Athanas to receive 2021 Governor’s Arts and Humanities Award

Governor Mike Dunleavy will present nine awards at the 2021 Governor’s Arts & Humanities Awards presentation held on Tuesday, Jan. 11, 2022 at 10:00am at the Governor’s office in the Atwood Building in Anchorage. This presentation will recognize advocates, artists, educators and historians, community leaders, and conveners from across the state including Bethel’s Reyne Athanas.

These awards honor Alaskans who have used their craft and passion to enrich our lives; to support, teach, and inspire others; to unite people within and across communities; and to lift up and bring others’ stories to life.

The Governor’s Arts and Humanities Awards is an annual partnership between the Alaska Humanities Forum, the Alaska State Council on the Arts (ASCA), the Alaska Arts and Culture Foundation, and the Office of the Governor. Nominations are submitted by the public each year across distinct categories and these partners make recommendations to the Governor who then makes the final selection of awardees.

“The passion and commitment evident in this year’s awardees bring a heightened and exemplary expression of the Humanities in the areas of education, leadership, and community. The awardees’ unique contributions are strengthening Alaska,” notes the Forum’s Board Chair Judy Owens Manley.

ASCA Chairman Benjamin Brown stated, “As Alaskans work together to emerge from the pandemic, it is inspiring and reassuring to be able to honor individuals and arts organizations whose talents, energy, and vision enrich Alaskans’ lives every day. The Governor’s Arts & Humanities Awards recognize and honor people and groups whose actions and contributions make Alaska better, stronger, and healthier place to live. I hope all Alaskans will join in watching them receive these well-earned recognitions directly from Alaska’s Governor.”

2021 Awardees:

Alutiiq Museum and Archaeological Repository – Distinguished Service to the Humanities in Community (Kodiak)

Jesse Hensel – Distinguished Service to the Humanities in Education, Fairbanks

Roy Agloinga – Distinguished Service to the Humanities in Education, Anchorage and White Mountain/Natchirsvik

Asia Freeman – Individual Artist, Homer

Vera Starbard – Alaska Native Artist, Juneau

Alaska Arts Education Consortium – Arts Education, Statewide

Reyne Athanas – Arts Advocacy, Bethel

North Star Ballet – Outstanding Arts Organization, Fairbanks

Richard Beneville (posthumous award) – Lifetime Achievement in the Arts, Nome

Further details are available at