Sealaska Heritage

SEALASKA HERITAGE ARTS CAMPUS

SEALASKA HERITAGE ARTS CAMPUS

Envisioning Our Future Through the Reflections of Our Past

(Brochure) (Donor Levels and Benefits) (Donate) (Project Benefits) (About Northwest Coast Art) (Press Releases)

Heritage Square

Sealaska Heritage Institute (SHI) is fundraising for the second phase of its vision to make Juneau the Northwest Coast arts capital of the world and to designate Northwest Coast art a national treasure.

In phase two, SHI will build its Sealaska Heritage Arts Campus in Juneau at Front and Seward Streets, an area designated as Heritage Square by the City and Borough of Juneau in 2018. The space, currently a private parking lot, is directly across the street from SHI’s Walter Soboleff Building, which was built during phase one and opened in 2015. Sealaska donated the parking lot to SHI in 2018 and, through the project, parking will move underground, opening a new cultural space for Juneau residents and visitors at a prime location in downtown. The campus will comprise SHI’s second Box of Knowledge in Juneau.

The campus, which will encompass approximately 6,000 square feet, will house indoor and outdoor  space for artists to make monumental Northwest Coast art pieces, such as totem poles and canoes; classrooms for art programming and instruction in areas such as basketry and textile weaving and print making; and space for performances, Native art markets, an art library, artists-in-residence, faculty, and public gatherings. Instruction will be offered for both non-credit and credit for students seeking art degrees through SHI partners, the University of Alaska Southeast and the Institute of American Indian Arts.  It will also have capabilities for distance learning. 

The overall design will incorporate the same traditional and contemporary themes as in the Walter Soboleff Building with art adorning the facility.  The campus will include a totem pole and five monumental bronze masks representing Alaska’s major cultural groups called “Faces of Alaska.” The street and plaza will also include artistic designs tying them to Heritage Square. 

SHI’s goals for the campus are to expand Alaska Native and Northwest Coast art programming to ensure perpetuation of these ancient art practices, which are unique in the world and include some practices that are endangered; support Native artists through art markets and classes; and to offer a space where the general public can learn about Alaska Native cultures and art forms at a preeminent space in downtown.  


Donor Levels and Benefits

(Donate) (Print) SHI is raising funds for the project, which will cost an estimated $12 million to construct. We are offering a wide range of donor levels and benefits. To make a donation, submit this form or contact Bobbie Meszaros at 907.586.9220 or bobbie.meszaros@sealaska.com.

$100,000 — Naakahídi / Náa / Wap Pteex (Clan House) Sponsor

• Verbal recognition at Grand Opening ceremony

• Acknowledgment as a Naakahídi / Náa / Wap Pteex sponsor in Grand Opening program, SHI’s Facebook, press releases, and on SHI’s website

• Name permanently engraved as a Founding Donor at the Campus

• Limited edition Eighth Generation Blanket of Knowledge (Chilkat-style woven blanket)

•  Early tours of facility before public opening

• Acknowledgment on commemorative Grand Opening poster and in Sealaska Heritage Institute’s Annual Report
 

$25,000 — Gáas’ (House Posts) Sponsor

• Verbal recognition at Grand Opening ceremony

• Acknowledgment as a Gáas’ sponsor in Grand Opening program, SHI’s Facebook, press releases, and on SHI’s website

• Name permanently engraved as a Founding Donor at the Campus

• Limited edition Eighth Generation Blanket of Knowledge (Chilkat-style woven blanket)

• Early tours of facility before public opening

• Acknowledgment on commemorative Grand Opening poster and in Sealaska Heritage Institute’s Annual Report

 

$15,000 — Naksugit (House Front) Sponsor

• Verbal recognition at Grand Opening ceremony

• Acknowledgment as a Naksugit sponsor in Grand Opening program, SHI’s Facebook, press releases, and on SHI’s website

• Name permanently engraved as a Founding Donor at the Campus

• Limited edition Eighth Generation Blanket of Knowledge (Chilkat-style woven blanket)

• Early tours of facility before public opening

• Acknowledgment on commemorative Grand Opening poster and in Sealaska Heritage Institute’s Annual Report

 

$10,000 — X'een (House Screen) Sponsor

• Acknowledgment as a X’éen sponsor in Grand Opening program, SHI’s Facebook, press releases, and on SHI’s website

• Name permanently engraved as a Founding Donor at the Campus

• Limited edition Eighth Generation Blanket of Knowledge (Chilkat-style woven blanket)

• Acknowledgment on commemorative Grand Opening poster and in Sealaska Heritage Institute’s Annual Report

 

$5,000 — Lákt  (Bentwood) Box Sponsor

• Acknowledgment as a Lákt sponsor in Grand Opening program, SHI’s Facebook, press releases, and on SHI’s website

• Name permanently engraved as a Founding Donor at the Campus

• Early tours of facility before public opening

• Acknowledgment on commemorative Grand Opening poster and in Sealaska Heritage Institute’s Annual Report

 

$2,500 — Tináa (Copper) Sponsor

• Acknowledgment as a Tináa sponsor in Grand Opening program, SHI’s Facebook, press releases, and on SHI’s website

• Name permanently engraved as a Founding Donor at the Campus

• Early tours of facility before public opening

• Acknowledgment on commemorative Grand Opening poster and in Sealaska Heritage Institute’s Annual Report

 

$1,000 — Xáay (Cedar) Sponsor

• Acknowledgment as a Xáay sponsor in Grand Opening program, SHI’s Facebook, press releases, and on SHI’s website

• Name permanently engraved as a Founding Donor at the Campus

• Acknowledgment on commemorative Grand Opening poster and in Sealaska Heritage Institute’s Annual Report

 

$500 — Shéiyi (Spruce) Sponsor

• Acknowledgment as a Shéiyi sponsor in Grand Opening program, SHI’s Facebook, press releases, and on SHI’s website

• Name permanently engraved as a Founding Donor at the Campus

• Acknowledgment on commemorative Grand Opening poster and in Sealaska Heritage Institute’s Annual Report

 

$250 — Yán (Hemlock) Sponsor

• Acknowledgment as a Yán sponsor in Grand Opening program, SHI’s Facebook, press releases, and on SHI’s website

• Name permanently engraved as a Founding Donor at the Campus

• Acknowledgment on commemorative Grand Opening poster and in Sealaska Heritage Institute’s Annual Report

 

$1-$249 — Xút’aa (Adze) Sponsor

• Acknowledgment as a Xút’aa sponsor on SHI’s website

• Acknowledgment in Sealaska Heritage Institute’s Annual Report

• Donate $25 or more: Name permanently engraved as a Founding Donor at the Campus

• Donate $50 or more: Additional acknowledgement as an Adze sponsor on Facebook and SHI’s website

• Donate $100 or more: Additional acknowledgement as an Adze Sponsor in Grand Opening program


Come build with us.  


Project Benefits

(Arts Programming) (Economic Impact for Artists) (Educational Opportunities) (Benefits to Juneau and Beyond

Arts Programming

(Print) The Sealaska Heritage Arts Campus will:

  • Allow Sealaska Heritage to expand Alaska Native and Northwest Coast art programming through classes and workshops to ensure perpetuation of these ancient art practices, which are unique in the world.
  • Advance a plan by Sealaska Heritage, the University of Alaska Southeast and the Institute of American Indian Art in Santa Fe to create a four-year degree in Northwest Coast art by adding new space for classes.
  • Allow SHI to develop and offer e-learning courses on Native art through the campus that provide options to earn high school credits, college credits, dual credits for high school and college, and no credits.
  • Offer indoor and covered outdoor spaces for artists to make monumental art, such as totem poles and canoes.
  • Include a covered outdoor space for expanded Native art markets.
  • Help advance SHI’s goal to establish Juneau as the Northwest Coast arts capital of the world.
  • Help ensure the survival and enhancement of ancient art forms and practices and their continued evolution. 

Economic Impacts on Artists

(Print) The Sealaska Heritage Arts Campus will:

  • Contribute to creative and sustainable economies for individual artists and Alaska’s rural communities. Since it opened in 2015, the Sealaska Heritage Store has purchased art from well more than 200 artists.
  • Grow the demand for arts, which is already a $58 million industry in Southeast Alaska.
  • Help create more global demand for Alaska Native and Northwest Coast art by exposing Juneau’s millions of annual cruise visitors to these ancient art forms in a public and interactive space.
  • Offer expanded Native art markets to artists in Juneau and beyond. 

Educational Opportunities

(Print) The Sealaska Heritage Arts Campus will:

  • Allow Sealaska Heritage to expand Alaska Native and Northwest Coast art programming through classes and workshops to ensure perpetuation of these ancient art practices, which are unique in the world.
  • Advance a plan by SHI, the University of Alaska Southeast and the Institute of American Indian Art in Santa Fe to create a four-year degree in Northwest Coast Art by adding new space for classes.
  • Allow SHI to develop and offer e-learning courses on Native art through the campus that provide options to earn high school credits, college credits, dual credits for high school and college, and no credits.
  • Provide a cultural experience for the public and visitors to learn about Alaska Native and Northwest Coast art and cultures and to promote cross-cultural understanding. 

Benefits to Juneau and Beyond

(Print) The Sealaska Heritage Arts Campus will:

  • Offer a new cultural experience adjacent to the area named Heritage Square by the City and Borough of Juneau in 2018.
  • Help to revitalize downtown, which is a priority of the CBJ.
  • Help to implement the Juneau Economic Development Council’s Southeast Alaska Cluster Economic Plan, which emphasizes diversification of Juneau through enhanced visitor experiences with emphasis on the arts as an economic driver.
  • Grow the demand for arts, which is already a $58 million industry in Southeast Alaska.
  • Offer expanded cultural experiences to residents and tourists.
  • Fill a need expressed by local leaders for smaller-scale performance and gathering venues (SHI Survey).
  • Offer a new gathering space for the public to experience Alaska Native and Northwest Coast arts and culture in a dynamic setting and a preeminent public space in downtown Juneau.
  • Contribute to creative and sustainable economies for individual artists and Alaska’s rural communities. 

About Northwest Coast Art

The indigenous people of Southeast Alaska say they have lived here since “time immemorial.” Their oral histories tell of advancing glaciers that subsumed their land and of retreating glaciers that made way for bays. In recent years, DNA evidence has proven Native people were here at least 10,000 years ago.

The Tlingit, Haida and Tsimshian were ingenius in their use of the resources around them. They built the massive clan houses that once populated the shores of Southeast Alaska using only adzes. They learned to carve and adorn the monumental totem poles that depict ancient histories. Tapping the abundant forests of the region, they carved masks, bowls, boxes, fishing gear, and headdresses and made baskets woven tight enough to hold water. They pioneered ocean-going dugout canoes, which, through a complex steaming process, could be made wider than the girth of the trees from which they came. The indigenous people of Southeast Alaska developed weaving techniques using mountain goat hair and cedar that yielded intricate Ravenstail and Chilkat robes, one of which can take years to complete.

Although historically the Tlingit, Haida and Tsimshian had no term for “art, ” their material culture has come to be known as Northwest Coast art. Northwest Coast art is unique in the world, distinctive for its formline design, a term that describes the shapes, such as split Us and ovoids, and complex arrangements of them that are organized into balanced compositions. One could spend a lifetime mastering the rules governing the formline designs that make the material culture of the Tlingit, Haida, and Tsimshian so unique. Historically, Native people incorporated formline design into almost everything, including clan houses, totems, ceremonial pieces, regalia, and even utilitarian items, such as spoons and dishes.  The oldest object over found depicting formline design dates to 4,000 years ago.

Northwest Coast art was panned as sinful iconography by missionaries who came to Alaska to stamp out Native cultures. Yet, it was zealously and sometimes unscrupulously collected by people from around the world, who often appropriated objects from grave sites. As a Tlingit traditional scholar once put it, “They collected our sins.”

There was a time when the knowledge of how to make Northwest Coast was almost lost, and even today, some ancient art practices, including  Chilkat weaving, spruce-root weaving, and canoe carving, are considered endangered. But a handful of dedicated artists and teachers have revived Northwest Coast art and today many of these ancient art practices have been passed on.

We have a dream to make Juneau the Northwest Coast art capital of the world and to designate our ancestors’ legacy as a national treasure. Sealaska Heritage is committed to maintaining the integrity of Northwest Coast art, and the Sealaska Heritage Arts Campus will be an expansion of that effort. 


Press Releases

SHI launches campaign to build arts campus, receives $5.6 million grant  (9-18-19)
Campus to be public space for perpetuating, experiencing Alaska Native art

 


 

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