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Rasmuson Grants are announced

Mike Dunham

Nathan Jackson of Ketchikan, best known for his totem poles and other Tlingit-style carvings, received the 2009 Rasmuson Foundation Distinguished Artist Award on Friday at ceremonies at the Alaska Center for the Performing Arts in Anchorage. The honor includes a grant of $25,000.

At the same event, the Foundation also announced Eight Artist Fellowship Awards of $12,000 in unrestricted funds to: Tlingit weavers Anna Brown Ehlers (Juneau) and Teri Rofkar (Sitka), writers Nick Jans (Juneau), Andromeda Romano-Lax (Anchorage) and Catherine Rexford (Anchorage). Alutiiq carver Peter Lind Sr. (Homer), puppeteer Bryne Power (Haines) and folk artist Donald Varnell (Ketchikan).

Seventeen Artist Project grants of up to $5,000 each were also announced, going to:

• Visual artists Anne Aube (Palmer), Scott Dickerson (Homer), Joan Harris (Eagle River) and Kyra Rice (Anchorage).

• Writers Vera Starbard, Mei Mei Evans, Jessica Golden and Olena Kalytiak-Davis (all of Anchorage) and Christine Byl (Healy).

• Multidiscipline artists Erin Pollock (Anchorage) and Michael Walsh (Homer).

• Crafts artists Maria Shell and Patricia Shelton (both of Anchorage) and Robert LaMontagne (Fairbanks).

• Folk/traditional artists Teresa Varnell (Ketchikan) and John McIntyre (Bethel).

• Composer William Putman (Fairbanks).

The awards are part of the foundation's 10-year, $20 million program to increase the impact of arts in Alaska. To date the foundation has awarded $1,216,319 directly to 167 artists.

The full press release may be read at adn.com/artsnob.

Musical winners

The winners of this year's Anchorage Concert Chorus vocal competition were announced last night, too late for deadline but, thought the wonders of internet, available at adn.com/artsnob. Performing with them were the winners of several other district competitions, some of whom we've mentioned before, some not, all a pleasure to hear.

• National Association of Teachers of Singing winners: Branson Gustafson, 1st place, Elementary; Leah Mattfield, 1st Place, Middle; Katherine Lyle, 1st Place, High School Musical Theatre; Amy Horstman, 1st Place, College Classical; Lauren Green, 1st Place, Adult Musical Theatre Upper Avocational.

• Alaska Piano Competition winners: Jessen Cao, 1st Place, Intermediate I; Maria Hanson, 1st Place, Intermediate II; Jasper Jackson, 1st Place, Junior Young Artist; Ian Huh, 1st Place, Senior Young Artist.

• Music Teachers National Association: Brendon Mezzetti, 1st Place, Junior Strings; Wesley Voley, 1st Place, Junior Piano; Ga-In Choi, 1st Place, Young Artist Piano Division; Annie Kil, 1st Place, Senior Piano.

Anchorage Civic Orchestra Concerto Competition winner Geurim Kim and Christine Harada Li, winner of Anchorage Youth Symphony Concerto and Anchorage Symphony Orchestra Cassetta competitions, both violinists, performed as well.

Grant deadline is approaching

The deadline for Alaska State Council on the Arts' Cultural Collaboration Projects grants is June 1. Matching grants of up to $6,000 are available for 501(c)(3) arts and youth organizations and for programs outside the normal school times. These grants support arts/cultural experiences where children/youth are active participants.

There are two other grant categories: Access Grants, funding short term artists' residencies, and Excursion Grants for cultural field trip transportation costs.

Contact Arts in Education Director Ruth Glenn at 269-6682 or toll free in Alaska at 1-888-278-7424 or e-mail at ruth.glenn@alaska.gov. Grant applications are on line at www.eed.state.ak.us/aksca/AIE4_CCP.htm

Blog: Art Snob
By MIKE DUNHAM
mdunham@adn.com