New Pathways | Alaska - Capital Grant Support awarded

May 4, 2017 - FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 
Contact: Louise Brooks, EmcArts: (212) 362.8541, LBrooks@EmcArts.org

Four Alaskan Arts Organizations Awarded $227,595 
in New Pathways Capital Grant Support
 Awardees will scale up innovative prototypes developed through the New Pathways | Alaska program
The Anchorage Concert Association, Perseverance Theatre, the Alutiiq Museum, and the Island Institute have been awarded Capital Grant funding through New Pathways | Alaska, a multi-phase program aimed at fostering innovation and adaptive change in the Alaskan arts and culture field. New Pathways | Alaska is presented through a partnership between the Foraker Group and EmcArts, and funded by Rasmuson Foundation.

Beginning with an initial cohort of 11 organizations, New Pathways | Alaska offered workshops and on-site coaching alongside micro-grants of $750 per organization to fund “small experiments with radical intent” that advance an experimental mindset in response to the uncovering of complex challenges.  During Incubating Innovation (phase 2 of the program), The Anchorage Concert Association, Perseverance Theatre, the Alutiiq Museum, and the Island Institute each assembled an Innovation Team to test and learn from larger, more formal experiments towards promising strategic directions.  Each team's work was supported by $20,000 in "prototyping capital."

In the third and current phase of the program, the Incubating Innovation “graduates” have now been awarded larger capital grants to support further development and/or expansion of emerging strategies. These organizations are moving toward sustainable new initiatives based on well-tested innovations that show evidence of new levels of community impact.

Anchorage Concert Association, awarded $50,000.
The Anchorage Concert Association will facilitate and develop Civic Practice-based projects with artists and community partners.  Supported by a new part-time staff position, ACA aims to facilitate a process where community partners and artists can address community concerns together.  Through this work, ACA believes they can move beyond the walls of the Performing Arts Center, impact more people, and transform the Anchorage community through the power of the arts.

Perseverance Theatre, awarded $75,000.
Perseverance Theatre will continue exploring and developing artist-driven audience engagement opportunities within and around its mainstage season offerings, primarily in Anchorage. Perseverance Theatre produces writers from traditionally underrepresented communities with the support of other theatre artists who identify as underrepresented; new audience development will focus on connecting these artists with new audiences in Anchorage’s diverse populations. The creation of a Community Engagement Coordinator staff position in Anchorage will enable Perseverance Theatre to do this work.

The Alutiiq Museum, awarded $52,595.
The Alutiiq Museum will expand a Date Night program which they prototyped through Incubating Innovation. They will test the event off-site, involve culture bearers from other communities, and experiment with pricing and advertising.  The Alutiiq Museum will also augment their gallery assistant position in order to accommodate the increased scale of work. A more robust Date Night program has strong potential to help the Alutiiq Museum engage a broader, more diverse audience and build enduring support for their programs.

The Island Institute, awarded $50,000.
The Island Institute will hire a program associate to focus on organizational and civic storytelling. The program associate will contribute actively to emergent programs (Tidelines Journey and Tidelines Radio), and will help to guide the organization in directions which will engage themes of regional interest and importance, while also creating connections between their youth and adult programs, building and deepening their constituency. Alaska Native applicants will receive preference and ultimately, the program associate will enable the Island Institute to honor local knowledge while also sharing the work of talented artists and thinkers from around the world.

Richard Evans, President of EmcArts, comments: “EmcArts’ New Pathways programs provide a timely response to the rapid and unprecedented change in the operating environment for the arts. Now, more than ever, adaptive change – not just tweaking business-as-usual – is essential if organizations are to remain relevant and thrive in this new era. Financial support for adaptive work is most important when a significant emerging strategy is beginning to show traction and needs to be repeatedly rehearsed in preparation for scaling.  Lack of investment at this critical stage has in the past forced arts organizations to monetize their innovations too quickly, typically reducing their originality in the search for rapidly produced income.  We applaud the Rasmuson Foundation for granting EmcArts funds for us to invest as Innovation Capital to support the growth of these four innovations and their integration into the mainstream of each organization’s business.”