To foster 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: Reporting to the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) for FY2020 is due September 2022, due to the disruption of the COVID-19 health pandemic. The FY2020 actual figure is expected to be the same or higher than FY2019 with the extension of the NEA funding and granting activity that extends into calendar year 2021.
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 continues to expand 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 overall grant amount increased from FY2017 and is due to funding from private foundations for arts education grants, specifically the Munartet project in Kodiak as well as outreach by staff prior to the shutdown of ASCA in July 2019.
In response to the COVID-19 health pandemic, in March 2020, ASCA staff was able to regroup quickly working off site and developed the Alaska Arts and Culture Emergency Relief Fund in partnership with the Alaska Arts and Culture Foundation (AACF), the Atwood Foundation, and Rasmuson Foundation. This public/private fund solicited applications reviewed by a statewide panel and the Alaska Arts and Culture Foundation granted 135 individual Alaska artists $1,500 each from a pool of 450 competitive applications. (This number is not included in ASCA's grants because AACF administered the grant process.) The livelihood of many of these artists is tied to tourism, which halted during the COVID-19 health pandemic and many are still without a means of income.
In addition, ASCA awarded 46 CARES Act grants to eligible staffed arts organizations within five months of receiving funds from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) in April 2020.
A selection of such non-grant services provided in FY2020 includes: Alaska Native Arts Leadership, in partnership with The CIRI Foundation; the Arts Education Programs in partnership with Rasmuson Foundation and the Margaret A. Carghill Philanthropies. The Percent for Art Program, the Alaska Contemporary Art Bank, and the Silver Hand Program were dormant in FY2020 due to loss of qualified staff from the agency shutdown in July 2019.
ASCA's Contemporary Art Bank 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 FY2020 and four new loans were processed for the Anchorage Governor's Office. This is lower than past years due to a disruption caused by the agency shutdown and the loss of the art bank contractor. The Art Bank was dormant and unable to open in FY2020 due to lack of qualified staff and other agency priorities to restore staffing and operations.
|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 (NEA) for FY2020 is due September 2022, due to the disruption of the COVID-19 health pandemic. The FY2019 actual figure is less than FY2018 because the diversion of staff and program resources shifted from services and grants to inquiries, meetings, requests for data and preparations in relation to the shutdown of the agency in July 2019. The FY2020 actual figure is expected to be slightly less than FY2019 due to the impact of the COVID-19 health pandemic and fewer ASCA staff to assist individuals.
Prior to the COVID-19 health pandemic, arts organizations were exploring new ways to adapt their programming to be more experiential and participatory as a way to engage audiences in new ways. The COVID-19 health pandemic accelerated this adaptation and arts organizations and artists are leading the effort to engage their communities in new and meaningful ways while leveraging technology to remain relevant.
ASCA has worked to ensure 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, a remarkable effort in just a few months after the arts sector was severely impacted by the COVID-19 health pandemic. ASCA is undergoing a review of organizational policies and grantmaking with the lens of diversity, equity, inclusion, and access to reach more Alaskans in the next five years with a new strategic plan in place in FY2021.
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 (NEA) for FY2020 is due September 2022, due to the disruption of the COVID-19 health pandemic. The FY2020 actual figure is expected to be less than FY2019 due to the impact of the COVID-19 health pandemic and fewer ASCA staff to assist individuals. In June 2019, the diversion of staff and program resources shifted from services and grants to inquiries, meetings, requests for data and preparations in relation to the shutdown of the agency in July 2019 and the agency has been understaffed since then.
ASCA convenes a biennial statewide arts conference; which is why the numbers served with professional development are higher in fiscal years 2012, 2014, 2016, and 2019. ASCA's last statewide conference was held in FY2019 (September 2018) in Fairbanks, Alaska.
In order to foster efficiency with ASCA partner artists, teachers, and organizations, ASCA offers robust professional development workshop 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. In FY2020, ASCA was unable to provide many of these services because of the loss of staff and the lengthy re-hiring process, following the agency shutdown.
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. These workshops were paused in FY2020 along with regular travel 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 also paused 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. The workbook is distributed as the core curriculum at all workshops and is ASCA's most frequently requested publication.
In FY2016, ASCA and TCF partnered to fund and form a unique pilot program, ArtShops. Designed to ASCA's Native Leadership cohort recommendations, the ArtShops program invested directly in ASCA's Alaska Native Arts Leadership, 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 was still active in FY2020. Artists were invited to submit proposals to develop, organize, and implement an art-making workshop within their home community. Since 2016, twenty proposals were awarded funding through an adjudicated process to support Leader cohort honoraria and art workshop materials. 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: The amount of dollars in FY2019 represents the amount of funding received and spent, whereas the FY2018 figure is the amount received.
Since FY2008, the Alaska State Council on the Arts (ASCA) has partnered with the Rasmuson Foundation to receive private funding for ASCA's Arts Education programs. The Youth Cultural Heritage (YCH) Grant is a pilot program funded by the Rasmuson Foundation and administered by ASCA. The grant supports youth-based projects and activities which enable children and youth to use the arts to approach, understand, express, and share their cultural heritage. The program is inclusive of all Alaska's ethnic cultures and residents. Funding priority is given to cultural heritage groups and organizations who face challenges and/or barriers for receiving grants. In addition to support for YCH activity through multiple levels of granting, ASCA has developed the YCH framework to include network and professional development, and program documentation and evaluation. Grantees of the YCH program are additionally supported to convene and discuss their work with other YCH grantees, YCH Project Managers, and ASCA staff; ASCA supports documentation of their work in video. We see YCH grantees build relationships within their communities and with each other. In FY2020 ASCA's four YCH Fellows were supported to spend a period of months exploring YCH concepts, program and creative youth development, the Alaska Arts and Culture Standards, and to develop their own YCH programs in service to children and youth in their communities.
In FY2014, ASCA was approached by the Margaret A. Cargill Philanthropies (MACP) 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 MACP 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. These conversations have developed into a standing Arts Education Advisory Committee and the development of the How Are You Creative? Framework and goals.
Also in partnership with the Margaret A Cargill Foundation (MACF), ASCA is in year four and five of a 10-year initiative for arts education teacher preparedness through the Munartet Project. ASCA invited Kodiak Island Borough School District (KIBSD), university of Alaska Anchorage-Kodiak College (UAA-Kodiak College), the Alutiiq Museum, and Kodiak Arts Council to participate in a planning project in support of Teaching and Learning in and Through the Arts and Culture in Kodiak, funded by MACP. As of FY2020, the Munartet Project is in its second implementation phase. The Munartet Project serves to increase pre-service and early career teacher confidence and competence to teach in and through arts and culture. The partnership includes pre-service and early career cohorts supported by the four partners: KIBSD, UAA-Kodiak College, 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 with pre-service and early career teacher cohorts at the center. 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."
Munartet Project pre-service and early career teacher cohorts have continued to grow and maintain steady progress through the pipeline of support for recruitment and retention. More than 30 high school students have participated in the dual enrollment course with UAA-Kodiak College titled Introduction to Education, co-taught by KIBSD Arts & Culture Coordinator, JoAnne Knight, as a very early introduction to teaching as a career path. UAA-Kodiak College has maintained a steady participation rate of 14 pre-service teachers per semester since the inception of the program and 100% of the graduates of this program who have sought employment with KIBSD have been hired, upholding the pipeline model with great success. The first Kodiak pre-service teacher through the "pipeline" is starting her fifth year as an in-service teacher. She will mentor a Munartet Project cohort student teacher, completing the cycle of Munartet Project influence and deepening the arts/cultural integration for the pre-service teacher. The partners have fulfilled the goal in our previous application of 15 early career teachers who will demonstrate increased competence and confidence to teach in and through the arts and cultures of Kodiak. This has been demonstrated through annual surveys and intermittent evaluative feedback from 19 early career cohort members since inception of the program.
The New Visions Arts Education initiative, which now includes eight Alaska 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. The New Visions Network is supported by a Project Coordinator as well as grant funding at the planning, implementation, and cohort levels. Participating Alaska school districts develop Arts Action Plans and teams, meet together as a learning community, and collaborate on network activities such as the Administrators Arts Workshops in partnership with the Alaska Arts Education Consortium and DEED.
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 from the department, ASCA partnered with the Alaska Arts Education Consortium (AAEC) to convene a task force to update the standards, which were adopted in 2016. ASCA continues to partner with AAEC on building out frameworks for the standards, and supporting implementation in Alaska, including through professional development for educators and administrators. In 2019 and 2020, ASCA worked with these partners to publish the third, statewide arts education research report, titled Ebb and Flow. This reporting provides a snapshot of arts education in Alaska, by voluntary survey of the state's school districts and includes response from 34 districts representing 88% of the state's public school student population. ASCA supported the development and publication of the first Arts Education: Student Access and Equity in Alaska Data Report, an investigation from DEED with assistance from the Education Commission on the States. Data from all Alaskan school districts gives us a picture of student access to at least one art teacher and/or arts course. The purpose of this activity was to give stakeholders some of the information they need to address needs, close gaps, and devise strategies to reach even more youth with creative approaches to learning.
Teaching Artist Roster, Teaching Artist Academies, and Artists in Schools: This tripartite program consists of 1) vetting Alaskan artists for inclusion in ASCA's Statewide Teaching Artist Roster (STAR), 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. During the 2019-2020 school year, only eight AIS grants were awarded. During that period ASCA was unable to provide Teaching Artist Professional Development, nor were any new Teaching Artists adjudicated to be added to the Statewide Teaching Artist Roster. With ASCA's closure in July 2019, planning and implementation for STAR and AIS ceased, and it will take multiple years to rebuild capacity and programming.
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 convenings. Currently, the main focus of the 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 FY2019, ASCA supported the Bethel Multicultural Special Topics Institute with a Community Arts Development Grant; 24 teachers from the region received a week-long immersion in multi-cultural education. In FY2020, through the General Operating Support category, ASCA granted funds to AAEC, which was able to plan and complete its first ever online Basic Arts Institute for teachers-prompted by the COVID-19 health pandemic when in-person gathering/travel in Alaska was limited. This professional development opportunity included 29 teacher participants from nine Alaska school districts, and with emphasis on Northwest Coast Arts, Cultural Standards, Movement, Music and Tlingit Language, Visual and Digital Arts. Additional funding through the Special Project grant category was made in support of the development of a new special topics approach to professional development integrating Social Emotional Learning and Arts Learning.
Poetry Out Loud (POL) - During the 2019-2020 school year, Alaska State POL registered 31 schools from across the state, and 26 of these registrants completed a school or regional level competition. ASCA and the Juneau Arts and Humanities Council (JAHC) provided technical support and outreach to returning and new teachers/schools during the fall and winter of the 2019-2020 school year. JAHC hosts the Alaska POL website at https://jahc.org/education/poetry-out-loud/, and also serves as the distribution hub for POL materials. Schools went on to compete in four urban regional competitions (Anchorage, Fairbanks, Juneau, and the Matanuska Susitna Borough) and a video-adjudicated regional competition in four rural regions (Southwest, South Central, North and West, and Southeast). ASCA is the main point of contact for three urban regions-including as the presenter of the Anchorage regional competition; JAHC is the main point of contact for the Juneau regional and for video-adjudication for the rural regions.
Ten (10) student finalists came together in Juneau-the Capital City-for the Alaska State Competition in March 2020. Asya Gipson of Anchorage, AK was named the Alaska State POL Champion, and Maisha Rahman of Skagway, AK was named the runner-up for FY2020.
Collective Approaches to Arts Education - An additional component of ASCA's work, including funds from multiple sources, was identified through 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. That work has now been published and shared with Alaskans via https://howareyoucreative.org/. In FY2020, ASCA was invited to submit an application for an additional three years of support for this public/private partnership. In years 6-8 of the project, ASCA as a statewide intermediary, and the Munartet partners on Kodiak, will focus on the long-term sustainability of systems of support on the island, and as part of a statewide network of support.
A significant challenge for these collective approaches, and for ASCA's role as an intermediary in partnering and building networks to support teaching and learning in and through arts and cultures in Alaska is the July 2019 ASCA closure and fall 2019 rebuilding. Additionally, the changes in teacher preparation within the University of Alaska system has led to uncertainty, and the MACP declined to support a second site partnering a Public School District, Institute of Higher Education, and Nonprofit Arts Partners that was developing between Anchorage and Lake and Peninsula School Districts. Collective Approaches require continuous communication, common goals, shared measurement, and mutually reinforcing activities and coordinating organizations. ASCA has begun to renew the Arts Education Advisory, and other networks, but the disruption of path and purpose has been, and will continue to be a challenge.
|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) for FY2020 is due September 2022, due to the disruption of the COVID-19 health pandemic. FY2020 is expected to be lower than FY2019, due to the agency closure in July of 2019, and to the COVID-19 health pandemic.
In reporting for FY2019, ASCA followed national standards from the NEA, which is the standard by which ASCA documents outputs across grant categories. For FY2019, the total number of children and youth (school-age) directly engaged in in-person arts experiences, supported across all ASCA grant categories and programs is 197,306. Reporting from 112 of the grants awarded across all ASCA grant categories, identified that a primary strategic outcome of the supported activity was "Learning: Americans of All Ages Acquire Knowledge or Skills in the Arts." Reporting from 144 of the grants awarded across all ASCA grant categories specified that at least "50% or more of the funded activities are arts education." These grants may include children, youth, and adult learners. The number of children and youth directly served through grant categories designated as part of ASCA's Arts Education and Youth Cultural Heritage programs for FY2019 is 27,791, via 85 award payments ranging in size from $180.00 for small Excursion Grants to $222,000.00 on a multi-year award.
While ASCA is able to account for numbers of children and youth served, it is also true that demand and capacity for Arts in Education (AIE) grant programs during the last few years has fluctuated. 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 several years. Multi-site district programs have remained fairly steady, but individual school site applications have slowed. 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 the Kodiak Island Borough School District (KIBSD) serves to increase pre-service and early career teacher confidence and competence to teach in and through the arts and culture. This initiative is currently in implementation status. Tracking and evaluation of the project is focused on the pre-service and early career teachers, rather than students served. Teachers, Administrators, and the KIBSD's Arts and Culture Coordinator involved in Munartet Project professional development activities are providing arts and cultural education opportunities to their students. The total number of educators engaged in the project during the 2019-2020 school year (year 4/5 of the project) in KIBSD was 41.
Current as of December 4, 2020