LESLIE MARMON SILKO
American Academy of Arts and Letters expands, diversifies
(AP Photo)NEW YORK – One of the country's oldest cultural instititutions, the American Academy of Arts and Letters, is undergoing some of its biggest changes in more than a century. AdHarjo, the first Native American to be appointed U.S. poet laureate, said she looked forward to having an influence on future academy choices. “There are so many incredible Native visual artists,” she told the AP, while also citing such authors as N. Scott Momaday and Leslie Marmon Silko. But the academy will still call itself an academy, while working to make itself more accessible to artists and to the general public. Besides choosing members, the academy also gives dozens of prizes and grants each year, totalling more than $1 million.