News

NEA Chairman Jane Chu to Visit Alaska February 21-24, 2018

Visit will include Anchorage, Fairbanks, and Bethel

Washington, DC –Jane Chu will travel to Alaska for the second time as chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts on February 21–24, 2018, participating in the Creative Forces Summit in Anchorage, as well as visiting arts organizations in Fairbanks and Bethel.

Chairman Chu will begin her trip in Anchorage to participate in an arts and military summit taking place as part of Creative Forces: NEA Military Healing Arts Network. Chairman Chu will speak at the welcome reception at Anchorage Community Works the evening of February 21 and the summit on February 22 at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson’s Arctic Warrior Event Center. Chairman Chu will be available for interviews on both days. An advisory providing more details on the events of February 21 and February 22 is also being distributed. Media interested in attending the reception should contact Victoria Hutter at hutterv@arts.gov. Media interested in attending the summit should contact JBER Media Engagement at jber.pa.mediaops@us.af.mil, 907-551-8995 for more information.

Creative Forces places creative arts therapies at the core of patient-centered care at 11 clinical sites throughout the country—including Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in Alaska—plus a telehealth program, and increases access to therapeutic arts activities in local communities for military members, veterans, and their families. These programs serve the unique and special needs of military patients who have been diagnosed with traumatic brain injury and psychological health conditions. The goal for this event is to convene the local arts and military communities as a first step towards creating a network able to provide arts programs targeted for military personnel, their families, and veterans.

On Friday, February 23, Chairman Chu will visit Fairbanks, where she will tour the University of Alaska’s Museum of the North as well as university’s fine arts complex. That afternoon, she will meet the local arts community at an event hosted by Fairbanks Arts Association, followed by a visit to the Morris Thompson Cultural and Visitors Center, where she will learn more about Tanana Chiefs Cultural Programs and Explore Fairbanks.

On Saturday, February 24, Chairman Chu will visit Bethel. As part of her visit she will meet with local artists and art leaders, tour the Yupiit Piciryarait Cultural Center, and learn more about Alaska New Visions arts education program.

To find recent direct NEA grants to Alaska organizations and individuals, visit the NEA’s grants search.

The following events are open to the media but closed to the public, except where noted below. Media who wish to attend must RSVP in advance to the NEA at auclaire@arts.gov.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018—Anchorage
5:00–7:30 p.m. Remarks at the Creative Forces Welcome Reception (remarks will begin at 5:30 p.m.)—Open to the Public. Media interested in attending the reception should contact Victoria Hutter at hutterv@arts.gov.
Location: Anchorage Community Works,349 E Ship Creek Ave, Anchorage, AK 99501
Participants:
Jane Chu, chairman, National Endowment for the Arts
Benjamin Brown, chairman, Alaska State Council on the Arts
Andrea Noble-Pelant, executive director, Alaska State Council on the Arts
Patrick Garley, artist, Arctic Fires


Thursday, February 22, 2018—Anchorage
9:00–11:00 a.m. Creative Forces Summit—Media may attend the summit during this time period. Please contact JBER Media Engagement at jber.pa.mediaops@us.af.mil, 907-551-8995 for more information.
Location: Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Arctic Warrior Event Center, 9387 Kuter Avenue, Anchorage, Alaska 99506
Participants:
Jane Chu, chairman, National Endowment for the Arts
Benjamin Brown, chairman, Alaska State Council on the Arts
Nolen Bivens, brigadier general (Ret) U.S. Army; president, Leader Six, Inc.
Benjamin Brown, chairman, Alaska State Council on the Arts
Dr. Malasari Chaudery-Malgei, Chronic Pain Management Psychologist and Holistic Health Specialist, JBER Hospital
Sara Kass, M.D., Captain (Ret) U.S. Navy; military and medical advisor, Creative Forces
Andrea Noble-Pelant, executive director, Alaska State Council on the Arts
Bill O’Brien, senior innovation advisor, National Endowment for the Arts
Major Jamie Pons-Valerio, site director, JBER Defense and Veteran Brain Injury Center
Danielle Vetro-Kalseth, JBER music therapist, Creative Forces
Marete Wester, senior director, Americans for the Arts


Friday, February 23, 2018—Fairbanks
9:00–10:00 a.m. Tour of Museum of the North
Location: University of Alaska Fairbanks, 1962 Yukon Dr., Fairbanks, AK 99775
Participants:
Jane Chu, chairman, National Endowment for the Arts
Benjamin Brown, chairman, Alaska State Council on the Arts
Andrea Noble-Pelant, executive director, Alaska State Council on the Arts
Kesler Woodward, vice-chair, Alaska State Council on the Arts and Professor of Art Emeritus, University of Alaska Fairbanks
Aldona Jonaitis, director, Museum of the North
Mareca Guthrie, curator of Fine Arts, Museum of the North


10–10:45 a.m. Tour University of Alaska’s Fine Arts Complex
Location: 1962 Yukon Dr., Fairbanks, AK 99775
Participants:
Jane Chu, chairman, National Endowment for the Arts
Benjamin Brown, chairman, Alaska State Council on the Arts
Andrea Noble-Pelant, executive director, Alaska State Council on the Arts
Kesler Woodward, vice-chair, Alaska State Council on the Arts and Professor of Art Emeritus, University of Alaska Fairbanks
Eduard Zilberkant, conductor and music director of the Fairbanks Symphony
Laura Bergh, executive director, Fairbanks Symphony Association
Da-ka-xeen Mehner, chair of the Art Department
Carrie Baker, department head, Film and Theatre Department
Leonard Kammerling, English Department.
Gary Toth, operations manager, Music Department


1:00–2:00 p.m. Meet and greet with local arts community
Location: Fairbanks Arts Association’s Bear Gallery, 2300 Airport Way, Fairbanks, AK 99701
Participants:
Jane Chu, chairman, National Endowment for the Arts
Benjamin Brown, chairman, Alaska State Council on the Arts
Andrea Noble-Pelant, executive director, Alaska State Council on the Arts
Jess Peña, executive director, Fairbanks Arts Association


2:30–3:30 PM Tour of Morris Thompson Cultural and Visitors Center
Location: 101 Dunkel St, Fairbanks, AK 99701
Participants:
Jane Chu, chairman, National Endowment for the Arts
Benjamin Brown, chairman, Alaska State Council on the Arts
Andrea Noble-Pelant, executive director, Alaska State Council on the Arts
Cindy Shumaker, operations manager
Dixie Alexander, cultural program director, Tanana Chiefs Cultural Programs
Helen Renfrew, director of meetings and conventions, Explore Fairbanks
Amy Geiger, director of communications, Explore Fairbanks


Saturday, February 24, 2018—Bethel
12:15–1:00 p.m. Meeting with artists and arts leaders
Location: Yupiit Piciryarait Cultural Center, 420 Chief Eddie Hoffman Highway, Bethel, AK 99559
Participants:
Jane Chu, chairman, National Endowment for the Arts
Benjamin Brown, chairman, Alaska State Council on the Arts
Dr. Theresa Arevgaq John, Yup’ik Culture Leader


1:00–3:00 p.m. Tour Yupiit Piciryarait Cultural Center
Location: 420 Chief Eddie Hoffman Highway, Bethel, AK 99559
Participants:
Jane Chu, chairman, National Endowment for the Arts
Benjamin Brown, chairman, Alaska State Council on the Arts
Dr. Theresa Arevgaq John, Yup’ik Culture Leader


3:00–3:30 p.m. Discussion about New Visions Program
Location: Yupiit Piciryarait Cultural Center, 420 Chief Eddie Hoffman Highway, Bethel, AK 99559
Participants:
Jane Chu, chairman, National Endowment for the Arts
Benjamin Brown, chairman, Alaska State Council on the Arts
Dr. Theresa Arevgaq John, Yup’ik Culture Leader

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Contact

Liz Auclair (NEA), auclaire@arts.gov, 202-682-5744