The Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA) was founded by the late President John F. Kennedy in 1962. Chartered by Congress by executive order, the four-year college in Santa Fe, New Mexico features specialized undergraduate studies on the theme of Native American art. Offering bachelor's degrees since 2001, the IAIA graduated 43 students in 2006. It offers degrees in museum studies, creative writing, visual communications, indigenous liberal studies, studio art, and new media art. Several of the IAIA's buildings are historic landmarks, including the Museum of Contemporary Native Arts.
The Institute concentrated on collecting native art during its first decade of operation, promoting itself through exhibits around the country. The art was eventually housed in the MCNA, and the collection was officially named "The National Collection of Contemporary Native Art."