Rabbit invests in education, honoring father

BY STAFF REPORTS
05/30/2018 12:00 PM
Main Cherokee Phoenix
Through the Cherokee Nation Foundation’s matching program, Cherokee artist Traci Rabbit was able to establish an endowment in honor of her late father Bill Rabbit. COURTESY
TAHLEQUAH – Cherokee Nation citizen and artist Traci Rabbit recently established an endowment with the Cherokee Nation Foundation that will benefit Cherokee students.

Traci created the Bill Rabbit Legacy Art Scholarship in 2013 to honor her late father. Bill was a noted Cherokee painter who was also a Cherokee National Treasure.

Through the CNF’s matching program, she was able to grow the scholarship funds and establish an endowment in its place. She said the endowment would ensure her father’s legacy would thrive through the development of future artists.

“By creating this endowment, my family and I can rest assured that Dad’s legacy will continue to live on, even after we’re gone,” Traci said. “Our application varies from others in that it includes samples of artwork. This provides us with a better insight to the artist’s skill level and passion for creating. We hope this fund will encourage and enable artists to follow their dreams, and knowing that we played a small role in their success is the greatest honor we can give Dad.”

The endowment will support one scholarship each year to a graduating senior, undergraduate or graduate student pursuing a degree in art, art education or fine arts at a four-year, post-secondary institution. The scholarship is payable to the university and can be applied to tuition, books, fees, housing or other education-related expenses.

Applicants must be citizens of the CN or the United Keetoowah Band and reside within the CN jurisdiction. The scholarship is renewable for up to four years.

“The Rabbit family has been a longtime supporter of Cherokee Nation Foundation, and we are beyond pleased to see them further their commitment in this way,” CNF Executive Director Janice Randall said. “We are honored to have the opportunity to help share Bill’s legacy and are thankful our board has allowed us to extend the matching program.”

The CNF launched the “Leave a Legacy” matching program in 2016, allocating $100,000 to match gifts ranging from $5,000 to $25,000 on a first-come, first-served basis.

In September, it reached its program goal and the board voted to continue matching qualifying donations beyond the $100,000, as funds allow.

Limited funding remains, and those interested in establishing an endowment are encouraged to call Randall at 918-207-0950 or email jr@cherokeenationfoundation.org.

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