Phone: 907.793.3575 or Toll-free: 800.764.3382 |
ARTShops is a pilot program that was developed through a collaboration between The CIRI Foundation (TCF), the Alaska State Council on the Arts (ASCA), and the Alaska Arts and Culture Foundation.

Created in 2016, ARTShops support emerging Alaska Native arts leaders to develop their skills in advancing community-based arts programs in rural AlaskaEach year, pending funding availability, up to four ARTShops leaders are selected through an invited application process to design a tangible arts program in their home community. During the course of six-to-nine months the ARTShops leaders plan, develop and implement their project while receiving peer-to-peer support and mentoring from a cohort of ARTShops leaders, and team members from TCF and the ASCA. In addition to making art, ARTShops leaders explore the holistic understanding of art by examining connections between art making and family, language, and Alaska’s unique ecosystems.
ARTShops projects have taken place all across Alaska and have included the following leaders:


  • Merna Wharton in Anchorage: Womens’ Kameksak (skin boots)
  • Golga Oscar in Tununak: Yup’ik Regalia
  • Wilson Hoogendorn in Nome: Harpoon Making
  • Sonta Hamilton Roach in Shageluk: Deg Hit’an Carving Traditions


  • Raven Cunningham in Cordova: Traditional and Contemporary Skin Sewing with Marine Mammals
  • Diloola Erickson in Fairbanks/Kaltag: Fish Tanning Camp
  • Apay’uq Moore in Twin Hills: Yurarrcuutnek piliiyuggtua (I want to make dance fans)
  • Robert Mills in Juneau/Kake: Reviving Bentwood Boxes


  • Joni Edwardsen in Utqiagvik: Kamipiaq hard bottom crimping class
  • Amber Webb in Kasilof: Qaspeq sewing workshop
  • Marjorie Tahbone in Nome/Fairbanks: Iñupiaq kammak making workshop
  • Laresa Hope Syverson in Unalaska: Unangan fishskin boot workshop


  • Michelle Ravenmoon in Pope Vannoy: Fresh water seal parka making workshop
  • Rochelle Adams in Beaver/Fort Yukon: Fish wheel building, king salmon skin tanning/sewing
  • Bobby Itta in Utqiagvik: Seal skin processing techniques workshop
  • Benjamin Charles in Bethel: Mask carving workshop


  • Melissa Shaginoff in Chickaloon/Kenai/Anchorage: Museum research and 3D replication project
  • Marlene Nielsen in Kokhanok: Grass sewing workshop
  • Lily Hope inJuneau: Woven Chilkat faces and exhibition project
  • Mary Wheelerin Sitka: Sheldon Jackson “Alumni room” exhibition project


  • Teri Rofkar in Sitka: Four generations of spruce root weaving, harvesting and processing
  • Sven Haakanson in Old Harbor/Seattle/Kodiak: Kayak construction documentation
  • Anna Hoover in Naknek/Anchorage: Grass sewing workshop
  • Lena Berns in Old Harbor: Alutiiq cell phone making
Graduate ARTShops Program

In June of 2020, TCF expanded the ARTShops program to include a Graduate ARTShops opportunity through a partnership with the Alaska Native Heritage Center, the Alaska State Council on the Arts, the Alaska Arts and Culture Foundation. The 2020 Graduate ARTShops program was developed with the goals of supporting Alaska Native artists who have successfully completed an ARTShops project, and providing community arts programming to rural Alaska through virtual workshops during the COVID-19 pandemic.

2021 Graduate ARTShops

  • Rochelle Adams (Virtually): Beaded moose skin pendants
  • Melissa Shaginoff in Anchorage/Virtually: Caribou and moose hide work
  • Amber Webb in Dillingham/Aleknagik: Cauyaq (drum) making workshop 

2020 Graduate ARTShops

  • Marjorie Tahbone in Fairbanks: Video documentation of kammak making
  • Bobby Itta in Utqiagvik: Parka trim workshops via Zoom
  • Mary Goddard in Sitka: Copper jewelry apprenticeship
Want to recommend an ARTShops leader?

Please contact The CIRI Foundation if you know of an emerging arts leader in your community who you would recommend as a future potential ARTShops leader.

Recent Stories from ARTShop Participants