Rasmuson Foundation seeks to award grants to artists

by K.J. Lincoln

Does the name Mike McIntyre ring a bell? What about Christopher Ho? There is also Earl Atchak, Donald Rearden, and Steven Stone. Add Lisa Unin and Emma Hill to the list.

All these are past recipients of an artist award from the Rasmuson Foundation. The Rasmuson Foundation is seeking applicants for their next round of artist award grants. You could be the next grantee.

Jeff Baird and Sharity Sommer who represent the Foundation traveled to Bethel last week to host an artist workshop to provide an overview of the grant options and to answer application related questions.

Rasmuson would love to see more applicants from the Yukon Kuskokwim delta area.

“We have some amazing artists from this region,” said Baird at the Alaska Room at the Yupiit Piciryarait Kuskokwim Consortium Library last Tuesday.

So do you enjoy making grass baskets or carving wooden items? Maybe you love writing poetry, drawing, or creating your own original music and songs. This grant can help you advance your talents. Here is a list of the different disciplines that the grant covers.

Choreography: Artists creating original work in ballet, jazz, modern, tap, traditional, and culturally specific dance forms.

Crafts: Artists working in all forms of functional and nonfunctional crafts including, but not limited to ceramics, glass, wood, metal, fiber, textiles, and recycled materials. Traditional craft artists may choose to apply in the Folk and Traditional Arts category.

Folk and Traditional arts: Artists whose work is rooted in and reflects a community’s shared cultural values, history, and experiences. These art forms can take the shape of performing traditions in music, dance and drama; traditional storytelling; traditional crafts; and visual arts. These arts are usually passed down from one generation to the next.

Literary Arts/Scriptworks: Artists writing fiction, creative non-fiction, poetry, screen plays, and scripts for the stage. Fiction, creative non-fiction, scriptworks, and storytelling.

Media Arts: Artists creating narrative or animation time-based original works using audio, digital, and/or film, as well as installations in which these expressions form the major artistic element.

Multidiscipline: Artists whose work is experimental, pioneering work that is not grounded in any one discipline.

Music Composition: Composers creating original works in a range of genres including classical, jazz, folk, bluegrass, musical theatre, pop, blues, gospel, traditional, and world music.

New Genre: Artists pushing the boundaries that define their art, using non-conventional materials and approaches to the artmaking process.

Performance Art: Artists creating and performing original, theatre-based work or whose work provides new contexts for live performance. This includes, but is not limited to: clown, mime, vaudeville and cabaret artists, puppetry artists, and other solo artists who write and perform their own material (music composers should apply in the Music Composition category).

Presentation/Interpretation: Artists who explore existing work for the purpose of presentation or performance within any artistic genre such as dance, theatrical/dramatic performance, spoken word, vocal, or instrumental performance. This includes artists working in creative roles such as lighting, set, costume, projection, production or sound design, stage direction or dramaturgy. Artists creating original work within other disciplines listed in awards criteria should apply within that discipline.

Visual Arts: Artists creating original work in two- and three-dimensional forms including painting, drawing, printmaking, collage, photography, illustration, watercolor, etching, computer graphics, fiber art, and mediums associated with artists’ books. The visual arts also include sculpture, installations, glass, metal works, ceramics, etc.

Notable Individual Artist Award recipients from our area throughout the years include:

•2016 Lisa N. Unin: Project award (folk and traditional arts) to make two full-size traditional Cup’ik parkas based on interviews of elders. The parkas will be donated to museums in Alaska.

•2016 Karina Moeller: Artist fellowship (music composition) to compose and record songs.

•2016 Stephen Blanchett: Artist fellowship (music composition) to create a solo production of Yup’ik, Tsimshian, and English songs.

•2015 Emma M. Hill: Project award (music composition) for travel and musical performances in Europe.

•2015 Phillip Blanchett: Artist fellowship (presentation/interpretation) to develop a theatrical performance that communicates Yup’ik cultural values.

•2014 Ryan Conarro: Project Award (Performance Arts) to attend Eugene O’Neill National Puppetry Conference from June 11 to 19 at the University of Connecticut, and Juniper Tree School for Puppetry Arts in Boulder, Colorado.

•2011 Daisy Demientieff: Project Award (Folk and Traditional Arts) to gather willow roots and other natural materials for her basket weaving.

•2011 John McIntyre: Project Award (Folk and Traditional Arts) to purchase additional equipment and tools to produce new work and explore different techniques.

•2011 Donald Rearden: Project award (literary arts/scriptworks) to complete a screen adaption of his book, ‘The Raven’s Gift.’

•2011 Steven Stone: Project award (folk and traditional arts) to build a shop for art production.

•2011 Earl Atchak: Project Award (Folk and Traditional Arts) to collect materials and construct “Nepcetaq” (Shaman’s) masks.

•2009 Michael F. McIntyre: Project Award (Music Composition) for technical studio equipment to produce and publish an album in Yup’ik in modern musical genre.

•2008 Vernon Samuel Bavilla: Project Award (Folk and Traditional Arts) to upgrade his studio space and purchase additional tools.

•2007 Margaret Agnes Abraham: Artist Fellowship (Folk and Traditional Arts) to continue creating dolls, mukluks, yo-yos, and baskets.

•2006 Christopher Ho: Project Award (Media Arts) to shoot a short documentary film, “The Bionic Eskimo” and to produce a short fiction film, “Trust.”

•2005 Jack Ayaprun Abraham: Artist Fellowship (Folk and Traditional Arts) to take time to expand a body of work.

More information about this grant can be found online at rasmuson.org. And furthermore, the folks at Bethel Community Services Foundation or at the Yupiit Piciryarait Museum have graciously offered to help you with your application process.