Alaska Airlines is helping the New JACC take off.
The airlines does not donate to brick and mortar projects, but they donated $25,000 and an undisclosed amount in excess of that in travel credit to the project, said Benjamin Brown, marketing and development director for Juneau Arts & Humanities Council, said Thursday.
The donation follows multiple discussions between those leading the charge for a New Juneau Arts & Culture Center and the airline, Brown said.
“As far as the effect on our overall campaign, we’re really, really excited about this,” Brown said. “Alaska Airlines does not fund capital projects. We’re looking at a creative and generous donation of cash and travel credit. Operating support is welcomed every bit as much as capital support, and it will take both kinds of support to make this project happen.”
The New JACC is a proposed replacement for the Juneau Arts & Culture Center. Possible plans for the new building include a performing arts theater, community hall, reception area and offices and more. There has also been discussion of connecting the New JACC to Centennial Hall, which the JAHC manages.
So far almost $5.1 million has been raised for the project with a goal of $26 million.
The Alaska Airlines donation makes the sustainability of a new arts and culture center more evident, Brown said. Additionally, Brown said the support of Alaska Airlines signals to other possible corporate or foundation donors that the New JACC continues to move forward and is a viable cause.
“It’s another sort of seal of approval for the project,” Brown said.
Both the travel credit and funds can be used to strengthen Juneau Arts & Humanities Council’s youth outreach efforts, which Alaska Airlines cited as a reason for supporting the project.
“Alaska Airlines has always believed in giving back to the people of Alaska, who are among our most loyal and best customers,” said Alaska Airlines’ External Affairs manager Tim Thompson in a press release. “This opportunity to provide significant operating support to the Juneau Arts & Humanities Council will make it possible for the New JACC to meet the needs of children and youth in Southeast Alaska. We look forward to a long and mutually beneficial relationship with the arts community in Juneau.”
Jen LaRoe, arts and education director for Juneau Arts & Humanities Council, specified three new endeavors being developed the funds could aid. One is a Youth Arts & Culture Council, and LaRoe said there has been and will be collaboration with Zach Gordon Youth Center and Central Council of Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes to cultivate young leaders for the program. A second effort is a possible collaboration with Sealaska Heritage Institute’s and Perseverance Theatre’s summer programs.
“We’re interested in a connection with those two programs to provide place-based learning for all the students in Juneau,” LaRoe said. “This is all very preliminary.”
The third goal is working with various arts-related organization’s summer camps to ensure they are accommodating to students with special needs.
“It’s a collective impact initiative,” LaRoe Said.
Brown said aside from Alaska Airlines support there is not much to report regarding fundraising for the New JACC, which he said is moving at a slow and steady clip.
“We are continuing to have meetings with our elected leaders for the best way to have some CBJ (City and Borough of Juneau) support for the project,” Brown said.
He said there’s nothing specific to report from those meetings, but they are ongoing and productive.