Criss - Railroad Bridge

Mike Criss, Railroad Bridge, 2011 Art Bank Acquisition 

August 2011 ASCA Communique

In This Issue
Alaska Loses Another Artist
Governor's Awards for the Arts Nominations
Connie Boochever Artist Fellowship
Artist Insightful Interview with Ryan Conarro
Teaching Artist Academies Scheduled
Alutiiq Museum earns Prestigious AAM Accreditation
The NEA's New Look!
Opportunities for Artists and Arts Organizations
ASCA Important Dates
Contact Us
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Grant Deadlines

Aug. 31 FY11 Grant Final Reports Due


Sept. 1 Grant Deadlines: Career Opportunity, Workshop, Community Arts Development, Master Artist and Apprentice, Walker ArtsTouring Grants. Call ASCA staff before applying.


September 1:

Connie Boochever Artist Fellowship Deadline 


November 1: 

FY12 Artist in Schools Grants. Call ASCA staff before applying.  


To apply go to

Calls for Art on CaFE
Now the online application site for all ASCA Calls for (CaFE) From our main page click on Artist Opportunities for more information.
Looking for Work in the Arts?
 Look no further - here is a great listing of available positions in all areas - museums, performing arts and galleries.  
Opportunities for Arts Organizations and Artist Opportunities.
The National Endowment for the Arts has various deadlines for grants. Check the website out regularly!  
Quick Links

A Note From Char

Mark your calendars. January 12-14, 2012 will be the statewide arts and culture conference in downtown Anchorage. We are excited to be hosting this conference, and are busy putting together speakers, workshop leaders, venues and other activities for artists, arts organizations and arts educators.


The theme of this conference is "Creating Communities". We thought that was an appropriate theme, given the many different communities of arts and culture that we are fortunate to have in this state. And there is a huge emphasis now, on the national level, about Creative Placemaking.


What, you may ask, is creative placemaking? I also was puzzled when I heard the term. It was first used by economist Ann Markusen, who wrote a white paper for the Mayors' Institute on City Design about the economic changes taking place in American cities and how creative initiatives can provide cultural, economic and aesthetic benefits to citizens. You can see the report at


I'm glad that someone, and particularly an economist, has finally substantiated what we in the field have said for years. That arts and culture activity has "the potential to radically change the future of American towns and cities." Wow! That's pretty powerful stuff.


Another interesting aspect of Markusen's report is that she stresses that the arts aren't necessarily happening in one spot in a community, but is spread around and many times in unexpected locations. The definition of creative placemaking, in case you're wondering, is that: partners from private, public non-profit and community sectors strategically shape the physical and social character of a neighborhood, town, city or region around arts and culture activities. Creative placemaking animates public and private spaces, rejuvenates structures and streetscapes, improves local business viability and public safety, and brings diverse people together to celebrate, inspire and be inspired.


Wow - that's a big definition. And it highlights a point that many times we forget, which is that the creative community doesn't stop at the nonprofit door. There are designers, architects, musicians, filmmakers who never apply for a grant or solicit and a donation that are all part of the vibrancy and economic mix that make a community desirable.


While we don't expect to solve problems or change the world during this conference (but we might), we certainly hope to illuminate some of the points above. We also plan to have offerings that go beyond our usual family and into the community of stakeholders and elected officials, to help educate them about the benefits of the work we do.


The conference will also be my last opportunity to be with many of you as the Executive Director of the Alaska State Council on the Arts, as this will be my final project. Many people have asked about my plans. Well, I'm not going anywhere. I will continue to advocate for the arts and artists in Alaska. It's what I've always done - it's what I'll always do. Quite simply, it's my life. And each of you - what you are doing in your lives and in your communities - have made a tremendous impact on me. We've got to keep on working to make arts and culture a valued, sustainable part of every Alaskan's life - in the schools, the communities, the assembly chambers and the legislature.


For now - plan on being in Anchorage on January 12-14, 2012. We'll have a great time. Stay tuned for details.

Alaska Loses Another Artist

Paula Dickey, longtime artist and arts advocate, passed away last week in Homer.  She was one of ASCA's artist/partners, a participant on panels, Percent for Art and Alaska Contemporary Art Bank artist.  As an artist, teacher and mentor to many, she will be deeply missed.  At Paula's request, there will be no funeral, no memorial, no celebration of life.  The only thing she would allow was a celebration of art which will open at Homer Art and Frame on Sept. 16. For more information contact: Donna Martin .  Condolences may be also be sent to: Brad Dickey, PO Box 2677, Homer, AK  99603

Governor's Awards for the Arts Nominations Open

The Alaska State Council on the Arts is now accepting nominations for the Governor's Awards for the Arts in the following categories: Margaret Nick Cooke Award for Alaska Native Arts and Languages, Business Leadership, Arts Advocacy, and Individual Artist. The nomination and guidelines can be found at Deadline for nomination is September 1, 2011.

Connie Boochever Artist Fellowships for Visual Arts

The Connie Boochever Artist Fellowships recognize Alaskans who are emerging artists of exceptional talent in the performing, literary, visual, and media arts.

The highly competitive $2,500 awards are available on a non-matching basis for use by the recipient to support the general advancement of his/her career. Any Alaskan individual artist pursuing his/her art form on an ongoing basis is eligible to apply.

The Council accepts applications in two-year cycles, rotating by discipline. 2011 is for visual and media artists. For more information and to apply go to and look for Alaska State Council on the Arts: The Connie Boochever Artist Fellowship. 
Deadline for submission is September 1, 2011.

Artist Insightful Interview with Ryan Conarro

 6th in a series by Dawnell Smith.

Ryan Conarro

Ryan Conarro

Theater arts, art education,

Acting, directing, teaching



Where do you live and how does it influence your art?

I've live in Juneau since 2003, and Nome before that as an AmeriCorps volunteer. I am originally from Georgia. I studied acting and worked in New York. One thing I appreciate about Nome and Juneau is that art is a part of the community, and artists are part of the fabric of the community. The consumers of art in New York seem like a narrow percentage of society, partly because of the expense of seeing theater. It's a huge city, so as an artist you feel like your work is making less of an impact. I appreciate being in a smaller town because it seems like the work, whatever it might be, might have a broader reach. My favorite experiences have been on projects that really have a sense of place, such as the Perseverance Theatre production of "The Blue Bear," an adaptation of a book by Lynn Schooler about events in Alaska. It was about where we live. It was about an author who is a wilderness guide. It pulled in people from lots of walks of life and vocations.


One thing I feel about both Nome and Juneau is that while they're relatively small, especially Nome, people welcome a newcomer. I visited a small town in Maine last spring where it takes generations to be accepted as being from there. I spent one year in Nome and I feel connected.


Do you have a favorite neighborhood?

My favorite place is downtown. I live downtown and I love it. There's an urban feel at the same time that it's a small town feel because people bump into each other all the time. And you can be in a coffee shop in town and walk just ten minutes to a trailhead or forest. There are times when I would like to be alone in nature and times when I would like to be in the hum in a café. I love that I can do that here.


Explain what versatility means to you and why it matters in your work.

One thing I'm really grateful for in Alaska and Juneau is that I can work in the art form I chose to pursue. I spent a year with a theater company in New York, and when I started auditioning, I realized that was not the life I wanted. I spent time in offices and temp agencies. I came to Juneau to do a show and see what happened. I had worked in radio in Nome and thought about going into journalism, but I got involved in the high school through the state's Artists in the Schools program my first winter in Juneau. The ball got rolling and just continues to roll. The arts education work gives me a chance to try stuff out and experiment, and take risks that I might not take with adults. I like interview-based drama, for example, where we interview people and make drama out of that. I feel like a school can be supportive place, and maybe a place where it's easier to make that happen.


Where would you send visitors to your community and Alaska in general?

One trail I love is the Treadwell Ditch trail. It's a trail in Douglas that gets you up in the trees pretty fast, and there's a spot on that trail where you're looking at downtown Juneau framed by trees. I've gone there several times when working at the theater and needing to get away. I also like the paddling trip to the Tracy Endicott Arm. Beautiful. A truly lifetime experience.


Where do you like to go when you want to think?

You know, I want someone to open a coffee shop in Juneau that stays open late because that's where I might go. I like being at my house. It's got windows looking over the channel and the mountains. I've done a lot of traveling with this teaching artist work, so I value being home. I've been doing a lot of traveling in the Bethel region and Northwest Arctic, and lower Yukon and lower Kuskokwim areas. I travel about 14 weeks during the school year.


What would an Alaska arts itinerary look like if you designed it?

Again, I would have to say it would focus Juneau. I think it has some statewide perspective and a really active artist community. And I think the quality is really high. Something that is wonderful about some places like Bethel and Nome is that you can get more intimate with art from those regions.


Describe a perfect day as an artist, as a human being.

Well, it would include coffee in the morning, some time to stretch, and some time outside skiing, kayaking, hiking. It would include time working on a challenging project, and hopefully a new theater piece.


Where do people run into your art in the course of their daily lives?

In schools, Perseverance Theatre, the Juneau high school.


How is Alaska important to your art?

I think for me as an actor, I value the possibility of being an actor who is also a human being and has a life outside of the theater. I think Juneau in particular has really afforded me that opportunity. I don't think it would have happened in New York. My personal community, friends and family are more diverse here than in New York where all my friends are actors in their 20s. Being here helps me get some perspective. I'm also drawn to rural-urban challenges, the uniqueness of that Alaska challenge, so I'm grateful I lived in Nome before Juneau. I think important things are happening in rural Alaska, like global warming issues, like land use issues. As a writer and director and a person, I'm really interested in what's going on outside of theater.


Something I value about Juneau is that my sister lives here too. She's a visual artist, and we get to collaborate on occasion.


What three Alaska art venues matter to you most?

Perseverance Theatre in Juneau, Lucid Reverie (a group of artists/graphic web designers in downtown Juneau), and the Canvas Community Art Center (a coffee house, gallery and community art studio). I also like the Alaska Native Arts Foundation in Anchorage.


What might surprise visitors about your hometown?

I think one thing that would surprise people is that in the arts scene at least - though maybe not in the kind of clothes you can buy - people in Juneau really have a finger on the pulse of what's happening in the world. And people in Juneau are going to those places and bringing Juneau to those people, and that Juneau merits as much attention as bigger cities.


Is there a local or state art venue that you think deserves more recognition than it gets?

One of the first organizations that springs to mind is CrossSound. What they do tends to be avant-garde and multi-cultural. It's contemporary classical music. I don't think it's likely that that stuff is going to become popular, so the question is, recognized by whom?


Does the way you work change with the seasons?

Basically it seems that the theater season and school year are lined up with each other. I spend August through May visiting schools and working at theatre, and May and June figuring out my schedule. Summers are quieter in both of those arenas, so I have a pattern of going to a workshop or some kind of travel experience that's arts related. I did a South India artist intensive. This year I'm doing a puppetry workshop in Connecticut. I've never considered myself a visual artist and I'm not drawn to making stuff with my hands, but I like the idea. So I thought this would give me a way to get my toes in. One reason I appreciate leaving Alaska and going to a conference is that I get to hear what other people are doing or struggling to do and this setting reminds me that opportunities don't always come as readily as they have for me in Juneau and different parts of the state. I think there's a lot of strong arts support in Alaska compared to other parts of the country.


What do you do in your free time?

One of my top priorities is spending time with friends and family, spending time outside, cooking, and I guess keeping my own yoga practice going.


How does coming/being from Alaska influence how others respond to you in other parts of the state/country/world?

It's really interesting for me. Most people from outside the state think that spending eight years in Alaska sounds like a long time. People who don't do theater work are the most likely to make a judgment about me doing theater work in Juneau rather than New York. Their simplistic impression is that New York is the best place for theater. I went to school there, and one of my big discoveries was that that there's a lot happening in New York, but a lot of it is bad. People in regional theater don't jump to the same conclusions because they either know about Perseverance Theatre, or they know that regional theater is high quality theater.

Teaching Artist Academy To Be Held in Anchorage, Fairbanks & Homer

Are you an artist? Have you ever wanted to do an artist residency in the schools? There will be an Academy held in Anchorage, Fairbanks & Homer this fall for local artists. The Anchorage Academy will be every Thursday evening from 5:30-8:30 Sept 15, 22, 29 and Oct 6. Homer will hold a weekend of classes Sept 16-18 and Fairbanks' Academy will be August 31, Sept 7, 10 & 14. These 12hour workshop series will provide in-depth training emphasizing how to work effectively with students of all ages in varied settings as a Teaching Artist in Alaska. Each session features expert teachers, administrators and consultants who share knowledge, skills and techniques to equip you to work effectively in Anchorage classrooms and beyond.

What participants will get:

  • Better understanding of what teachers are expected to teach in terms of state standards and district curriculum.
  • Proven classroom management strategies
  • Help with designing and writing lessons or a unit to be used in a Teaching Artist residency in a school in Juneau or beyond
  • Dialogue and community building among local artists and educators about teaching in and through the arts.
  • Advice on how to negotiate contracts, market yourself and how to join the Alaska Teaching Artist Roster of the Alaska State Council on the Arts.

For more information contact the Homer Council on the Arts or Bunnell St. Gallery in Homer; the Fairbanks Arts Association in Fairbanks or the Alaska State Council on the Arts in Anchorage. There is a cost involved in all three sites.



The National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation announces the 6th Poetry Out Loud: National Recitation Contest, in partnership with the Alaska State Council on the Arts and the Juneau Arts and Humanities Council. Poetry Out Loud, a contest that encourages the nation's youth to learn about great poetry through memorization and recitation, helps students master public speaking skills, build self-confidence, and learn about their literary heritage.


Poetry Out Loud seeks to foster the next generation of literary readers across the nation by capitalizing on trends in poetry recitation and performance. The program builds on the resurgence of poetry as an oral art form by inviting the dynamic aspects of slam poetry, spoken work, and theatre in the English classroom. Poetry Out Loud fulfills the following NCTE Standards: 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 8, 9, 11, 12. Teachers who make use of the optional writing activities and lesson plans will also satisfy Standard #5.


Starting in the fall schools sign up for the competition. Students chose three poems from a list on the POL web site and during the fall semester they learn and practice reciting them. In December and January schools hold school contests with the winners advancing to a regional competition.  Regional Finalists advance to a state competition in Juneau to be held on Tuesday, March 27, 2012. The state finals are coordinated by the Juneau Arts and Humanities Council. The state champion travels to the Poetry Out Loud National Finals in Washington DC on May 13-15, 2012, in. The National winner receives a $20,000college scholarship.


Lakeidra Chavis

Lakeidra Chavis of Lathrop High School, Fairbanks North Star Borough School District was the 2011 Poetry Out Loud Alaskan Champion.


General information on Poetry Out Loud is available from Poetry Out Loud at, or call ASCA 907-269-6682 for more information about the Alaska program.


Alaska schools need to send their commitment to participate to the Juneau Arts & Humanities Council by December 1, 2011. Once this registration information is received schools will receive a packet, including a book of poems, for their use in the competition as well as being available in their Libraries for future use.


For more information contact the Alaska State Council on the Arts at 907-269-6682.  

Alutiiq Museum earns prestigious AAM Accreditation
Congratulations go out to the Alutiiq Museum in Kodiak for earning the American Association of Museums accreditation. For museums, this is a huge accomplishment and the Alutiiq Museum is only the second tribal museum in the United States to earn this accreditation. AAM Accreditation is a widely recognized seal of approval that brings national recognition to a museum for its commitment to excellence, accountability, high professional standards, and continued institutional improvement. Congratulations to Sven Haakanson and his staff for this recognition of their work on behalf of their community and culture.
The NEA has a new look!
The National Endowment for the Arts has changed its look! The new logo should be phased in for crediting all activities of your organization funded through the Alaska State Council on the Arts and /or the National Endowment for the Arts. For the logo and more information, go to:
Opportunities for Artists and Arts Organizations
(1.)  The Alaska State Council on the Arts Percent for Art Program on behalf of the University of Alaska Anchorage is requesting qualifications from artists for interior public artwork to be commissioned for the new Health Sciences Building located in Anchorage, Alaska.  


This RFQ is open to all professional artists residing in Alaska only.   


RFQ and applications are online through CaFÉ at: located under: Calls for Art, Alaska State Council on the Arts - University of Alaska Anchorage, Health Sciences Building. Total Budget for Art: $300,000 USD


Deadline: September 7, 2011


(2.) Artists Alaska website is a free list and link for Artists & Artisans - Their Specialties and where to see their work.


(3.) NEA FY12 Grants -  An organization may submit only one application through one of the following FY 2012 Grants for Arts Projects categories.  For most organizations, these categories represent the full range of funding options for the entire year. Applicants should examine the goal and purposes of their project as well as the review criteria of these categories, and apply to the one category that is most relevant. The Arts Endowment will not transfer applications between categories.

·         Arts In Media (Replaces Arts on Radio and Television) New guidelines are posted incorporating all forms of media including Internet, interactive and mobile technologies, digital games, arts content delivered via satellite, as well as on radio and television.  Here is an introduction to the new Arts in Media guidelines delivered by Alyce Myatt, NEA's Director of Media Arts: (Deadline: September 1, 2011)
(4.) The Seattle Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs, in partnership with Seattle City Light, seeks an artist-in-residence to highlight City Light's conservation projects. The artist will study the utility's energy conservation programs and develop a series of innovative projects to bring awareness to conservation. The artist will also implement a project illuminating City Light's conservation and sustainability efforts for display at Seattle Conter's Next Fifty anniversary celebration in 2012. The artist-in-residence will develop his or her own projects and identify conservation-related projects for other artists. The residency will begin in the fall. For more information and to apply go to
Deadline: August 29, 2011


(5.) The Seattle Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs seeks approximately 50 to 75 artists for a juried roster of professional artists eligible for consideration for future art projects at city utility facilities, parks, in the street right-of-way and at other locations. The roster will include pre-qualified artists who can create free-standing or integrated site-specific artwork for locations managed by Seattle City Light, Seattle Public Utilities, Seattle Parks and Recreation and other Seattle city departments. For more information and to apply go to  
Deadline: August 29, 2011


(6.) The Stage Directors and Choreographers Foundation (SDCF) Observership Program grants emerging Directors and Choreographers 25 paid opportunities to observe the work of master Directors and Choreographers as they create new productions on Broadway, Off-Broadway and at leading regional theatres across the country. SDCF Observers have access to the entire rehearsal process, from first rehearsal through previews to opening night. Observers are guaranteed the invaluable opportunity to observe, first-hand, the techniques, disciplines, approaches and insights of master artists as they create new productions and revive classics. The exact nature of each Observership will vary depending on the needs and desires of the master Director or Choreographer. Observerships are selected by committee; master artists in 2010/11 included Rob Ashford, Walter Bobbie, Mark Brokaw, Joe Calarco, Timothy Douglas, Brendan Fox, Gary Griffin, Doug Hughes, Michael Halberstam, JoAnn Hunter, Dan Knechtges, Pam MacKinnon, Kathleen Marshall, Michael Mayer, Lonny Price, Wendy Seyb, Leigh Silverman, Susan Stroman, Tony Taccone, Lynne Taylor-Corbett, and Sergio Trujillo.  

Each Observer will receive a weekly stipend of $200 and an additional travel stipend. In addition, any Observer who is not already a Member of SDC will be awarded a free one-year SDC Associate Membership.
Application to this year's program is free to SDC Members and Associates. A $25 application fee is required to apply for those unaffiliated with SDC.
Return application form along with a one-page artistic statement, one-page resume and one letter of recommendation to SDCF by September 15, 2011. All applicants will be invited to SDCF Programs and special SDC events throughout the year, most of which are free of charge.
Please see Observer application and guidelines on our website at Please contact or 212.391.1070 ext. 244 with any questions.


ASCA's Important Dates

SEPTEMBER 1 - ASCA Quarterly Grant Deadline, Walker Arts Grant Deadline


SEPTEMBER 1 - Connie Boochever Artist Fellowship Deadline


SEPTEMBER 1 - Governor's Arts Award nomination deadline.


SEPTEMBER 16 - ASCA Teleconference, noon-1:30


OCTOBER 19 - ASCA Face-to-Face Meeting, Anchorage


OCTOBER 19 - Governor's Awards for the Arts & Humanities, Hotel Captain Cook, Anchorage


NOVEMBER 1 - AIS Grant Deadline   


DECEMBER 1 - ASCA Quarterly, Walker Arts and Rasmuson Cultural Collaborations Grants Deadline


DECEMBER 16 - ASCA Teleconference, noon-1:30


JANUARY 12-14, 2012 Arts and Culture Conference, Anchorage, AK

Contact Us


Roy Agloinga (Nome)
Adelheid "Micky" Becker (Anchorage)
Benjamin Brown CHAIR (Juneau)  
Diane Borgman (Homer)  
Peggy MacDonald Ferguson (Fairbanks)  
Nancy Harbour (Anchorage)
Robyn Holloway (Juneau) 
Aassanaaq "Ossie" Kairaiuak (Anchorage)
Gail Niebrugge VICE CHAIR (Palmer)  
Aryne Randall (Wasilla) 
William Tull (Palmer)   


Charlotte Fox, Executive Director
(907) 269-6607  

Saunders McNeill, Community and Native Arts Program Director
(907) 269-6603  

Andrea Noble-Pelant, Visual and Literary Arts Program Director
(907) 269-6605  

Gina Signe Brown, Administrative Manager
(907) 269-6608  

Christa Rayl, Office Assistant
(907) 269-6610  

Ruth Glenn, Arts in Education Program Director
(907) 269-6682  

Janelle Matz, Alaska Contemporary Art Bank Manager
(907) 269-6604

If you would like a printer friendly version of this newsletter, please go to our website to Publications under Of Interest titled August 2011.

For additional contact information, please visit our web site:  


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Copyright © 2011, Alaska State Council on the Arts, all rights reserved.

Please contact Christa Rayl