Chilkat Valley News - Serving Haines and Klukwan, Alaska since 1966

Local art projects finalist for funding


A proposal for new, walking-tour signage in Fort Seward and 25 professionally designed store windows in Haines is a finalist for grants to be awarded by a national organization.

The Haines-based Alaska Arts Confluence is among 97 applicants whose projects are finalists for funding from ArtPlace America, described as a “collaboration of leading national and regional foundations committed to accelerating creative placemaking” by “reinventing downtowns and neighborhoods.”

The organization has made $42 million in grants since 2011. It received 1,270 letters of inquiry for its recent round of grant requests. Awards will be made in June.

Alaska Arts Confluence last fall built art-box displays in 13 windows of Howsers grocery store.

Confluence board president Carol Tuynman said the local group would be seeking a “substantial” amount of money for its upcoming work, including some seed money for a totem pole project at Soboleff McRae Veterans Village.

Most of the money will be dedicated to the Fort Seward walking tour signs that replace weathered ones there that are more than 20 years old.

Tuynman said as restoring the Fort’s remaining barracks building as an arts center is among her group’s goals, improving signage there might help toward leveraging funding for restoring the building.

Downtown, Tuynman has identified as many as 50 windows, including in closed buildings, that would be potential candidates for “different kinds of art and different kinds of displays.” She envisions windows dedicated to the Southeast Alaska State Fair, or for art made from recycled materials created by Haines Friends of Recycling. “I’d like it to be a community project.”

She’s targeting windows downtown, not just ones on Main Street, she said. If an art-window display has to come down because a building has become occupied, so much the better, Tuynman said. “That’s great. That’s the purpose of it, to have downtown revitalized.”

In a press release, ArtPlace America said that in finalist projects “the arts will play an explicit and intentional role as part of strategies to help shape their communities’ social, physical, and economic futures.”


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