Fairbanks Arts Association Annual Report for FY-2017 (July 1, 2016-June 30, 2017)

Message from the Director

Screen Shot 2017-11-17 at 8.51.17 AMFY-17 has been an incredible year with major accomplishments and some challenges too. In addition to our regular schedule of programming, Fairbanks Arts managed two large projects: Americans for the Arts’ Arts & Economic Prosperity 5 Study gauging the impact of the arts and culture industry on local economies and bringing the play Our Voices Will Be Heard to Fairbanks during the 50th Alaska Federation of Natives convention. Completion of both projects marked significant accomplishments for the organization.

Other accomplishments this year include:

  • 50th Anniversary Exhibition and Fundraiser Gala
  • Adoption of digital platforms for certain processes in order to streamline the efforts of Fairbanks Arts staff while creating a user-friendly experience for our members.
  • Entering a partnership with Alaska Center for the Book of Anchorage with Fairbanks Arts assuming responsibility as lead organization for the 2017-18 Alaska Reads program.
  • Creation of an ENDOWMENT FUND for Fairbanks Arts Association through Alaska Community Foundation – many thanks to the donors who made establishment of this fund possible!

And then, the challenge… Sometimes challenges are opportunities in disguise, and the main challenge of FY-17, capacity, presented just that. With changes in staff on top of managing special projects, capacity was a recurring challenge over this past year. We appreciate the opportunity to take a close look at our programs and capacity as a staff and will continue to make small adjustments as an organization that help us best serve our community.

So much happens in a year, and we couldn’t do any of it without our board, staff, members, donors, and volunteers. Through the joint efforts of this teamwork, I am pleased to share that in FY-17, 1,351 artists were involved with programs and events that reached 59,259 individuals, a number that includes 13,801 students.


History & Mission

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Incorporated in 1966, Fairbanks Arts Association is the oldest community arts council in the state and is the official arts organization for both the Fairbanks North Star Borough and the City of Fairbanks. Through the mission to promote excellence in contemporary and traditional Alaskan arts in Alaska’s Interior, Fairbanks Arts Association assumes a leadership role for the arts and their related activities – and if we can’t help, we find a person or organization that can. Fairbanks Arts partners with the community in the shared interest of driving the arts forward, and hundreds of volunteer hours are dedicated to serving on community advisory committees that help steer the course of Fairbanks Arts programming.Screen Shot 2017-11-15 at 4.26.01 PM



FY-17 Management & Governance

 Staff FY17

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FY-17 Programs

Programs are a core facet of Fairbanks Arts Association’s outreach efforts and allow us to fulfill our mission of promoting traditional and contemporary arts in Alaska’s Interior. While programs are not the only area that we spend our energies, they allow us to share the talents of our community and engage the public in an important way. Here is a snapshot of our programs over the past year.


Visual Arts 

Fairbanks Arts Association (FAA) hosted monthly exhibitions in the Bear Gallery including solo, group, traveling, open entry, and juried shows. In addition to FY-17 featuring seven solo exhibitions and annual favorites such as the Up With Art student show, Rarefied Light, and 64th Parallel, the year offered some new exhibitions.

FY17 saw our first Members show, offering an opportunity to feature work by our supporters.

In May, FAA & Pioneer Park held a joint exhibit featuring the two groups’ 50th anniversaries (FAA in 1966 and Pioneer Park in 1967) featuring memorabilia from FAA, Wickersham House, Pioneers of Alaska, Friends of Tanana Valley Railroad, and Tanana Yukon Historical Society.

FAA has traditionally held three annual juried exhibitions: Patterns of Influence (themed), Interior Artisans and 64th Parallel. In FY-17, FAA’s Visual Arts Committee consolidated the two spring shows into one annual juried spring show with a theme to be voted in by the public. Our first Spring Juried show had the theme of “Convergence” and was juried by Joel Isaak.

Our Gift shop featured 100+ local artists year-round with different featured gift shop and Watercolor Corner (curated by Fairbanks Watercolor Society) artists each month.

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Gift Shop & Watercolor Corner Artists Featured Monthly

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Literary Arts

Over FY-17, Fairbanks Arts held monthly literary readings and a writer’s retreat with guest instructor, Jean Anderson. FAA also partnered with 49 writers to host additional workshops. We look forward to continuing our new partnership with this statewide organization in order to offer more professional development opportunities to area writers.

Monthly craft essays called ‘Notes on a Writer’s Craft’ by former State Writer Laureate, Frank Soos, were written for FAA’s monthly e-newsletter and subsequently featured in 49 Writers newsletters. If you missed Frank’s essays, you can still check them out on our website.

FAA entered an agreement with Alaska Center for the Book out of Anchorage to take on administrative responsibility for the Alaska Reads statewide reading initiative beginning in the fall of 2017 in an effort to expand its reach as a statewide program during the second year. Learn more about Alaska Reads.

FAA hosted our 23rd Annual Statewide Poetry Contest with Jeremy Pataky as the 2017 judge and partnered with local radio station, KUAC, to air first place contest winners and interview with Jeremy Pataky

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Performing Arts

Summer programming saw a successful season of Gazebo Nights (nightly free performances in Pioneer Park) and T.I.P.S (Totally Impromptu Performance Series), a permit-based busking program for local performers.

In July, FAA partnered with UAF Concert Board to present a concert with singer/
songwriter Laura Gibson of Portland in the Pioneer Park Theater.

In partnership with Perseverance Theatre, FAA presented three staged readings of Our Voices Will Be Heard by Vera Starbard in Fairbanks during the 50th AFN Convention as well as a Healing Through Storytelling workshop. This project also included recording the actors at the KUAC studios for a radio version of the play, to be distributed over Native Voice One in 2018.

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Arts in Education

Fairbanks Arts offered 30 weeks of residency through the Artists in Schools program with support from Alaska State Council on the Arts and the Fairbanks North Star Borough School District. 
School performances were offered for district students through the Fairbanks Arts & Cultural Education partnership – a partnership among FAA, educators, and local presenting organizations. Thousands of students attended outstanding performances presented by Fairbanks Concert Association, Fairbanks Drama Association, Fairbanks Symphony Orchestra, and more. 

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FY-17 Events included FAA’s annual Legislative Forum, the 2nd Arti Gras Fundraiser, the annual Parka Parade event in conjunction with the Open North American Championship, and a special 50th Anniversary Gala fundraiser. In May, FAA held our Golden Anniversary Celebration, which brought together local artists, performers, and members to celebrate FAA’s long history in Interior Alaska – the event featured performances by local artists and guests enjoyed a lively auction.

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Fairbanks Arts 11x17 GALA Poster







Many thanks to our 50th Anniversary year Sponsors

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Fairbanks Arts Association thanks all of our FY-17 donors, members, and volunteers. Thank you for making wonderful things happen for our community through your support of Fairbanks Arts Association.

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