ATALM Recognizes the Poeh Cultural Center as a Model for Museums and Cultural Centers

TEMECULA, CA – The Poeh Cultural Center received an award for the “Top Ten Models of Native Museums and Cultural Centers” from the Association of Tribal Archives, Libraries, and Museums Conference (ATALM) at the Pechanga Resort & Casino in Temecula, California.  

The award ceremony, held Tuesday, October 25, marks a milestone in the Poeh’s ongoing commitment to serve Tewa Pueblo and the Indigenous communities. Alongside nine other tribal institutions, Karl Duncan, Executive Director of the Poeh Cultural Center accepted the award from ATALM Board of Governors member Rick West, President/CEO Autry National Center of the American West and Crosby Kemper, Director of the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS).  

 “We are humbled and grateful for this award. We are all about service and everything we do is about the people,” said Karl Duncan on receiving the award. “During the pandemic, we tried to find ways to help the community. Throughout the pandemic we did everything from meals on wheels to handing out thousands of dollars in direct financial aid to artists and people in financial need.”  

ATALM recognized the Poeh Cultural Center for serving as a resource for Pueblo people to learn and continue the arts and culture of their ancestors. The Poeh Cultural Center provides a sustainable funding stream for cultural and artistic activities and stimulating knowledge of Pueblo legacies and traditions.   

“We are trying to find other ways to train Native entrepreneurs and Museum professionals by utilizing what we have at the Poeh Center,” said Duncan. “This award is a nod that we are doing the right thing and that the work we do is important. I would like to thank the Pueblo of Pojoaque community, tribal council, tribal leadership, and everybody that has been a part of the Poeh story.”  

Recipients of the Top Ten Model Museums and Cultural Centers Award include the Choctaw Nation, Chickasaw Nation, Citizen Potawatomi, Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux, Shawnee, Southern Ute, Suquamish, Tribe, United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians and the Wyandotte Nation. These institutions served as models for the Culture Builds Community Project sponsored by ATALM with funding from IMLS and the National Museum of the American Indian. 


Founded in 1988, the Pueblo of Pojoaque established the Poeh Cultural Center as the first permanent tribally owned and operated mechanism for cultural preservation and revitalization within the Pueblo communities of the northern Rio Grande Valley. The Poeh has since become a resource for Pueblo people to learn the arts and culture of their ancestors. The facility resembles a traditional Pueblo village with its adjacent art studio buildings and outdoor gathering areas. The Center emphasizes the arts and cultures of all Pueblo People, focusing on the Tewa-speaking Pueblos of Pojoaque, San Ildefonso, Ohkay Owingeh, Santa Clara, Tesuque, and Nambé.  

Media Contact:  

Cougar Vigil  


SOURCE The Poeh Cultural Center