By Elin Johnson
In November Museums Alaska announced funding awards of over $160,000 to 12 museums and cultural organizations across the state — from Sitka to Juneau to Kodiak and Fairbanks.
Museums Alaska manages two museum grant programs, the Alaska Art Fund (AAF) — previously the Art Acquisition Fund — and the Collections Management Fund (CMF) for the Rasmuson Foundation.
Through these two grant programs, cultural centers and museums can apply for funds to improve their ability to care for and share their collections, and purchase or commission works of art from Alaskan artists.
“What a wonderful way to close out the 20th anniversary of the AAF grants and the 10th anniversary of the CMF grants,” said Dixie Clough, director of Museums Alaska.
“Rasmuson Foundation and Museums Alaska began this partnership two decades ago, and ever since, these grants have made a huge impact on the museum community,” Clough said. “We’re grateful for Rasmuson Foundation’s steadfast partnership and that we’ve been able to assist the museum field with these important grants for so long.”
In the second round of CMF grants this year, nine organizations were awarded $122,613.19. This included the Sheldon Jackson Museum bringing in community consultation for advice on cultural sensitivity; the Morris Thompson Cultural and Visitor Center to retain an exhibits expert; the Kodiak Maritime Museum to package and move their Uganik Cannery Collection; the Ketchikan Museums to improve collections storage at the Tongass Historical Museum; the Bristol Bay Historical Society to complete a collections assessment and rehousing project; the Fairbanks Children’s Museum to improve their exhibits and collections storage; the Jensen-Olson Arboretum to update their plant collection database; and the Alaska Jewish Museum to catalog new museum acquisitions.
The AAF grants this round totaled $41,200 and went to four museums, including two contributions to Ketchikan Museums. These funds will go toward purchasing paintings, carved masks, and Native-made jewelry and clothing.
Museums Alaska is the statewide museums organization, and supports museums and cultural institutions across the state through grants, advocacy, and enhancing public understanding of their importance.