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Alaska - Out North Contemporary Art House
Serving as Alaska's VSA arts affiliate since 2002, Out North (ON) connects art, community, and change throughout the largest state in the union. Now entering its thirddecade, ON finds and shares cultural explorers whose ideas challenge and inspire; builds and operates creative space where all generations gather and learn; and champions, through the arts and humanities, people marginalized in our society.
Programming Partners and Other Funders:
Alaska Alliance for Arts Education; Alaska Center for the Performing Arts; Alaska Community Share; Alaska Native Medical Center; Alaska State Council on the Arts; ARC of Anchorage; Bezek Durst Seiser; Fairbanks Arts Association; Kodiak Arts Council; KYES-TV 5; McLaughlin Youth Center; Municipality of Anchorage;Museums Alaska; National Performance Network; Network of CulturalCenters of Color; Providence Alaska Medical Center; Storytellers Guild of Anchorage; UAA Center for Human Development; Western States Arts FederationEducational Programs and Teaching Artist Residencies
Educational Programs and Teaching Artist Residencies
Images of Youth
ON’s multi-disciplinary youth arts program serves students with learning disabilities and other at-risk students in grades 7-12. Professional artists guide adolescents in creative writing, performance, visual, and media arts to develop their talents, knowledge of contemporary art forms, social and academic skills, literacy, confidence, and self-esteem. Youth-devised projects give teens a public forum to express their aspirations and concerns through the arts.
Arts in Healthcare
Alaska artists work with pediatric patients and their families to engage them in arts activities that help them cope with illness and disability. This artist residency program provides children with opportunities to make decisions about their participation in the arts while they are in the hospital.
Professional Development and Technical Assistance
Cultural Worker Training
Artists provide professional training at workshops and teacher institutes to support the development of dynamic accessible arts programs in cities and remote rural settings.Teachers and community cultural workers learn how to effectively integrate the arts into the curriculum for special needs students in grades pre K-12, and to use art as a tool to teach other academic subjects and life skills.
Healthcare Artist Training
Professional artists receive specialized training to develop and improve their skills in working with children in healthcare settings. Experienced nurses observe the artists on their rounds and guide them in effectively serving children and their families with participatory activities.
Cultural Access and Inclusive Arts Services
Facility Access Program
With the goal of creating an environment where artists and audiences can participate fully regardless of age or ability, ON’s board, staff, artists, members, and local design professionals are investigating options for re-envisioning ON’s 10,000 square foot home. Now owned by ON, the former public library is evolving into a multi-arts facility with adaptable performance/screening space, gallery, classroom, media suite, and radio studio.
This project includes the development of an Open Caption Lab to add captioning to independent video created by Alaskans. Additionally, ON provides consultation to other organizations around the state considering community revitalization projects that will serve artists with disabilities.
Public Awareness and Outreach
ON commissions, develops, and presents work created and performed/ exhibited by Alaska, national, and international vocational and professional artists who experience disabilities.
In association with the Center for Human Development at the University of Alaska, Anchorage, ON co-curates and presents a showcase of media art by, for, and about people with disabilities. Narrative, experimental, and creative documentary videos are featured. A selection of media works are available for public screenings by community groups throughout Alaska.
Very Special Arts Festival
ON’s VSA arts program supports the annual spring arts festival and year-round activities for children with disabilities who live throughout Interior Alaska. Under the leadership of Fairbanks Arts Association, adult artists with and without disabilities offer arts experiences to special needs students through a wide variety of participatory visual arts, puppetry, dance, and music activities.