State of Alaska > Department of Education & Early Development > Alaska
State Council on the Arts > About Us
The Alaska State Council on the Arts is a state agency that fosters
the development of the arts for all Alaskans through education, partnerships,
grants and services.
The impetus for creating the Alaska State Council on the Arts came
from Washington, DC, where Congress, recognizing the need to encourage
and communication through the performing, visual, and literary arts,
established the National Foundation on the Arts and Humanities.
The new law called for Federal assistance to arts agencies in all 50
states. For those states that had not yet formed an arts council (of
which Alaska was one), a one-time-only grant of $25,000 was made available
to organize an agency and conduct a survey of all existing facilities,
organizations, and individuals engaging in the arts within the state.
The Alaska Legislature formed ASCA in 1966 "to ensure that
the role for the arts in the life of our communities will continue
and will play an ever more significant part in the welfare and educational
experience of our citizens."
The eleven member council is a volunteer body appointed by the Governor
to guide the development of the arts throughout the state. ASCA members
set policy and serve on panels that review grants to arts programs. The
Council's professional staff provides technical assistance and services
to artists, arts organizations and arts supporters in Alaska.
Funds for ASCA programs and services are provided by the Alaska State
Legislature, the National Endowment for the Arts and private donations.
Since its inception, the Council's budget has ranged from $5.5 million
to $900,000. It has provided over 4,000 grants totaling more than $42
million to organization and individuals in nearly every community in