Arts in Alaska: Thriving, or just surviving?

Public Domain art by Mitch Featherston
Public Domain art by Mitch Featherston

Seven reasons the arts matter, according to Dee Dickenson, the John Hopkins School of Education:

  1. They are languages that all people speak that cut across racial, cultural, social, educational, and economic barriers and enhance cultural appreciation and awareness.
  2. They provide opportunities for self-expression, bringing the inner world into the outer world of concrete reality.
  3. They develop both independence and collaboration.
  4. They make it possible to use personal strengths in meaningful ways and to bridge into understanding sometimes difficult abstractions through these strengths.
  5. They improve academic achievement — enhancing test scores, attitudes, social skills, critical and creative thinking.
  6. They exercise and develop higher order thinking skills including analysis, synthesis, evaluation, and “problem-finding.”
  7. They provide the means for every student to learn.

If the arts are this important, how well do we support them? Join me, host Kathleen McCoy, in conversation with Alaska artists and arts supporters on how arts in Alaska get funded. Questions we’ll consider:

  • Who funds the arts and why?
  • Are the arts considered a frill?
  • Are the arts forever a victim of capitalism?
  • What public good do the arts offer?
  • Why do we struggle to support the arts?


  • Diane Kaplan, Rasmuson Foundation
  • Holly McQuinn, director, Alaska Design Forum and coordinator, Object Runway
  • Brooklyn Baggett, board member, Anchorage Community Works
  • Shannon Daut, State Council on the Arts



  • Call 550-8433 (Anchorage) or 1-888-353-5752  (statewide) during the live broadcast (2:00 – 3:00pm)
  • Send e-mail to before, during or after the live broadcast (e-mails may be read on air)
  • Post your comment or question below (comments may be read on air)

HOST: Kathleen McCoy

LIVE BROADCAST: Wednesday, January 8, 2014. 2:00 – 3:00 pm (Alaska time)

REPEAT BROADCAST: Wednesday, January 8, 2014. 9:00 – 10:00 pm (Alaska time)

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