WHAT: A celebration of life for The Alaska State Council on the Arts, one of the first casualties of the Governor's budget cuts, will take place at the agency’s headquarters in Anchorage.
Well-wishers will leave flowers, cards, and remembrances throughout the day.
Musicians, artists, art supporters, and culture bearers will conduct art actions that conclude with an “Honor Arche” as the staff exit the building for the last time.
WHO: Anchorage artists and organizations will attend and invitations have been sent to the Mayor of Anchorage organizations like the Municipality of Anchorage, Anchorage Museum at Rasmuson Foundation, Forraker Group, and Rasmuson Foundation.
WHEN: All day Monday, July 15, with the farewell at 4 pm.
WHERE: ASCA headquarters 161 Klevin Street, Suite 102.
The creative community of Anchorage intends to thank ASCA staff for their service, while acknowledging the value of the agency and the impacts of its loss on the state. It served as an economic driver, a shaper of Alaska’s cultural identity, and a significant contributor to the quality of life in Alaska.
The immediate impact of the agency’s closing includes the loss of staff with deep knowledge of Alaska’s artists and cultural legacy, and who, though unemployed at the end of the day, will be ineligible for unemployment benefits due to the terms of their contract.
In addition, $2.2 million in revenue will be redirected to other states from the federal government and philanthropic foundations. These knowledge and financial losses will impact programs supporting local arts organizations, which in turn fuel economic sectors such as tourism and retail. The loss of ACSA will further affect K-12 arts education programming, leading to the loss of jobs produced through the artist in schools residency programs, and the loss of opportunity as Alaska becomes the only state without students participating in programs like the national poetry competition—an event won by an Alaska student in 2016.
"Funding to arts has been cut not because of its excess but because of its power," said Sheryl Maree Reily, an artist who sits on the state’s Visual Arts Advisory Committee.