Sheldon Jackson Museum Gains National Endowment for the Arts Grant Award

The Friends of Sheldon Jackson Museum is pleased to announce a $20,000 grant award from the National Endowment for the Arts. The grant will be used to bring Alaska Native artists to Sitka to study the museum’s collection and share their work with the public through artist lectures, workshops, and demonstrations. The support period for the grant is March 2013 through November 2014.

Alaska’s indigenous cultures include Tlingit, Haida,
Tsimshian, Aleut, Alutiiq, Athabaskan, Yup’ik, and Inupiaq. Alaska Native artists are invited to demonstrate and interpret their artwork in the
Sheldon Jackson Museum. The artists share traditional and contemporary Alaska Native art including wood, ivory, and silver carving, fish skin, gut, and hide sewing, drum making, beading, basket and textile weaving. Interaction between artists and visitors encourages a connection to Native art and culture.

The focus of the NEA grant supports the preservation of “endangered arts” and encourages revitalization of techniques such as spruce root basketry, fish skin sewing, and Raven’s Tail weaving. Artists have the opportunity to sharpen their artistic and public demonstration skills, share their knowledge with other artists, and gain exposure to a broad audience in a museum setting. This is also an opportunity for the artists to study the Sheldon Jackson Museum’s comprehensive ethnographic collection.
The program will begin the first part of May, 2013. Artists’ schedules will be announced at that time. – www.museums.state.ak.us

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