George R.R. Martin at the 68th Emmy Awards (Flickr Creative Commons, ABC/Image Group LA)
The novelist who penned the HBO series “Game of Thrones” is offering scholarships for film students at the Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA). George R.R. Martin, a Santa Fe resident, created the Stagecoach Foundation earlier this year. His nonprofit is dedicated to bringing more film and television production to Santa Fe and to supporting educational programs—particularly ones that serve disadvantaged communities like the Native American and Hispanic communities. IAIA, a longtime Santa Fe institution, is a partner of Stagecoach.
The scholarships will support students in the college’s Cinematic Arts & Technology Department. Students must be a member of a federally recognized tribe or a Canadian First Nations member. One will cover a full year of tuition, $15,000, and two $5,000 scholarships may kick in as soon as the current academic year. Scholarship details are still being sorted out.
“Just being able to take the financial burden off some of our students so they can really explore their creativity without all that extra weight on their shoulders is really going to help our students,” said department chair James Lujan, reported the Albuquerque Journal.
At a news conference Wednesday, Martin borrowed a quote from famed science fiction writer Robert A. Heinlein: “(He) said ‘You can never pay back the people who helped you when you were starting out, so you have to pay it forward,’” said Martin, reported the Albuquerque Journal. “You have to pay the people who come after you. I hope these scholarships will do a little of that.”