Happy Autumn friends, colleagues, and supporters of the Alaska Native Arts Foundation (ANAF)! 

Clare to Clare Group Photo
Clare to Clare Fashion Show with Inupiat parky designer, Sheila Ezelle

As we enter into the final quarter of the year, I would like to take this opportunity to reflect on our achievements over the recent year--one that saw many successes and new beginnings for the Foundation. 

The first half of the year, with help from Design Grace and Design PT, ANAF kicked off its rebranding efforts and adopted a new logo while reinventing its website (www.alaskanativearts.org).  ANAF staff also worked closely with six MBA students and their Project Faculty member from the University of Pennsylvania Wharton Business School on a detailed three year strategic marketing and implementation plan through the Global Consulting Practicum (GCP). The GCP team, along with ANAF staff, traveled to Tikigaq (Point Hope) the first week of January. Shelia Ezelle, Inupiat Parka maker and ANAF artist, generously loaned the Penn visitors parkas from her personal collection--Quyanna Shelia! While in Tikigaq, we met with leaders and artists who spoke of their Inupiat culture and community, addressed economic challenges and articulated the importance of Inupiat art as a means of economic development and its role in the perpetuation of heritage. Ilighanamik Kagmatoik and Ungasiksigaq for welcoming us into your community and for your generous hospitality. 

Jonella, Joy, Jaclynn
Joy Harjo and Jaclyn Sallee, president of Koahnic Broadcast Corporation visit ANAF

In May, I traveled to Philadelphia for the final Wharton presentation. Upon my return, ANAF began to implement the invaluable recommendations from branding to developing a donor base and corporate sponsorship program, improving customer relation management as well as website usability. Thank you Tracy Foster for writing and submitting the GCP proposal on behalf of ANAF and igamsiqanahalik Milagros, Brandon, Amy, Rashmi, Lynn, Chris and Rip for all of your work. 

Echappees Belles Interview
Echappees Belles Television from France interviews Jonella about Alaska Native cultures and art

In June, we featured artwork from the Northern and Northwestern coastal communities at the Arctic Imperative Summit held in Girdwood and participated (for the second year), in the Clare to Clare Fashion Show featuring parkas from the Traditions Collection, made by Sheila Ezelle (Inupiat). In August, we sponsored a stone carving workshop entitled, Expand Your Vision: Cultural Expression Through Stone, taught by master carvers Lawrence "Larry" Ahvakana (Inupiat) and his colleague from New Mexico, Instructor Patrick Stone. Expand Your Vision was the first workshop of its kind spearheaded by ANAF held in partnership with the Alaska Native Heritage Center with funds from the State of Alaska Department of Commerce, Community and Economic Development (DCCED). Please remember to come by the ANAF Gallery this month to see the inspiring work of the participants and instructors. 

The last year, ANAF spent a great deal of time reflecting on its role of how it serves the needs of our artists and communities. We will continue to move forward to work as a venue that provides opportunities that will help empower the over 1,100 Alaska Native artists registered with the organization.  If you are interested in showing your work at ANAF or learning about the programs we have available, please contact us at info@alskanativearts.org and we'll be sure to send you exhibit information.  I invite you to join us in building on the momentum and success as we approach the final quarter of 2011 and begin to welcome 2012.   


Jonella Larson White