The National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation have partnered with U.S. state arts agencies to support Poetry Out Loud, a contest that encourages the nation’s youth to learn about great poetry through memorization and recitation. This program helps students master public speaking skills, build self-confidence, and learn about their literary heritage.

After successful pilot programs in Washington, DC, and Chicago, Poetry Out Loud was launched in high schools nationwide in the spring of 2006 and has grown to involve millions of students across the country. Since 2006, the Alaska State Council on the Arts and its partners, including the Juneau Arts & Humanities Council (JAHC), have provided a statewide Poetry Out Loud Competition. JAHC coordinates registration and the distribution of materials to Alaskan schools, helps manage the State Finals, and creates opportunities for students to engage with their Capital City while in Juneau.This year, the program was held at the 360 North Studios on Tuesday, March 10th at 5:00 p.m. Watch the video of the live webcast.

Congratulations to Maeva Ordaz from West Anchorage High School, who is Alaska's Poetry Out Loud state champion! She will compete in the National Finals, which will be held in Washington D.C. on April 28-29, 2015. Congratulations also go to the runner up, Victoria Moloney from Ben Eielson Jr/Sr High School in Fairbanks.

Ten state finalists competed in the Alaska State Poetry Out Loud recitation competition in Juneau.

  • Jillian Elaine Bjornstad from Sand Point School
  • Brianha Gerlach from Gennallen School
  • Madison Gilberto from Thunder Mountain High School in Juneau
  • Jayne Hanna from Nuniwarmiut School in Mekoryuk
  • August Kilcher from Homer High School
  • Victoria Moloney from Ben Eielson Jr/Sr High School in Fairbanks
  • Angela Nashalook from Frank A Degnan High School in Unalakleet
  • Maeva Ordaz from West Anchorage High School
  • Juliana Smit from Colony High School in Palmer
  • Alexandra Dawn Weber from Skagway School

Venture for Alaska's Youth

In 2008, the Alaska State Council on the Arts (ASCA), which sits within the Department of Education and Early Development, conducted a survey of arts education in Alaska's Schools. This survey resulted in the report On Thin Ice, and provided a baseline understanding of how arts education was included as part of a high quality, comprehensive education in our state. In the spring of 2014, ASCA repeated this research, resulting in our newest publication, Venture for Alaska's Youth.

The data shows that we have made some gains in access to arts education for some Alaskan students. We are no longer on thin ice; rather, we are beginning a new venture to provide our youth with an arts-rich education that will equip them with the creative and innovative thinking required to succeed in the 21st century workforce.

The On Thin Ice report prompted ASCA to strategize how we might better support districts, school leaders, teachers and communities in closing the opportunity gap for students in their access to arts education: we developed the New Visions Initiative, now in its sixth year with five districts involved, and we made targeted efforts to support arts curriculum development and professional development for teachers and teaching artists.

ASCA is currently engaged in strategic planning that will guide our work for the next five years. The data from this most recent survey and the reported recommendations will inform our path forward with arts education, as we work to close the opportunity gap for students in Alaska. We welcome your feedback on this research--including the ways we can support community efforts in the education of Alaska's students as it will help us strengthen our strategic vision of this venture for Alaska's youth. Please do not hesitate to contact ASCA at (907) 269-6610 to share your thoughts, ideas and comments.

Rasmuson FoundationEmcArts, the Foraker Group, and the Alaska State Council on the Arts are pleased to launch a new program for and with Alaska’s arts and cultural organizations, New Pathways | Alaska.

The New Pathways partners are happy to announce that 10 Alaskan arts organizations have been selected to participate in the first cohort for the program. Congratulations to the Alaska Humanities Forum, the Alaska Native Heritage Center, the Anchorage Concert Association and the Anchorage Symphony Orchestra in Anchorage; the Alutiiq Museum and the Kodiak Arts Council in Kodiak; the Island Institute in Sitka; the Ketchikan Area Arts and Humanities Council in Ketchikan; Perseverance Theatre in Juneau; and the Sheldon Museum and Cultural Center in Haines. Click Here for more information about the program and these organizations, and to read the full press release.

A second group of organizations will be selected for a 2015 cohort, with applications opening in mid-2015. Application instructions and more in-depth program information are available here.

This mini-doc was created during Latitude: 2014 Alaska Arts Convergence by Filmmaker-in-Residence, Patrick Race.

All shooting and editing took place within a window of 50 hours and was the artist's intent to capture and share the spirit of the event.

RON SENUNGETUK from Asia Freeman on Vimeo.
This video about Ron Senungetuk, created for the Alaska State Council on the Arts by Alaskan artist Michael Walsh, highlights the life and work of the 2014 Governor's Awardee for Lifetime Achievement in the Arts & Humanities.

Our Mission

The Alaska State Council on the Arts is a state agency that fosters the development of the arts for all Alaskans through education, partnerships, grants and services.


March 31

  • Youth Cultural Heritage Mini-Grants

April 15

  • FY16 Artists in Schools – Round I

June 1

  • FY16 1st Quarter Grant Deadlines - Community Arts Development, Workshop, Career Opportunity, Master Artist and Apprentice Grants and Walker Grants

Rolling Deadlines

  • Cultural Collaborations Arts Excursion and Access Grants

Open July 1

  • FY16 Harper Arts Presenting and Touring Fund Grants


April 16-17

  • Annual Grant Panel Review

June 8-9

  • ASCA Annual Council Meeting, Anchorage

Of Interest

Authentic Alaska Native Art from Alaska    Promotes artistic excellence, creativity, and innovation

Alaska State Council on the Arts

161 Klevin Street, Suite 102 • Anchorage, AK 99508-1506
Telephone: 907-269-6610 • Toll-free: 1-888-278-7424
Fax: 907-269-6601 • TTY: 1-800-770-8973