For Immediate Release on December 27, 2012
Contact: Cassandra Stalzer, 907-334-0520

Foundation Commits $8.5 Million in Arts Funding

Anchorage -  The Rasmuson Foundation Board of Directors announced that it will continue targeted support that began almost a decade ago to ensure a diverse and vibrant arts community for Alaska.

Over the next four years, $8.5 million will be available to strengthen cultural institutions across the state, encourage the development of new work by creative artists, and increase public access to and participation in cultural experiences.

Specific elements of the initiative are:

Individual Artist Awards, which provides direct support to artists living and working in Alaska. Starting with the 2013 application cycle, grant amounts will increase to $7,500 for project awards; $18,000 for fellowships; and $40,000 for the annual distinguished artist award. The application period for Individual Artist Awards begins Jan. 1, 2013, and the Foundation expects to make more than 30 awards annually.

Harper Arts Touring Program, which provides grants to stimulate access to high-quality arts in communities throughout Alaska, and supports tours of Alaska's performing artists and exhibits.

Art Acquisition Fund, which provides grants to museums and cultural centers to purchase, conserve and manage contemporary Alaska-based artwork for permanent collections. This program is administered by Museums Alaska. An online gallery of work acquired by museums through this program can be found here.

Arts in Education, which includes artists in schools programs, school and community-based projects, and arts excursions. The program will be expanded to support youth-oriented cultural heritage programs; to focus on strategies for integrating arts education with science and math (STEAM); and for expanding arts curriculum in rural school districts.

Alaska Artists in Residency program (AK AIR) will be expanded to support residencies split among Alaska artists who will be hosted by organizations outside the state, and artists from the Lower 48 who will be hosted by Alaska cultural organizations.

New programs that will incentivize new public and private investment in the arts, and help mid-sized arts organizations become more sustainable. These programs are in development, and will be fully announced at a later date.

One-time support for local events, exhibits and strategies to celebrate Alaska’s cultural assets and illuminate the artistic talent that exists in the state. These events will roll out in 2013 to mark a decade of the Foundation’s investment in Alaska’s arts and culture.

This announcement builds Rasmuson Foundation’s investment in the arts to nearly $30 million over the period 2004 to 2016. In the past 10 years, the Foundation has provided approximately $22 million in more than 900 grants to individual artists, cultural institutions, community organizations, schools, collaborative partnerships, and national programs. Past awards can be searched here.

About the Foundation
The Rasmuson Foundation was created in May 1955 by Jenny Rasmuson to honor her late husband "E.A." Rasmuson. Through grantmaking and initiatives, the Foundation is a catalyst to promote a better life for all Alaskans.

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