Support tribal arts and tourism


Courtesy / Poeh Cultural Center

News from AIANTA:

In 1988, the Poeh Cultural Center and Museum was established as a “gathering place” and a way to promote Pueblo arts and culture.

Owned and operated by the Pueblo de Pojoaque, the Poeh Cultural Center is a prime example of how tribes have fused cultural arts and tourism into a successful business.

The Centre’s business model includes a renowned museum, gallery and gift shop, with an emphasis on art programs and classes that teach and support traditional arts. Educational arts programs provide entrepreneurial opportunities for artists, with beautiful, state-of-the-art studios on site.

The Center encourages the “native shop” and showcases artists by organizing events, gallery exhibitions and art markets. Additionally, the Center, which has one of the nation’s most notable fine art collections, manages a million dollar art collection at the Buffalo Thunder Resort.

Find out how the Center continues to create new jobs and economic opportunities for the tribe by creating a world-class facility that welcomes visitors while celebrating local culture.

Dated: 10 a.m. Tuesday, August 10

Register for this connect.


Jake Viarrial (Pueblo of Pojoaque), Tourism Coordinator, Poeh Cultural Center
Jake Viarrial has been at the Poeh Cultural Center for 8 years. Viarrial started as a gift shop attendant at the Poeh Museum in 2013 and has since worked with many different departments in the center. He currently works as a Tourism Coordinator, where he is responsible for tourism related programming, including tours, marketing and art markets. One of Viarrial’s goals as a tourism coordinator is to work with the six Tewa speaking tribes to become a hub of Tewa tourism.

Cris Velarde (Jicarilla / Santa Clara Pueblo), Traditional Pueblo Weaving, Poeh Cultural Center

Cristopher R. Velarde, a member of the Jicarilla Apache nation, with blood ties to the Pueblo de Santa Clara, comes to the Poeh Cultural Center as a newly appointed cultural arts specialist. Growing up as a young child with many parents as artists, Velarde watched and always asked questions about the type of work they were creating. Learning to beadwork and working with clay was only the beginning of his artistic journey. Graduated from St. Catherine’s Indian School in Santa Fe.

In 1977, Velarde had the privilege and honor of traveling with the world famous musical group “Up with People”. Here he learned a different kind of art – singing and dancing – and performing in front of thousands of people. Noticing how unusual the art of weaving was in northern New Mexico, Velarde decided that weaving would be his next passion. Now with 11 years of weaving experience under his belt, he is an instructor for the Poeh Center.


Bianca Mitchell (Pueblo of Acoma), Education Manager, AIANTA

Bianca Mitchell (Pueblo of Acoma) joins AIANTA as the organization’s education manager. With extensive experience in event management, donor development, communications and marketing, Mitchell brings years of experience to AIANTA. In her role as Education Officer, she will identify, develop, implement, market and promote technical assistance and training programs, webinars and certificate programs. Mitchell’s goal is to help develop and improve the program model for and with AIANTA.


For nearly two decades, the American Indian Alaska Native Tourism Association (AIANTA) served as a national center to provide technical assistance, training, and capacity building in tourism and recreation to Native American nations. AIANTA is a 501 (c) (3) national nonprofit association of Native American tribes and tribal businesses and was incorporated in 2002 to advance tourism in Indian countries. The mission of AIANTA is to define, introduce, develop and support American Indian, Alaska Native and Hawaiian tourism that honors traditions and values. For more information contact: Bianca Mitchell | 505.433.2120 | [email protected]; Sherrie L. Bowman | 505.209.2479 | sbowma[email protected]


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