guided by the School’s longstanding commitment to support research that advances knowledge about human culture, evolution, history, and creative expression. SAR views its mission, its scholars, and its attractive campus environment as the connective tissue that supports the kinds of research that underlie its national reputation.

Population(s) Served
Adults

Advanced, short, and research team seminars at the School for Advanced Research (SAR) promote communication among scholars and practitioners who are at a critical stage of research on a shared topic. Each seminar consists of up to 10 scholars — including one or two who serve as chair/s — who meet at SAR's Santa Fe campus for two to five days of intense discussion. SAR's renowned Advanced Seminar program convenes a group of scholars for a five-day seminar, the proceedings of which are considered for publication by SAR Press. Advanced Seminars are selected each year through a highly competitive application process.

Population(s) Served
Adults

SAR annually awards the J. I. Staley Prize, considered to be the “Pulitzer Prize of anthropology,” to a living author for a book that exemplifies outstanding scholarship and writing in anthropology. The award recognizes innovative works that go beyond traditional frontiers and dominant schools of thought in anthropology and add new dimensions to our understanding of the human species. The prize carries a cash award of $7,500.

Population(s) Served
Adults

The Indian Arts Research Center (IARC) houses one of the world’s most significant collections of Southwest Native American arts from pre-contact through the 450-year period of Spanish contact, to the present and numbering some 13,000 items. The collections and associated programs have made the IARC an outstanding cultural and educational resource for Native American communities, researchers, scholars, and the public.

The goal of IARC is to bridge the divide between creativity and scholarship by supporting initiatives and projects in Native studies, art history, and creative expression that illuminate the intersections of the social sciences, humanities, and arts. This is accomplished by providing fellowship opportunities for artists to engage in uninterrupted creativity; fostering dialogue among artists, researchers, scholars, and community members through seminars and symposia; nurturing future arts and museums professionals through experiential training; and promoting study of the IARC collection of Native arts.

In addition, up to three fellowships are awarded to advance the work of mature and emerging Native artists. Each fellowship includes a monthly stipend, housing, studio space, a supplies allowance, and travel reimbursement to and from SAR. These fellowships provide time for artists to explore new avenues of creativity, grapple with new ideas to further advance their work, and strengthen existing talents. SAR offers three artist-in-residence fellowships annually to advance the work of mature and emerging Native artists

The IARC also offers two nine-month internships to individuals who are recent college graduates, current graduate students, or junior museum professionals interested in furthering their professional museum experience and enhancing their intellectual capacity for contributing to the expanding field and discourse of museum studies. These internships, supported since 1997, provide stipends, travel, and housing and are funded through a national charitable trust and private donations.

SAR offers three artist-in-residence fellowships annually to advance the work of mature and emerging Native artists. Each fellowship includes a monthly stipend, housing, studio space, a supplies allowance, and travel reimbursement to and from campus. These fellowships provide time for artists to explore new avenues of creativity, grapple with new ideas to further advance their work, and strengthen existing talents.
The fellowships support diverse creative disciplines and can include sculpture, performance, basketry, painting, printmaking, digital art, mixed media, photography, pottery, writing, and film and video.

Population(s) Served
Adults

For over a century, SAR Press has published intelligent books on questions that matter. From scholarly works arising from SAR?s Advanced Seminar, Resident Scholar, and Native Artist programs to books of popular interest on the life and arts of peoples of the American Southwest, past and present, the exceptional quality and importance of SAR Press publications are widely recognized.

SAR Press also explores new digital formats for teaching public audiences on topics of anthropological importance. An example of such recent outreach efforts is Southwest Crossroads: Cultures and Histories of the American Southwest, a dynamic, interactive, on-line learning matrix of original texts, poems, fiction, maps, paintings, photographs, oral histories, and films. This engaging resource allows teachers and students in grades 7?12 to explore the many contentious stories that diverse peoples have used to make sense of themselves and the region.

Population(s) Served
Adults

SAR members enjoy a wide variety of benefits and opportunities, depending on the level of membership. Members have research and borrowing privileges at the Catherine McElvain Library; may take part in local, regional, and international field trips; have free access to special lecture series and campus tours; and 20% off the price of merchandise and SAR Press publications.

SAR launched a new initiative in 2017, the Creative Thought Forum (CTF), which brings to Santa Fe exciting and inventive thinkers whose work illuminates topics of broad public concern—ranging from climate change and growing social inequality to the unanticipated risks posed by new technologies. Other speakers may be working on projects of no immediate utility but which instead challenge our imagination and expand our sense of the possible. Some of these visiting experts will be anthropologists, but disciplinary identity is of less concern to SAR than is a demonstrated ability to communicate fresh ideas effectively. This initiative will complement but not replace SAR’s longstanding commitment to programming focused on the history and diverse cultures of the Southwest.

Many of these talented visitors will give public talks to SAR members and members of the general public. In addition to presenting a lecture, however, they will also lead a discussion with SAR members in a salon-style setting. These conversations will be held in SAR’s Dobkin Boardroom on the morning after the lecture and will be limited to twenty-five members who are at the Chaco level or above. CTF lectures are recorded and posted on SAR's YouTube site.

As part of the CTF, SAR will present an annual President’s Lecture featuring an especially prominent speaker.

The 2018-2019 Creative Thought Forum explores the theme of tradition and innovation. Now in its second year, the programming continues to enhance SAR’s mission of promoting creativity in the humanistic social sciences and Native American art. SAR is excited by the possibility of engaging our members and Santa Feans in general with the work of emerging thought-leaders.

Population(s) Served
Adults

Over the 109 years of the School's existence, its offices have relocated from the Palace of the Governors to the Museum of Fine Arts in Santa Fe and, after 1959, to the Hewett House on Lincoln Avenue. In 1972 the School found a permanent home on Santa Fe's historic east side. Construction of the seven acre estate began in 1927 and was the home of Martha and Elizabeth White, wealthy New York business women who relocated to Santa Fe. The White sisters were avid patrons of Indian art, and together opened the first Native American art gallery in New York City. Elizabeth was a founding member of the Indian Arts Fund (IAF) in Santa Fe and sat on SAR’s Board of Managers for twenty-five years. When Elizabeth died in 1972, she generously left the estate, named El Delirio, along with other Santa Fe properties, to the School of American Research. In that same year, the IAF disbanded and deeded its collections of Southwest Indian art to SAR. The construction of the Indian Arts Research Center in 1978 gave the collections inherited from the IAF an appropriate home. Our library holds a priceless archival collection of photographs of the construction of the estate as well the elegant gatherings hosted by the White sisters and attended by well-known artists and writers who built Santa Fe's art community. The stewardship of this collection, the historic buildings, and extensively landscaped grounds continue to be a primary concerns and goals for SAR.

Population(s) Served
Adults

Where we work

Awards

Stewardship Award 2012

Historic Santa Fe Foundation

Property Worthy of Preservation 2020

Historic Santa Fe Foundation

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

To become the preeminent institution that fosters our understanding of humankind by inspiring scholarly and artistic creativity.

In order to accomplish this vision, SAR has outlined the following strategic goals:
(1) Improve SAR’s financial situation and continue the intensified fundraising efforts launched in 2015 to advance SAR’s mission.
(2) Plan and begin to implement the expansion and renovation of the Indian Arts Research Center so that it can realize its curatorial and educational potential.
(3) Heighten the profile of SAR as a research center that promotes important conversations about contemporary social and scientific issues.
(4) Increase the number of resident scholar positions to expand our offerings to the scholarly community.
(5) Enhance the SAR campus and intensify our commitment to energy efficiency and ecological sustainability.
(6) Continue to develop relationships with nationally ranked universities for which SAR could provide an attractive platform for programs focused on cultural diversity, archaeology, and Western history.

SAR will continue its efforts to achieve financial sustainability while serving multiple constituencies including scholars, Native American artists and communities, and members. Central to this process is intensification of SAR’s drive to communicate its mission in a clear and compelling way. Equally important are development of plans for expansion of the SAR campus, renovation and expansion of the IARC, and intensification of efforts to establish mutually beneficial relationships with colleges and universities with New Mexico and beyond.

Our longstanding residential programs for scholars, museum interns, and Native American artists are a cornerstone of our efforts. Also of critical importance is SAR Press which produces and disseminates high-quality content on important topics in anthropology, indigenous arts, and the American Southwest. Through print and electronic publications produced from scholarly and artistic programs hosted by the School and from specific acquisitions, SAR Press provides the institution with a strong and enduring public face. The ongoing efforts of the Indian Arts Research Center are to integrate Native American values and knowledge into the management and stewardship of its collections. The newly launched Creative Thought Forum brings to Santa Fe exciting and inventive thinkers whose work illuminates topics of broad public concern—ranging from climate change and growing social inequality to the unanticipated risks posed by new technologies.

In recent years we have expanded our resident scholar program by adding two scholar positions in Latino Studies. Through our Creative Thought Forum, SAR has brought to Santa Fe such leading thinkers as Pulitzer prize winning journalist, Elizabeth Kolbert, to speak on the human impact on climate change on our planet, as well as other notable speakers on the theme of "Designing the Future" and "Tradition and Innovation." We have also increased our publicity efforts to make sure that regional and national audiences are more aware of SAR's key contributions to anthropology, archaeology, and Native American studies. The IARC's program of community collections review is fast becoming the best-practice for institutions that steward Indigenous art. The IARC has also published guidelines that are setting a new standard for museums working collaboratively with Native American communities. Where we still have progress to make is in achieving a closer integration of our scholar and Indian arts programs, which currently run on mostly independent tracks.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    Electronic surveys (by email, tablet, etc.), Focus groups or interviews (by phone or in person), Constituent (client or resident, etc.) advisory committees,

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve,

  • What significant change resulted from feedback?

    We received feedback that people prefer Zoom as an interface, so we shifted platforms. We have also changed programming in response to surveys that suggested that we host more conversation-style programming. We have prioritized programs where scholars and artists address issues of broad social concern in response to constituent surveys.

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    The people we serve, Our staff, Our funders, Our community partners,

  • How has asking for feedback from the people you serve changed your relationship?

    It has provided an amplified voice to constituents about the platform, content, and type of programming.

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We act on the feedback we receive,

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    Staff find it hard to prioritize feedback collection and review due to lack of time,

Financials

School for Advanced Research
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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School for Advanced Research

Board of directors
as of 3/31/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board co-chair

Joe Colvin

retired, Nuclear Energy Institute, Inc.

Term: 2020 - 2022


Board co-chair

Dr. Jerry Sabloff

emeritus professor, University of Pennsylvania & faculty fellow, Santa Fe Institute

Term: 2020 - 2022

Donald Lamm

retired, W.W. Norton & Company, Inc. and Yale University Press

Diane Vennema

book author

Dorothy Bracey

emeritus professor, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, City University of New York

Elizabeth Roghair

retired CPA

Julie Rivers

attorney, Cuddy & McCarthy, LLP

Lynne Withey

retired, University of California, Berkeley

Nancy Bern

retired executive, IBM

Anne Chognard

retired attorney

Ann Morton

marketing specialist, 12 Productions

Ken Cole

retired senior advisor, Pfizer

Ned Blackhawk

professor, Yale University

Brian Foster

emeritus provost, University of Missouri

Louise Lamphere

emertus professor, University of New Mexico

Gregory Smith

attorney, Hobbs Straus

James Robins

retired, Robins Group, Inc.

Helen Brooks

retired, Presbyterian Santa Fe Medical Center

Thomas Conner

retired attorney

Elizabeth Glassman

president ererita, Terra Foundation for American Art

June Lorenzo

tribal judge, attorney

John Phillips

professor, Indiana University, Bloomington

Rick Vaughn

banking manager, First National 1870

Scott Waugh

retired administrator, University of California, Los Angeless

Donald Brenneis

retired professor, University of California, Santa Cruz

Wes Cowan

former owner, Cowan's Auctions, Inc.

Susan Foote

historian

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 03/29/2021

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Male, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 03/29/2021

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Data
  • We ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and / or portfolios.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
Policies and processes
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.