Jill Momaday is a mother, an actor and a writer. She is working on a documentary film about her family and heritage. She is the daughter of N. Scott Momaday, a Pulitzer Prize-winning author.
She has spent all of her life immersed in the arts. Growing up in a family who has a rich cultural, artistic, and literary background helped to inspire her passion for theater. Jill studied theater in Santa Fe, NM and debuted in a number of theatrical productions including Benchwarmers, The Indolent Boys, The Vagina Monologues, and Black Elk Speaks, to name a few. Her love of theater naturally led her into a career in modeling. She signed with Elite agency in NY, and went on to model in Paris before returning home to Santa Fe, NM. Jill's deep connection to her Kiowa Heritage has given her a rich background to draw from in her professional work as an actor, storyteller, and filmmaker. A few of her film credits include Tony Hillerman's Coyote Waits, directed by Jan Egglesen and produced by Robert Redford; The Desperate Trail, directed by Paul Pesche; and Silent Tongue, written and directed by Sam Shepard.
Jill's freelance work as a Public Presenter and Communications Catalyst keeps her involved in the artist community. She has performed as Master of Ceremonies for such diverse entities as the Institute of American Indian Arts, the New Mexico Community Foundation, the Buffalo Trust Foundation, the Santa Fe Film Festival, the Buffalo Thunder Resort, the Santa Fe Symphony in which she performed "A Lincoln Portrait" and The New Mexico Land Conservancy.
Jill served as Chief of Protocol in the State of New Mexico for Governor Bill Richardson, in the Department of Cultural Affaires from 2005 to 2010. Her knowledge of the cultural diversity in New Mexico and her involvement in the arts, gave Jill an advantage in her capacity to serve as an Ambassador and Cultural Liaison.
Jill is married to renowned painter and musician Darren Vigil Gray, recipient of the 2013 NM Governor's Award for Excellence in the Arts. They have two beautiful and talented daughters, Natachee and Tai who are following in the footsteps of the Momaday-Gray family in their own artistic endeavors.