Patrons of Perseverance Theatre are no strangers to the power of Xáalnook Erin Tripp’s voice and ability to share a narrative, and now thanks to a recent grant awarded to the actor, she’ll be able to expand her reach and extend that opportunity to others.
Earlier this week, Tripp was named one of the 2023 Artists in Business Leadership Fellows, a prestigious award that celebrates Indigenous artists and includes a $10,000 grant to each artist aimed at offering a financial resource for the artists to aid them in furthering their interests in the arts.
In addition to Tripp being named, Tlingit multi-medium artist Alison Bremner Nax̲shag̲eit was also recognized as a 2023 Cultural Capital Fellow for the program, along with contemporary Haida artist Robert Charles Davidson Guud San Glans being named a 2023 Jennifer Easton Community Spirit Award honoree for his work in Haida and Tlingit carving, dance, sculpture and storytelling.
Born and raised in Juneau, Tripp is well known in the community for her contributions to the local theater community and has been featured in productions across the state for her spectacular performances. Most recently, Tripp said she has been further exploring the voice acting industry, and that intention is what led her to apply for the First Peoples Fund fellowship.
“I was very excited and it is such an honor to win,” she said. “For me, it’s about being able to take the next step in myself as an artist to have more agency and this is another step for that.”
With the $10,000 grant, Tripp said she plans to use the funds to set up a professional recording studio that she can then use to work in the voice acting field while still living in Juneau.
Tripp said it’s also important to her to give back to the community that has supported her throughout her career as an artist and said she plans to open up the studio to other artists in the Juneau or Alaska community who are interested or could find benefit in using it to further their career in the arts as well.
“I plan on it being a community resource and so that other people can create things in the community, I’m just really excited,” she said.
In addition to the First Peoples Fund, last month Tripp was also accepted into the esteemed Penguin Random House Audio Narrator Mentorship Program, a six-month-long mentorship where she will work with producers from the Penguin Random to learn more about the audiobook industry and production.
She said the timing for the award grant and mentorship program coincides perfectly with her intentions to become more involved in the voice acting industry, which she said can be a difficult field to get into coming from Alaska where there aren’t as many immediate work or opportunities compared to bigger cities in the Lower 48. She said she is grateful for the opportunities that the award opened up for her, and said she hopes more people in the Alaska Native community can benefit from it as well and bring more representation into the arts.
“I think it’s really amazing because I think coming from Alaska, not just in Juneau, it feels like it’s a small town,” Tripp said. “So just to see yourself and other Alaska Native artists honored, it is really nice to see us getting these awards and achieving these things.”
• Contact reporter Clarise Larson at firstname.lastname@example.org or (651)-528-1807. Follow her on Twitter at @clariselarson.