President’s Council

SAR Campus, Spring 2012SAR Campus, Spring 2012Photograph by Jason S. OrdazSAR Campus, Spring 2012Photograph by Jason S. Ordaz

The President’s Council was founded to provide you an opportunity to develop a deeper connection with our mission. Your participation provides you the rare and enriching experience of meeting and interacting with resident scholars, artists, and researchers from around the country and the globe.

President’s Council members are invited to private luncheons, dinners, receptions, and other special events. Of particular interest is the uniquely crafted travel program to destinations designed exclusively for President’s Council members and led by hand-picked scholars and guides who are expert and engaging in their respective fields. New this year, as a very special benefit, is the ability to use the campus for a small, intimate gathering.

Your unrestricted contribution of $2,500 or more provides important financial support for SAR’s mission to support innovative social science and Native American artistic creativity. The generosity of the President’s Council is recognized by designation of a particular program in the council’s name. The program is selected by the Council members from among several identified by the SAR President.

Current Members

Kenneth E. Stilwell (Chair)
Barbara & Ron Balser
Victoria & Roy Bridges
Ronald & Susan Dubin
Kay Harvey
Dominic La Capra & Jane Pedersen
Rachel O'Keefe
Lauren Prescott
Doug & Christine Preston
Jim & Barbara Robins
Robert & Lora Sandroni
Douglas & Nita Schwartz
Bert & Colleen Spencer
David and Cindy Stuart
Bob and Ellen Vladem
Betty Vortman

For more information about the President’s Council, please contact Elizabeth Brando by calling (505) 954-7238 or by email at brando[at]sarsf.org.


Kenneth E. StilwellKenneth E. StilwellPhoto by Will WilsonKenneth E. StilwellPhoto by Will Wilson

Kenneth E. Stilwell, Chair, President’s Council

Born into a third generation Durango, CO, banking family, Ken graduated from the University of Colorado with a triple major of English, communications, and Spanish. After eighteen years working in military defense subcontracting, specializing in business systems trend analysis with information technology applications, he retired in 1996. After retirement Ken devoted his life to civil rights with Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD) in New England, Lambda Legal Defense in New York, Human Rights Campaign in Washington, DC, and most recently with the 5,000 member ACLU of Georgia, serving as board treasurer and president from 1998-2011. With his move to Santa Fe in 2011, he re-established his Southwestern roots and looks forward to using his for-profit and non-profit skills to benefit SAR.

President’s Council members will receive notification of each event as the date approaches.

Upcoming President’s Council Events
Kiva Fireplace in the Hewett ResidenceDecember Fireside Chat with Michael Brown and Ehren Kee NatayDecember 11, 2014, 3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.At the Douglas Schwartz Seminar Houseon the SAR Campus.

President Michael Brown will discuss his vision for SAR’s future and 2014 King Native Artist Fellow Ehren Kee Natay will showcase his SAR project — imagery that portrays the lunchtime feeding at a Pueblo feast day.
Cottonwoods on the SAR CampusMeet the Scholar reception at the home of President's Council's President Ken StillwellMarch 2015More details to come.
Fire in the SkySan Ildefonso Pueblo tour and hike with Joseph Aguilar, 2014/2015 Katrin H. Lamon Resident ScholarApril 2015More details to come.


Past President’s Council Events
SAR and the Santa Fe Opera, 2011SAR and the Santa Fe OperaWednesday, July 2, 2014, $200 per personWhat makes Bizet’s Carmen the world’s most famous opera? The answer is simple. It sizzles! Rory Macdonald conducts the archetypal love story tailored specifically for the Santa Fe Opera—an unforgettable portrait of the definitive femme fatale. In perhaps a first for the Santa Fe Opera, most of the cast for this new production is also new to the SFO and come from all over the world, as do members of the creative team. Mezzo-soprano Daniela Mack (Argentina) sings the title role. Tenor Roberto De Biasio (Sicily) sings the role of Don José. The role of the swaggering toreador Escamillo is sung by bass-baritone Kostas Smoriginas (Lithuania). Conductor Rory Macdonald (Scotland) and director Stephen Lawless (England) add to the international mix.
Witter Bynner EstateWitter Bynner Estate TourMonday, March 17, 2014, 11:00 a.m.Located at the corner of East Buena Vista and Old Santa Fe Trail, this historic jewel was the home of poet and essayist Witter Bynner. He moved to Santa Fe in 1922, where he and his partner, Robert Hunt, entertained such well-known artists and literary figures as Thornton Wilder, D. H. Lawrence, Georgia O’Keeffe, Ansel Adams, Willa Cather, Igor Stravinsky, Carl Sandburg, Robert Frost, and many more. The original “bones” of the house date to the 1830s. Currently run as the Inn of the Turquoise Bear, your tour of this significant property will be led by owners Robert Frost and Ralph Bolton. Lunch after at Amaya at the Hotel Santa Fe.
Cottonwoods on the SAR CampusMeet and Greet the 2013–2014 ScholarsLate September/Early October, 5:30 pm–7:00 pm • SAR Boardroom/Cottonwood PatioThis special reception is a great opportunity to hear about the cutting-edge projects that the incoming resident fellows will work on during their stay at SAR.
SAR and the Santa Fe Opera, 2011SAR and the Santa Fe OperaWednesday, August 21, 2013, $200 per personThe Grand Duchess of Gerolstein—In the 1970s, Santa Fe Opera audiences loved this grande opéra bouffe, which was presented no less than four times in a decade. Opera general director Charles MacKay decided it was time to bring it back. A young woman raised by tutors, the Grand Duchess is a tyrant and the opera revolves around the complications of her love life. Opera enthusiasts can’t wait to see the ebullient mezzo-soprano Susan Graham in the title role of this Jacques Offenbach gem. Far from being “a lady of a certain age,” this Grand Duchess is a sexy, spoiled aristocrat with an eye for Fritz, a cadet at the local military academy, sung by the dynamic American tenor Paul Appleby. Soprano Anya Matanovič completes the love triangle as Wanda, the object of Fritz’s affection. Emmanuel Villaume conducts.
Mole Verde IngredientsFebruary, March, and April 2013—Dinner and ConversationWe kick off 2013 with a series of intimate dinners at the homes of several members of the SAR community. This is an opportunity for President’s Council members to meet SAR’s scholars over a delicious meal and stimulating conversation. Email invitations will be sent several weeks prior to each event.
Library of Celsus, Ephesus, TurkeyAncient Borderlands of Western TurkeyThursday, March 21–Saturday, March 30, 2013Join SAR on an exclusive adventure into some of the most fascinating and significant regions of the ancient world—Ionia, Lydia, and Caria—now within the modern nation of Turkey. Guided by historian Dr. John Lee, we will explore the history, archaeology, art, and culture of this beautiful area, all while traveling in five-star comfort.