Alaskans honored with Governors Awards

Eight Alaskans were honored with Governor’s Awards for the Arts and Humanities Thursday evening at the Juneau Arts & Culture Center, including three Juneau residents.

Hosted by the Alaska State Council on the Arts and the Alaska Humanities Forum, the awards honor individuals and organizations that “exemplify great art and devotion to the humanities.” Lt. Gov. Byron Mallott distributed the awards, designed by Sitka artist Tommy Joseph.

Governor’s Awards for the Arts went to June Rogers of Fairbanks, who received the Lifetime Achievement Award for more than two decades of work as director of the Fairbanks Arts Association; Pat Garley of Palmer, who received the Individual Artist Award for his bronze sculptures, which include public art pieces in Seward, Kodiak, Palmer, and Anchorage; Nancy DeCherney of Juneau, who received the Arts Advocacy Award for her work as executive director of the Juneau Arts & Humanities Council; and Vicki Soboleff of Juneau, who received the Margaret Nick Cooke Award for Alaska Native Arts and Languages for her work with the youth dance group Lda Kut Naax Sati Yatx’i (All Nations Children), which she founded in1995.

Governor’s Awards for the Humanities went to Cyrano’s Theatre Company of Anchorage, accepted by co-founder Sandy Harper, for its commitment to Alaskan theater; Steve Henrikson of Juneau, curator of collections at the Alaska State Museum, for his work in preserving, researching, developing, and exhibits Alaska’s permanent collection; and Lucy Ahvaiyak Richards of Barrow, for her work in teaching the Iñupiaq language to young children through the North Slope Borough School District.

The Alaska Studies Educator of the Year award went to Marc Swanson of Seward, for his work in developing research-based curriculum and outreach programs that involve direct collaboration with regional scientists and historians, connecting Alaskan students to local history.

The evening also included performances by the Alaska Youth Choir, directed by Missouri Smyth, storytelling by Lily Hope of Juneau, dancing by Pulse Dance Company of Anchorage, poetry recitation by Maeva Ordaz of Anchorage and a musical performance by Sophia Street.

Also recognized at the event were the four recipients of the Alaska Literary Awards (Christine Byl of Healy, Alyse Knorr of Anchorage, Kyle Mellen of Fairbanks and Jill Osier of Fairbanks) and the four recipients of the Connie Boochever Artist Fellowship (Ellen Frankenstein of Sitka, John Hagen of Haines, Enzina Marrari of Anchorage and Austin Parkhill of Homer).

See accompanying photos at left, and view a slideshow online at

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