The community is named for Tewa artist—potter Thomas Polacca (1935—2003). He was the grandson of the renowned Hopi potter Nampeyo (d. 1942), from the Tewa pueblo on the Hopi First Mesa. His work developed a deep carved polychrome-ware style. It is in the permanent collection of the Heard Museum.
The Polacca Head Start Center is active in the revitalization of the Hopi language. Its Shooting Stars Hopi Lavayi Radio Project broadcasts for students in the First Mesa Dialect are carried on KUYI, 88.1 FM.