Juneau Arts & Humanities Council
The Juneau Arts and Humanities is located on the unceded territories of the Aak’w Kwaan on Tlingit Aani. It is profoundly grateful for their care and stewardship over these lands and waters since time immemorial, and is deeply committed to working with Indigenous Peoples toward lasting relationships that connect and engage with shared histories and values. These shores and waterways are deeply tied to the traditional culture and ways of life of the Tlingit and JAHC honors that heritage.
It offers this statement humbly and welcomes suggestions as it continues to grow in understanding.
Strategic Action Plan – Approved March 2022
The Juneau Arts and Humanities Council (JAHC), incorporated in 1973, is the official arts and humanities agency in the City and Borough of Juneau, Alaska (CBJ). JAHC operates the Juneau Arts and Culture Center (JACC) and Centennial Hall facilities under agreements with CBJ to foster a vibrant arts and cultural environment and enhance the local economy. This Strategic Plan communicates JAHC’s mission, core values, goals, strategies, and current actions in support of our mission and will receive future updates at intervals deemed appropriate by JAHC Board of Trustees.
The Juneau Arts & Humanities Council cultivates vibrant arts and cultural opportunities in our community and fosters a strong, prosperous, and inclusive environment where creativity and innovation thrive.
- Community: Champion a strong arts and humanities environment to entertain, educate, inspire, and enrich the community of Juneau.
- Equity: Cultivate and equitable and inclusive environment for visitors, staff, and board members of the organization.
- Stewardship: Encourage existing and new arts and humanities activities in the community.
Goals and Strategies
JAHC Board of Trustees and Executive Director have identified the following goals and strategies in support of our core values.
JAHC collaborates with local, regional, statewide, and national organizations to advance arts and humanities in Juneau and neighboring communities. Our partnering activities include:
- Serving as a central source of information about calls for art, opportunities in the arts, and available resources.
- Sharing knowledge of upcoming program and funding opportunities.
- Providing ticketing services for arts and cultural activities at JAHC facilities and elsewhere in the community.
- Recognizing significant contributors to Arts and Cultural community by hosting annual events such as the Kathy Kolkhorst Ruddy Awards for the Arts to acknowledge exceptional contributions to our community.
- Partnering with other arts and humanities organizations to bring distinctive artists to Juneau that might not otherwise be available to our community.
- Supporting local/regional arts and cultural organizations that seek access to facilities, public and private funding, publicity, knowledge sharing, and other activities.
JAHC works to maintain and foster inclusivity in our board, staff, and programs by recruiting board members and staff who represent a broad range of cultural groups and interests.
Acting in accordance with JAHC Statement on Racial Equity and working to achieve the goals outlined in the Diversity and Inclusion Task Force Final Report, JAHC will develop and grow its programming and services to meet the needs of all members of our community. It will actively, through careful reflection, conversation, and openness, make changes as needed to ensure that the organization is relevant and actively contributing to a just and equitable society.
JAHC presents and works with others to present meaningful arts and humanities programs and events for the community. Examples of current programming include:
- Wearable Arts – A biennial art, fashion and music show, presented in even numbered years, focusing on a different theme each production. Wearable Art engages local artists, serves as a significant fundraiser for JAHC, and has been enthusiastically received by the community over two decades.
- Rock Aak’w Festival – A biennial festival focusing on indigenous music and performances originating from around the world. The festival is presented in partnership with Central Council of the Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska (Tlingit & Haida) and first occurred in November 2021. Future Rock Aak’w Festivals are anticipated to occur on two-year rotations in odd numbered years to complement the Sealaska Heritage Association’s Celebration event which occurs in even numbered years.
- Gospel Celebration – In recent years JAHC has presented an annual Gospel workshop which has included a week-long Gospel workshop, and culminating in Gospel and Motown performances.
- Live music performances by local musicians including:
- Juneau Piano Series, Juneau Cabaret, Music on the Fly, Summer Block Parties
- Concerts presented by nationally and internationally recognized performers, often selected in collaboration with the Alaska State Presenters Consortium.
- Art Education and Development
JAHC provides a wide range of educational activities for students, artists, and fellow arts and humanities organizations by:
- Providing professional development and creative workshops for the community, either live at our facilities or remotely via a variety of electronic formats.
- Working with the Juneau School District (JSD) to provide a wide range of in-school and after-school arts and humanities activities.
- Working with the Alaska Housing Finance Corporation to facilitate the ArtShops afterschool art programs at the Cedar Park and Geneva Woods public housing complexes.
- Facilitating in-person and virtual professional development opportunities for artists as well as community members, such as its Technically Art workshops.
JAHC additionally supports and recognizes individual and group artists by:
- Raising and disbursing funds for artists and arts organizations to support art education and the creation of new art works performances.
- Providing exhibit and sales opportunities at the JACC and Centennial Hall galleries and coordinating with local businesses and others to host exhibits elsewhere in the community.
- Offering space and equipment rentals for artist performances, workshops, and related activities.
- Assisting CBJ
- Support for the Local Economy
JAHC’s presentation of arts and humanities events such as First Friday gallery openings, concerts, and additional presentations
- Facility Management and Improvement
JAHC operates the Juneau Arts and Culture Center (JACC) and CBJ’s Centennial Hall buildings to benefit the community.
The JACC is a former National Guard Armory building that has been operated by JAHC since 2007. The JACC includes a performance/auditorium, gallery, lobby, gift shop and offices for JAHC’s administrative staff. Common uses of the JACC include:
- An open lobby and gift shop area open throughout the week.
- Monthly art shows in the gallery.
- Concerts, shows, memorial services, weddings, and other public events.
- Additional space in support of large events at the neighboring Centennial Hall facility.
Operated by JAHC on behalf of CBJ, Centennial Hall is CBJ’s convention and event facility that hosts significant business and cultural events and is. Popular events at the facility include:
- Trade fairs and conventions that benefit the Juneau economic and cultural environment.
- The Alaska Folk Festival, an annual celebration bringing the music of Alaska, the Northwestern United States, and Canada to Juneau.
- Juneau Public Market, an annual holiday arts and crafts market which has been an important local tradition, and attraction, for many years, and
- Other events such as concerts, shows, memorial services, weddings that require a large meeting space.
The JACC and Centennial Hall buildings are both aging structures requiring significant upgrade or replacement to maximize their utility to the community and better attract business and cultural events to Juneau.
To that end, JAHC works with CBJ and community partners on the best solutions to make the facilities attractive, competitive, and functional at an affordable cost.