Alaska’s state arts council: Coming back from the shutdown

When Gov. Mike Dunleavy signed the state budget on April 7, it included funding vetoes for the university system, ferry service, Medicaid, school bond reimbursement and public radio.

But unlike last year, the governor did not veto funding for the Alaska State Council on the Arts. Essentially, at least for now, the arts council is back.

In this edition of Hometown Alaska, we’ll review how the July shutdown happened, how that action was reversed in August, and how the whole experience redirected the council’s work once it labored to re-open its doors.

But of course, there is one more wrinkle. Now, there is COVID-19.

Council leaders experience these recent crises as coming in waves. First came the November 2018 earthquake. Then came the 2019 fiscal shutdown. And just as the agency emerged from that, the global COVID-19 crisis arrived.

How are they helping artists and arts organizations now? What did they learn from past crises that informs their actions going forward? Where do they find resilience?

Please visit links below to refresh your memory of last summer’s budget news, as well as the scope of the arts council’s mission. As always, questions and comments are welcome throughout the program. Join us!

HOST: Kathleen McCoy


  • Andrea Noble, executive director, Alaska State Council on the Arts
  • Benjamin Brown, council chair since 2007, Alaska State Council on the Arts



  • Call 550-8433 (Anchorage) or 1-888-353-5752 (statewide) during the live broadcast (2:00 – 3:00pm)
  • Send e-mail to before, during or after the live broadcast (e-mails may be read on air)
  • Post your comment or question below (comments may be read on air
  • LIVE: Monday, April 13, 2020 at 2:00 p.m
  • RE-AIR: Monday, April 13, 2020 at 8:00 p.m.

Previous articleAlaska’s request for medical supplies from the feds fell short, now it’s on the hunt for more as COVID-19 cases grow
Next articleWhy does a barrel of Alaska oil cost less than a pizza?