Alaska Native Heritage building and grounds.

Alaska Native Heritage Center Awarded $150,000 Grant from the National Endowment for the Arts as part of the American Rescue Plan Act

Anchorage, Alaska—The Alaska Native Heritage Center (ANHC) Board and Staff is pleased to announce they have been approved to receive an American Rescue Plan Act grant from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) to help the arts and cultural sector recover from the pandemic. ANHC is recommended to receive $150,000 and will use the funding to continue its highly successful Master Artist Class program. 

The Master Artist Class program at ANHC has a long history of supporting Alaska Native artists in Anchorage and across the state of Alaska. Classes have included workshops focused on ivory carving, cedar bark weaving, the creation of seal skin kickballs, and many other traditional arts and crafts that have been practiced for many generations. The program will ensure that Alaska Native artforms are shared and passed down to younger generations, building confidence in students’ Alaska Native identity and cultural connection. 

“We’re incredibly honored to be a recipient of this award,” said ANHC President & CEO Keneggnarkayaaggaq Emily Edenshaw. “This type of support directly impacts our community in transformative ways and allows us to carry our knowledge and traditions forward.”

Throughout the pandemic, ANHC has molded and shaped artist programming to ensure that the Center is meeting the community where they are at. This award will allow ANHC to continue offering classes from every region of Alaska and further explore ways to provide programming to Alaska Natives who live outside of the state.

In total, the NEA will award grants totaling $57,750,000 to 567 arts organizations in all 50 states, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Washington, DC to save jobs and to fund operations and facilities, health and safety supplies, and marketing and promotional efforts to encourage attendance and participation. 

“Our nation’s arts sector has been among the hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. The National Endowment for the Arts’ American Rescue Plan funding will help arts organizations, such as the Alaska Native Heritage Center, rebuild and reopen,” said Dr. Maria Rosario Jackson, chair of the NEA. “The arts are crucial in helping America’s communities heal, unite, and inspire, as well as essential to our nation’s economic recovery.”  

The American Rescue Plan was signed into law in March 2021 when the NEA was provided $135 million for the arts sector. The funding for organizations is the third installment providing more than $57.7 million for arts organizations. In April 2021, the NEA announced $52 million (40 percent) in ARP funding would be allocated to 62 state, jurisdictional, and regional arts organizations for regranting through their respective programs. The second installment in November 2021 allocated $20.2 million to 66 local arts agencies for subgranting to local artists and art organizations.  

For more information on the NEA’s American Rescue Plan grants, including the full list of arts organizations funded in this announcement, visit www.arts.gov/COVID-19/the-american-rescue-plan

About the Alaska Native Heritage Center   

The Alaska Native Heritage Center is a nonprofit organization that preserves and strengthens the traditions, languages and art of Alaska’s Native People through statewide collaboration, celebration and education. It is located at 8800 Heritage Center Drive in northeast Anchorage, just off Muldoon Road North near Bartlett High School. For more information about other events and programs, visit www.alaskanative.net