Sealaska Heritage


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January 17, 2013

A major national funder has named Sealaska Heritage Institute (SHI) a finalist in its extremely competitive grant program for the arts.

ArtPlace has announced that SHI is one of 104 finalists chosen from 1,225 applicants from across the country to potentially receive a grant through its Creative Placemaking program. ArtPlace, an initiative to accelerate creative placemaking across the U.S., received inquiries from 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and American Samoa, according to a press release by ArtPlace.

“Yaay,” said SHI President Rosita Worl when asked about her reaction to the news. “I was so excited because I knew how competitive this grant was, and to be selected was truly an honor for us.”

The announcement means SHI may now submit a full proposal. The institute will write a proposal to showcase the best of Northwest Coast art at SHI’s Walter Soboleff Center, scheduled to break ground in Juneau soon. The proposal will also include funding for programs at the center to teach people about Tlingit, Haida, and Tsimshian art—one of the most distinctive and unique art forms in the world, she said.

“We are dedicated and committed to developing the Walter Soboleff Center not only for our community and for the state of Alaska, but also we know we’re going to make it a place where art scholars, art enthusiasts and collectors will want to come to learn about Northwest Coast art,” Worl said.

Staff will be guided by the institute’s Native Artist Committee, a panel of master Native artists and art historians founded by SHI to advise on art programs.

This year’s grant recipients will be announced in May. This is ArtPlace’s third funding cycle, and to date, it has distributed $26.9 million to 76 organizations in 46 communities across the country.

ArtPlace is a collaboration of 13 leading national and regional foundations and six of the nation’s largest banks. ArtPlace also seeks advice and counsel from close working relationships with various federal agencies, including the National Endowment for the Arts, the departments of Housing and Urban Development, Health and Human Services, Agriculture, Education, and Transportation, along with leadership from the White House Office of Management and Budget and the Domestic Policy Council.

Sealaska Heritage Institute is a private, nonprofit founded in 1980 to promote cultural diversity and cross-cultural understanding. The institute is governed by a Board of Trustees and guided by a Council of Traditional Scholars. Its mission is to perpetuate and enhance Tlingit, Haida, and Tsimshian cultures of Southeast Alaska.

CONTACT: Rosita Worl, SHI President, 907.463.4844