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.”

More in News

The Aurora Borealis glows over the Mendenhall Glacier in 2014. (Michael Penn / Juneau Empire File)
Aurora forecast

Forecasts from the University of Alaska Fairbanks’ Geophysical Institute for the week of Nov. 27

Mountain reflections are seen from the Mendenhall Wetlands. (Courtesy Photo / Denise Carroll)
Wild Shots: Photos of Mother Nature in Alaska

Superb reader-submitted photos of wildlife, scenery and/or plant life.

Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire 
At Wednesday evening’s special Assembly meeting, the Assembly appropriated nearly $4 million toward funding a 5.5% wage increase for all CBJ employees along with a 5% increase to the employer health contribution. According to City Manager Rorie Watt, it doesn’t necessarily fix a nearly two decade-long issue of employee retention concerns for the city.
City funds wage increase amid worker shortage

City Manager says raise doesn’t fix nearly two decade-long issue of employee retainment

(Michael Penn / Juneau Empire File)
Police calls for Saturday, Dec. 3

This report contains information from law enforcement and public safety agencies.

Molly Yazwinski holds a 3,000-year-old moose skull with antlers still attached, found in a river on Alaska’s North Slope. Her aunt, Pam Groves, steadies an inflatable canoe. (Courtesy Photo /Dan Mann)

 

2. A 14,000-year-old fragment of a moose antler, top left, rests on a sand bar of a northern river next to the bones of ice-age horses, caribou and muskoxen, as well as the horns of a steppe bison. Photo by Pam Groves.

 

3. Moose such as this one, photographed this year near Whitehorse in the Yukon, may have been present in Alaska as long as people have. Photo by Ned Rozell.
Alaska Science Forum: Ancient moose antlers hint of early arrival

When a great deal of Earth’s water was locked up within mountains… Continue reading

FILE - Freight train cars sit in a Norfolk Southern rail yard on Sept. 14, 2022, in Atlanta. The Biden administration is saying the U.S. economy would face a severe economic shock if senators don't pass legislation this week to avert a rail worker strike. The administration is delivering that message personally to Democratic senators in a closed-door session Thursday, Dec. 1.  (AP Photo / Danny Karnik)
Congress votes to avert rail strike amid dire warnings

President vows to quickly sign the bill.

Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire
Juneau state Sen. Jesse Kiehl, left, gives a legislative proclamation to former longtime Juneau Assembly member Loren Jones, following Kiehl’s speech at the Juneau Chamber of Commerce’s weekly luncheon Thursday at the Juneau Moose Family Center.
Cloudy economy, but sunnier political outlook lie ahead for lawmakers, Kiehl says

Juneau’s state senator tells Chamber of Commerce bipartisan majority a key to meaningful action

(Michael Penn / Juneau Empire File)
Police calls for Friday, Dec. 2

This report contains information from law enforcement and public safety agencies.

Alaska State Troopers logo.
Hunter credits community members for Thanksgiving rescue

KENAI — On Thanksgiving, Alaska Wildlife Troopers released a dispatch about a… Continue reading

Most Read