Sitka festival receives grant, Poetry Out Loud dates announced, Rasmuson Foundation accepting applications

Sitka festival receives grant, Poetry Out Loud dates announced, Rasmuson Foundation accepting applications

Arts and culture news briefs for the week of Jan. 23, 2019.

Sitka Music Festival receives grant to modernize Stevenson Hall

The M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust has awarded the Sitka Summer Music Festival a $400,000 grant to support renovation of Stevenson Hall in downtown Sitka as a residence space for visiting musicians who will also perform throughout Alaska.

The grant is the latest investment made by the trust in support of arts programs across Alaska and the Pacific Northwest.

“The Sitka Summer Music Festival has been a destination for world-class chamber music performers and music lovers since 1972. It’s a gem in Alaska and the entire Pacific Northwest. We’re proud to invest in the festival and in the community by supporting the purchase and renovation of Stevenson Hall,” said Jill Lemke, program director at M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust.

The Sitka Summer Music Festival purchased the 6,000-square-foot Stevenson Hall in January 2015 with help from the Murdock trust. This $400,000 will help the festival renovate the hall to include: 11 residential rooms each with private bathroom for visiting performers, two rehearsal rooms including one with space for an audience up to 50, a living room and kitchen, offices for festival staff and storage space for equipment.

“We are deeply grateful for support from the Murdock Trust to help us restore Stevenson Hall for visiting artists and festival staff. We have been either borrowing or renting space for more than 40 years, and we’re so excited to be able to modernize Stevenson Hall to serve our needs while also preserving its history. Stevenson Hall will truly be our home base now,” said Kayla Boettcher, executive director of the Sitka Summer Music Festival and Alaska Classics.

Poetry Out Loud competitions are coming up

The Juneau Arts & Humanities Council will sponsor the Poetry Out Loud Juneau Regional Competition 5-7 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 12 at the Juneau Arts & Culture Center. The Alaska State Council on the Arts (ASCA) and JAHC will co-host the Poetry Out Loud Alaska Statewide Finals on Tuesday, March 7 at KTOO.

The regional competition brings together top-ranked students from Juneau-Douglas, Thunder Mountain and Yaakoosge Daakahidi Alternative high schools to compete by reciting poetry.

Rasmuson Foundation now accepting applications for artist awards

Rasmuson Foundation is now accepting applications for the 2019 Individual Artist Awards (IAA). Applications will be accepted until midnight on March 1.

The awards are solely for artists living and working in Alaska. They are intended to support artistic growth and exploration of new creative ground. Artists from around Alaska are eligible, from the smallest villages to urban centers. Last year artists represented a dozen different communities from Toksook Bay in Southwest Alaska, to Anchorage in Southcentral and Fairbanks in the Interior, to Juneau, Kake and Kasaan in Southeast.

They can pursue either a project award or a fellowship (but not both).

A project award is $7,500 for a specific, short-term project that clearly benefits the artist’s growth. Artists at all career stages — emerging, mid-career and mature — are eligible. Applications are accepted in all 11 recognized disciplines, the five listed below for fellowships as well as: media arts, multidiscipline, music composition, new genre, presentation/interpretation, and visual arts.

A fellowship is $18,000 for mid-career and mature artists to focus their energy and attention on a yearlong period of creative exploration. In 2019, the fellowship categories are: choreography, crafts, folk and traditional arts, literary arts/scriptworks, and performance art.

Artists can apply online and find more information at www.rasmuson.org.

Kindred Post makes donation to Sealaska Heritage Institute

Downtown Juneau store and postal office Kindred Post donated 10 percent of its profits from its Social Justice Hustle collection to Sealaska Heritage Institute in recognition of the institute’s work to forge social change.

In a letter, Kindred Post owner, artist and activist Christy NaMee Eriksen wrote that she chose SHI to receive its annual donation because the institute creates “positive change at every level, from baby raven reading roots to the fruit-bearing branches of public policy.”

“Art programs like skin sewing workshops, formline classes, art purchases and youth academies have empowered Alaska Native artists across generations and have educated and enriched our community. I would bet a jar of salmon that there isn’t a person in our town who hasn’t been impacted by the work you’ve done,” Eriksen wrote.“You make this world, our world, better.”

SHI President Rosita Worl said she was very moved by the $550 gift and the sentiment conveyed.

“We work hard to raise funds for our programs through grants and donations, and so it’s very gratifying when a donor steps up and makes a gift such as this to simply recognize and honor our efforts,” Worl said. “I’m moved by Christy’s thoughtful act and her stated appreciation of SHI’s impact on the community as a whole.”

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