Prospective Southeast Alaska Arts and Culture Cluster Working Group


  • JEDC was awarded grant funds for foundational work in the creation of an Arts and Culture Cluster Working Group, leading to a better understanding of regional and local concerns and opportunities.
  • JEDC facilitated a well-attended workshop on Regional Collaboration on the Arts.
  • The Executive Director of ArtPlace America visited Juneau to promote creative place-making.

A detailed review of activities is found below.

Strengthen Regional Arts industry through formation of a Cluster Working Group

Foundational work to launch an Arts and Culture Cluster Working Group for Southeast Alaska was undertaken with available funding.

  • JEDC received a Tier 1 grant from the Rasmuson Foundation in 2014 to explore the development of an Arts and Culture Industry Cluster Working Group in Southeast Alaska. Work accomplished included identification of potential cluster members, outreach to industry and other key stakeholders, and four community workshops with prospective stakeholders for preliminary discussions and education about clusters. Workshops were held in Juneau at the 2014 Innovation Summit with members of the Alaska State Council on the Arts and community members; in Sitka with arts organizations; a follow-up meeting in Juneau with arts organizations, and in Ketchikan with arts organizations. This work led to a better understanding of regional and local concerns and opportunities for the Arts and Culture community in Juneau, Sitka and Ketchikan.
  • The grant also funded the Arts and the Creative Economy component of the 2014 Innovation Summit, where keynote Jamie Bennett, Executive Director of ArtPlace America, spoke on creative placemaking. Mr. Bennett also led a question and answer session with community, business, non-profit and government leaders engaged in the arts sector of the regional economy regarding the inclusion of the arts in community development.

Support Recognition of Southeast as the Capital of Northwest Coast Native Arts

Vital to the Arts and Culture economy of Southeast Alaska are the many individual Northwest Coast native artists. This initiative seeks opportunities to partner with Sealaska Heritage Institute and others to support the work of these artists and expand recognition and markets, consistent with the vision of Southeast as the capital of Northwest Coast Native Arts.

  • A well-attended workshop on Regional Collaboration on the Arts, with guest speaker Rosita Worl, President of Sealaska Heritage Institute, was held at the 2015 Innovation Summit. One result of this workshop was a closer partnership with the University of Alaska Southeast and a shift at UAS to focus more on Northwest Coastal Arts.