‘Passing On Knowledge and Wisdom Through the Qaspeq’ by Sew Yupik’s Nikki Corbett

Nikki Corbett, known by many as Sew Yupik, is an artist and educator who specializes in qaspeq design and sewing.

I made my first qaspeq when I was around 10 or 11 years old with my sister/cousin/aunt. And then I didn’t pick up sewing a qaspeq again until I was in college in my mid-20s. As a kid I would watch my auntie sew qaspeqs and would just be in awe of her beautiful creations. I longed to be able to sew. The sewing skills I learned at school thanks to my amazing Yup’ik teachers. I am forever thankful for their teachings and it has been a dream of mine to be able to teach and share the knowledge that I learned from grade school, my aunt, and my college qaspeq teachers.

Continue reading ‘Passing On Knowledge and Wisdom Through the Qaspeq’ by Sew Yupik’s Nikki Corbett

‘Haa Tóo Yéi Yatee Haa Yoo X̱ʼatángi: Our Language is Inside Us – Juneau Alaska Music Matters (JAMM) Resilience Project’ by JAMM Staff

Student participants and Athabascan songster Yuxgitsiy George Holly developing songs for the JAMM resilience project.

Juneau Alaska Music Matters‘ (JAMM) resilience project is a series of two Língit songs, Daaḵ Nadéin (“the tide is coming in”) and Yánde Kg̱waláa (“the tide is going to go out”), inspired by conversations with Língit elders and JAMM students. These songs are presented in a music video project that brought together students, staff, musicians, dancers, and elders, showing the rich diversity of Juneauʼs culture and showcasing efforts of multiple organizations in Southeast Alaska to revitalize the Língit language before it is lost forever. This project was filmed both at JAMM school sites and throughout Juneau, home of the Áak’w Kwáan  people. Continue reading ‘Haa Tóo Yéi Yatee Haa Yoo X̱ʼatángi: Our Language is Inside Us – Juneau Alaska Music Matters (JAMM) Resilience Project’ by JAMM Staff

‘Culture, Collaboration and Creativity!’ by Shelli Franckowiak, 2022 Alaska Elementary Art Teacher of the Year

To celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month, 4th and 5th grade artists at Fronteras Spanish Immersion Charter School in Wasilla, AK created a 160 foot long alfombra de aserrin (sawdust carpet) on our school’s front sidewalk.

Sawdust Carpets (Alfombras de Aserrin) are one or more layers of colored sawdust laid on the ground as decoration. Sawdust carpets are traditionally created in Mexico and Guatemala and are used as part of Semana Santa (Holy Week) celebration, welcoming Good Friday and Easter processions of religious icons carried through the streets. Although sawdust carpets take days to design and create, it takes only minutes for them to be happily and reverently destroyed by the shuffling feet of participants in religious processions. Continue reading ‘Culture, Collaboration and Creativity!’ by Shelli Franckowiak, 2022 Alaska Elementary Art Teacher of the Year

Alaska’s Heart Through Student Art 2022

Three pieces of student art on a table with silent auction bid forms in front.This spring, Alaska’s Heart Through Student Art, the statewide celebration and auction of student art from all 54 school districts, made its in-person return to the Andrew P. Kashevaroff State Museum. Once again legislators, statewide educational leaders, teachers, and student artists were able to celebrate student artists together.

This is the 7th year that Alaska Council for School Administrators has sponsored the event, collecting art nominated from all over Alaska. Schools shipped pieces to Juneau where ACSA staff and volunteers from the Alaska Arts Education Consortium set up the pieces for display. To kick it all off, ACSA sponsored a reception, bringing educators, administrators and legislators together. Continue reading Alaska’s Heart Through Student Art 2022

‘Slow Looking’ by Nancy Lehnhart at Juneau School District

In my work as the Elementary Visual Art Specialist for the Juneau School District I have for years puzzled about art being an avenue for complex thinking for students. For the last six years, I’ve been very involved with a grant-funded PD project in the Juneau School District called Artful Teaching. We have a large cohort of teachers learning together through workshops and small collegiate study groups called “Art Labs.” We are exploring arts integration and culturally responsive teaching. One of the areas of learning for us has been through Project Zero Harvard and their Visible Thinking routines and practices. I’m experimenting all the time now with how to deepen thinking through art. The following shares a project around students’ school environments. 

Continue reading ‘Slow Looking’ by Nancy Lehnhart at Juneau School District

Alaskan Student Filmmakers Produce “Atmautluak, AK: Our Village Our Home”

Students in the Lower Kuskokwim School District village of Atmautluak, produced this film as part of the GEAR UP Program at the Joann A. Alexie Memorial School. GEAR UP in LKSD includes: drone pilot certification, filmmaking, culinary institutes, tutoring and college readiness activities. GEAR UP liaison, Jeffery Behelsich supported students as they scripted, planned, interviewed, flew drones, filmed, and edited this introduction to Atmautluak.

The Rural Alaska GEAR UP Partnership is a collaboration between Bering Strait School District, Lower Kuskokwim School District, the University of Alaska, Yuut Elitnaurviat and Alaska Staff Development Network (ASDN) designed to address the needs of students in 37 villages in western Alaska.

‘Wrangell HS Makes the Vans High School Custom Culture Art Program Top 50: You Can Help Their Project Win’ by ACSA Staff

To be awarded the $50,000 grant, the students need your support. The finalists of the competition are selected by vote. You can cast one vote per day until May 6th, by following this link. https://customculture.vans.com/2022/gallery

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To inspire creativity and bring attention to diminishing arts education budgets, Vans Shoes, created the Vans High School Custom Culture Art Program.

Continue reading ‘Wrangell HS Makes the Vans High School Custom Culture Art Program Top 50: You Can Help Their Project Win’ by ACSA Staff

‘My Passion: Creating Educational Resources that Celebrate Alaska Native Culture and Language’ by Raquel Schroeder

My name is Raquel Schroeder. I’m Bristol Bay Yup’ik and St. Lawrence Island Yupik with family ties in Bristol Bay and the Bering Strait. I’m a member of the Curyung Tribe and a Shareholder of the Bristol Bay Native Corporation.

I was born and raised in Anchorage, Alaska and graduated from high school in 2010. I went to Wenatchee Valley College in Washington State and Iḷisaġvik Tribal College in Utqiaġvik, Alaska, where I earned a certificate in Early Childhood Indigenous Education. In this program, I learned the importance of culturally-responsive practices and the need for preservation of Indigenous cultures and languages.

I developed an interest in creating projects with art, design and technology that focus on Alaska Native cultures, languages and land. This is important to me because, as a mother and educator, I found there aren’t many easily-accessible resources that reflect the beauty of Alaska’s land and Indigenous peoples. With a lack of resources that reflect students’ environments, it can be difficult for them to find identity in learning, which may lead to social and academic issues in the long run. My goal is to celebrate and represent every student in the educational resources I create. Continue reading ‘My Passion: Creating Educational Resources that Celebrate Alaska Native Culture and Language’ by Raquel Schroeder

Alaska’s Heart through Student Art Expands Its Reach in 2020

Alaska’s Heart through Student Art is an annual celebration of student expression that brings legislators, statewide educational leaders, students, teachers and artists together to celebrate the beauty, inspiration, and creativity of student artists across the state. The event is launched annually in the capital city of Juneau as statewide leaders gather for the legislative session.

More than 100 pieces of student art were meticulously packaged and shipped to the Alaska Council of School Administrators last winter and transported to the Andrew P. Kashevaroff State Museum. Carefully arranged and labeled in this beautifully appointed open gallery space in preparation for the March 2020 event that, as with so many other life events, became upended by the COVID-19 pandemic.

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‘The Importance of an Origin Story for our School’s Community’ by Arctic Light Elementary Principal Thad Keener

Arctic Light Elementary School is a K-8 public school in the Fairbanks North Star Borough School District. It is unique in that it is the only public school located on the Fort Wainwright Army U.S. Base. The school mascot is the Arctic Fox.

This year we are sharing our school mascot’s origin story. Arty the Arctic Fox is our mascot and, “Do Good Work, Be a Friend, Every Day” is our motto. With our students we have expanded these words and we were ready for this book to extend the learning. Continue reading ‘The Importance of an Origin Story for our School’s Community’ by Arctic Light Elementary Principal Thad Keener