The Alaska State Council on the Arts, a state agency, fosters the development of the arts for all Alaskans through education, partnerships, grants and services
- Provide support to enable Alaskan citizens to participate in the arts
- Provide support to enable Alaskan students to receive arts education
|Mission Results||Core Services|
|Mission Results||Core Services|
|A: Result - Build vibrant communities through the arts|
Target #1: Increase opportunities for citizens to participate in the arts through enhancing grants and services to artists and arts organizations
Analysis of results and challenges: The Alaska State Council on the Arts (ASCA) has made the expansion of grants and services to communities a priority to meet the goal of building vibrant communities. In addition to grants, ASCA is expanding the non-grant services provided, such as convenings, professional and business development assistance, consultations and the provision of new partnerships to maximize limited dollars. The slight decrease in FY2017 grants is the result of a vacant position, the Fine Arts Administrator that is responsible for grants administration. Although remaining staff covered most of the responsibilities of the vacant position, grants were reduced due to staff capacity. The overall grant amount increased from FY2016 due to funding from private foundations for arts education grants, specifically the Munartet project in Kodiak.
A selection of such non-grant services provided in FY2017 include: Alaska Native Arts Leadership, in partnership with The CIRI Foundation, Arts Education Programs in partnership with the Rasmuson Foundation and the Margaret A. Carghill Philanthropies, The Percent for Art Program and The Alaska Contemporary Art Bank.
ASCA managed 5 public art commissions through the State of Alaska’s Percent for Art contracts, and informally advised on four other projects.
ASCA’s Contemporary Art Bank (ACAB) program, which began in 1975, is a program in which ASCA purchases and manages a collection of artworks by Alaskan artists that are then loaned out for display in state buildings, as well as in the Washington, DC offices of our federal elected officials. No new artwork was purchased in FY2017. In FY2017 ASCA processed 153 loans of artwork.
|A1: Core Service - Provide support to enable Alaskan citizens to participate in the arts|
Target #1: Increase citizen participation in arts experiences and programs that are funded by the Alaska State Council on the Arts (ASCA) grants and direct services
Analysis of results and challenges: Reporting to the National Endowment for the Arts is due December 30, 2017 and the FY2017 actual figure is expected to be slightly higher than FY2016 due to the participation of 15,000 Alaskans in the public voting for the new license plate.
ASCA has worked to ensure that grant dollars are distributed throughout the state. As a result, more citizens are served by ASCA's grant investments in schools and arts organizations in each region of the state. ASCA is aware of the challenge for organizations across the state—and nationally—who are dealing with a new environment for arts participation. Today, any person with an internet connection can instantly participate in or view a multitude of cultural offerings. Arts organizations are exploring ways to adapt their programming to be more experiential and participatory as a way to engage audiences in new ways. ASCA is leading the effort to help organizations be more responsive in serving their communities in new and meaningful ways, and leveraging technology to remain relevant.
Target #2: Increase ASCA professional development opportunities for educators, artists and arts professionals
Analysis of results and challenges: Reporting to the National Endowment for the Arts is due December 30, 2017 and the FY2017 actual figure is expected to be less than FY2016 because a statewide professional development conference is held every other year. Of note, expansion of services to incarcerated individuals is new for FY2017.
In order to foster efficiency with the Alaska State Council on the Arts (ASCA) partner artists, teachers and organizations, ASCA offers robust professional development opportunities that help participants develop income sources and serve their communities more effectively. This approach maximizes ASCA’s resources for strengthening the arts throughout the state. ASCA convenes a biennial statewide arts conference; the last one was in April 2016 which is why the numbers served with professional development are higher in 2012, 2014, and 2016.
In FY2015, ASCA partnered with The CIRI Foundation (TCF), the nonprofit arm of the Cook Inlet Native tribal corporation, to research and develop a professional business development workbook for Alaska Native artists. In addition to resources such as business development, writing an artist statement and resume, the workbook offers specific guidelines for using traditional Native materials in artwork that is sold in the marketplace. In Phase 2 of the partnership, the workbook was utilized in a series of workshops provided by ASCA in Dillingham, Nome and Ketchikan. These workshops continue to be offered across the state in host rural communities. ASCA regularly travels to rural communities to present Rural Arts Professional Development workshops, which primarily benefit extremely rural and Alaska Native artists. These workshops provide tools for marketing, utilizing technology and social media, as well as information on how they can find funding and other types of support. ASCA provided a series of intensive workshop programming in partnership with the Sealaska Heritage Institute to Juneau Lemon Creek Correctional Center incarcerated artists, halfway house residents and low income artists in FY2017. The workbook is distributed as the core curriculum at all workshops provided in FY2016 and FY2017.
In FY2016, ASCA and TCF partnered to fund a unique pilot program. Designed to ASCA’s Alaska Native Leadership cohort recommendations, the experimental program invested directly in ASCA's Alaska Native Arts Leadership cohort’s professional development and underwrote community capacity building through the delivery of art-making opportunities to four rural Alaska communities. This programming, partnership and grant making has been repeated for FY2017.
ASCA Leadership cohort members were invited to submit proposals to develop, organize and implement an art-making workshop within their home community. A total of eight unique proposals (four in FY2016 and four in FY2017) were awarded funding through an adjudicated process to support Leader cohort honoraria and art workshop materials.
ASCA Leadership Cohort members’ professional capacity was elevated by:
• Strengthening the peer-to-peer learning relationship among cohort members;
• Supporting cohort leaders to enhance their administrative skills to develop, design and administer locally appropriate art-making workshops; and,
• Nurturing a stronger working relationship between cohort members, ASCA staff and additional professionals identified through the collaborative learning process.
ASCA staff provided professional capacity building support to Leadership participants by:
• Sponsoring virtual group convenings and group supported agenda development;
• Identifying and sharing professional development resources required to successfully administer art workshops; and,
• Providing an "Arts Workshop Development Toolkit" to assist artists in the development, tracking and reporting of their work.
ASCA convened regularly scheduled teleconferences for cohort members to provide ongoing professional development support. Support for this project was made possible through ASCA’s National Endowment for the Arts Folk and Traditional Arts Infrastructure Grant and TCF's, A Journey to What Matters: Increased Alaska Native Art & Culture grant program.
|B: Result - Strengthen access to arts education|
Target #1: Provide students opportunities to receive arts education as a result of strong grant investments from state, federal and partner funding for Arts Education
Analysis of results and challenges: In FY2017, the decrease in funding reflects a planned dip because FY2016 served as a “bump-up” year to ensure cash flow for Munartet project activities.
Since 2008, the Alaska State Council on the Arts (ASCA) has partnered with the Rasmuson Foundation to receive private support for ASCA’s Arts Education programs. In 2014, ASCA was approached by the Margaret A. Cargill Foundation (MACF) who had an interest in funding ASCA’s arts education work around an Alaskan initiative supporting early engagement with the arts as a means to develop confident and competent teachers in and through the arts. ASCA’s role as an intermediary funder for the Rasmuson Foundation has been as a pass-through entity, providing traditional arts education grants to schools, districts, organizations, and educators. The 10-year initiative with MACF will provide significant and ongoing funds that will allow ASCA to take a deeper look at our role as an intermediary and how ASCA can use these multiple funding streams to have greater impact in support of arts education in the state. ASCA has begun a conversation with statewide arts, education and policy leaders on developing collective approaches to arts education that can support the arts as part of a well-rounded education, in an Alaska context.
Further, in order to increase the opportunities for Alaska students to receive arts education, ASCA manages the following programs:
• New Visions Arts Education initiative, which now includes six targeted rural school districts working toward designing new arts education models, including the development of arts curriculum, teacher professional development, access to arts instruction, community engagement and leadership development. In FY2017, Bering Strait School District applied to and received Title II funds from the Department of Education and Early Development (DEED) to support an Administrators Arts Academy for the six New Visions district, which was implemented in September 2017. This gathering intersected with a discussion of UA education faculty in support of the development of a research agenda for arts education in Alaska. ASCA provided support for this gathering as well, via a grant to the Alaska Arts Education Consortium, as well as technical support from the New Visions Project Coordinator.
• ASCA partners with DEED and other agencies on a number of policy issues and projects. In 2014, ASCA updated its 2009 baseline research report on the state of arts education in Alaska. The first recommendation in the report, titled Venture for Alaska’s Youth, was to update the 1996 fine art standards. With the approval of the department, ASCA partnered with the Alaska Arts Education Consortium (AAEC) to convene a task force to update the standards, which was adopted in 2016. ASCA continues to partner with AAEC on building out frameworks for the standards, and supporting implementation in Alaska.
• Teaching Artist Roster, Teaching Artist Academies, and Artists in Schools: This tripartite program consists of 1) vetting Alaskan Artists for inclusion in ASCA’s Teaching Artist Roster, which is a resource for schools to find artists to fit their residency and arts education needs. Currently, over 60 artists are included in the statewide roster; 2) Teaching Artists, or those interested in becoming one, attend Teaching Artist Academies. These high-level professional development sessions provide artists with training and tools to strengthen their effectiveness in the classroom; and, 3) Schools, school districts or arts organizations working in partnership with the schools can apply for ASCA Artists in Schools (AIS) funds, which support teaching artists residencies. In FY2017, 10 Artists in Schools grants were awarded, including six multi-site district residencies, and four single-site school residencies. This represents a decrease in the demand for AIS residency programs in Alaska. In FY2018, ASCA is working with one of the funding partners for the AIS program (Rasmuson Foundation) to conduct an assessment on shared Arts in Education (AIE) programs, including an examination of barriers for communities in accessing these programs.
• ASCA maintains a partnership with the Alaska Arts Education Consortium (AAEC), both as a funder and a partner in work. ASCA arts education staff has a seat on the AAEC board as a non-voting, advisory member, and ASCA includes AAEC representation in advisory committees and arts education convening. Currently, the main focus of partnership between ASCA and AAEC is on standards implementation, to include dissemination through AAEC institutes and other functions, as well as continuation of the Standards Task Force. In FY2017, through the General Operating Support category, ASCA granted funds to AAEC, and AAEC Arts Institutes included 69 teachers from across the state, impacting 6560 students in 54 schools (29 Title I Schools) from 14 districts. A highlight of this impact is the AAEC’s “Arts are Exceptional” Special Education Arts Institute in Anchorage, which included 26 teachers in an intensive, 40-hour week of professional development in thinking about, learning and practicing how to serve students with disabilities in and through the arts.
• Poetry Out Loud: In FY2017, Poetry Out Loud supported 33 local school competitions, four urban regional competitions (Mat-Su, Anchorage, Fairbanks, and Juneau), one video competition selecting the winners from six rural regions (South West, South Central, North & West, Southeast, Central East and an Open Region), as well as the state-wide finals, held in Juneau. This included a documented 76 teachers, and 3684 children and youth. The project 1) increased awareness of poetry, and of the work of the National Endowment for the Arts, the Poetry Foundation, ASCA and partners; 2) connected widely separated communities through a common endeavor; 3) gave teachers throughout the state meaningful and useful tools for their classrooms, and inspired Alaskan students. Additionally—Poetry Out Loud (POL) Alaska piloted a poetry residency: because our State POL Finalist from Elim School was unable to participate in the Alaska State POL finals in Juneau due to weather interference with travel, we brought the State POL Coach to Bering Strait School District to visit Elim, Stebbins and Unalakleet in support of increased access to literary arts in the region. With the successful implementation of this residency in FY2017, ASCA has committed to a slightly expanded residency pilot in FY2018 for up to three schools/districts registered for POL.
Arts Education Munartet Project
In FY2014, ASCA was approached by the Margaret A Cargill Foundation (MACF), to work with ASCA on a 10-year initiative for arts education teacher preparedness.
In FY2016, ASCA began The Munartet Project: Teaching and Learning in and Through the Arts and Culture in Kodiak, funded by the Margaret A. Cargill Philanthropies (MACP). In partnership with the Kodiak Island Borough School District, the Munartet Project serves to increase pre-service and early career teacher confidence and competence to teach in and through arts and culture. The first cohort of teachers participating in the project has been identified, and began working through the Munartet Project in late summer of 2016. In FY2018, the Munartet Project will have completed its first two years of implementation, and ASCA has applied to the MACP for the next three years of implementation. The partnership includes pre-service and early career cohorts supported by the 4 partners: Kodiak Island Borough School District (KIBSD), Kodiak College-University of Alaska, the Alutiiq Museum and Kodiak Arts Council. The project is supporting a certified Arts & Culture Coordinator position through KIBSD, and the Munartet Learning Community which consists of mentor teachers and administrators, teaching artists, culture bearers and elders along with the pre-service and early career cohorts. In the first school year of implementation (2016-2017), 5 early career teachers (years 1-5 of practice) and 11 mentor teachers were identified and inducted into the project, and 9 pre-service teachers were identified and inducted into the project. In the second year of implementation, to date for the 2017-2018 school year, the early career cohort has grown to include 7 teachers in KIBSD and 13 pre-service cohort members. These cohort members receive support including professional development, course work, arts and culture experiences, coaching and mentoring with the intended outcomes that, “Kodiak teachers will feel supported, confident and competent to teach in and through the arts and culture as they develop in their profession,” and that “More local Kodiak residents will pursue teaching as a viable and attractive career option.” While the center of this project is the cohort of early career and pre-service teachers, the activities of the Munartet Project are serving a wider group of KIBSD teachers and their classrooms through the development and provision of arts and culture curriculum and resources, in-service engagement, and other opportunities made available by the Munartet partners.
Collective Approaches to Arts Education
An additional component of our work—including funds from multiple sources—was identified through our work with the Munartet Project: “The partnership will provide meaningful input towards ASCA’s goal of reimagining its scope and role to represent, support and advance the creative endeavors of citizens and agencies throughout Alaska.” To date, since FY2016, this work has included convening Alaskans around the idea of Collective Approaches to Arts Education, developing a community adaptive change approach led by a standing Arts Education Advisory Community, and the development of a framework of goals and “Theory of Change” around the idea that more Alaskans will have access to teaching and learning in and through the arts and culture in Alaska when partnerships and coalitions support community and school efforts.
|B1: Core Service - Provide support to enable Alaskan students to receive arts education|
Target #1: Increase the number of students served through ASCA arts education grants and programs, and increase the quality of arts education through the provision of arts education professional development for teachers
Analysis of results and challenges: Reporting to the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) is due December 30, 2017 and the FY2017 actual figure is expected to be the same or slightly higher than FY2016.
In reporting for FY2016, the Alaska State Council on the Arts (ASCA) has new, national standards from the NEA, which is the standard by which ASCA documents outputs across grant categories. For FY2016, this number totals 138,230. ASCA hopes that the new standards will be helpful in showing, more accurately, how children and youth are accessing arts education opportunities through ASCA’s work. The number of children and youth served, directly, through specifically defined Arts in Education programs for FY2016 is 24,721. This is defined as “Children engaged: In-person arts experience.” ASCA is able to pull out the number of children and youth served across grant programs, including Operating Support, Presenting and Touring, Community Arts Development, and others, by that definition of “Children engaged: In-person arts experience,” for projects/programs that include at least some arts education in their grant-funded work.
While ASCA is able to account, more accurately, for numbers of children and youth served, it is also true that the last few years’ demand and capacity for Arts in Education (AIE) grant programs have fluctuated. In FY2016, a portion of the lower numbers of students served is accounted for by a discontinuation of a fledgling Youth Cultural Heritage Grant Program. The Artists in Schools (AIS) program—traditionally one of the programs that has served the greatest number of rural students with the deepest level of arts education—has seen the greatest fluctuation in grant numbers over the last five years. Multi-site district programs have remained fairly steady, but individual school site applications have slowed significantly. In looking at numbers of students served, ASCA traditionally looks at programs as either serving many students broadly, or fewer students more deeply. The AIS program tends to be one of the grant programs that actually meets both of these targets, within a single program. Individual school site grants, often serve an entire school population with a two-week or more residency program, which includes arts instruction, teacher professional development, and community engagement.
The Munartet Project: Teaching and Learning in and Through the Arts and Culture in Kodiak, the Margaret A. Cargill Foundation-funded effort in Kodiak Island Borough School District serves to increase pre-service and early career teacher confidence and competence to teach in and through the arts and culture. This initiative has moved into implementation status - Year 2. Tracking and evaluation of the project is focused on the pre-service and early career teachers, rather than students served. That said, ASCA will be able to report on the numbers of students served, via their classroom teachers, after December 30, 2017.
Current as of December 13, 2018