The Alaska Humanities Forum is leading an initiative to identify the “humanities sector” in our state. The goals of this effort are to:

  • Improve communication and collaboration among the diverse organizations at work in the humanities;
  • Illuminate their common challenges and opportunities;
  • Raise awareness of their civic, cultural, and economic impact.

The humanities are how we share stories, ideas, and experiences.

What is a “humanities organization?” The Forum answers this
question inclusively: a humanities organization connects Alaskans through stories, ideas, and experiences that positively change lives and strengthen communities. They include cultural and tribal organizations; museums; performing artists; libraries and archives; media; historical societies; publishers; arts and crafts groups; educational institutions; and more. The work they do seeks to bring communities together for meaningful encounters.

The Forum’s effort to increase visibility of these organizations, and to promote exchange among them, is a large-scale, statewide application of the humanities’ power to bring people and institutions together.

The survey

Identifying the humanities ecosystem in Alaska will help constituent organizations find each other, build partnerships, and speak with a collective voice to the wider community. To these ends, the Alaska Humanities Forum commissioned this report. The report identified 450 organizations doing work informed by the humanities. From these, an accessible, online directory of 288 organizations (so far) has been developed. Finally, 89 participants responded to a survey with detailed information about their organizations and challenges.

The survey was performed in 2021 by the McKinley Research Group. Most data pertain to 2020. For topics where the effects of the Covid pandemic are particularly acute, comparable data for 2019 was also solicited.

AKHF: Celebrating 50 Years!

The Alaska Humanities Forum is a non-profit, non-partisan organization that designs and facilitates experiences to bridge distance and difference – programming that shares and preserves the stories of people and places across our vast state, and explores what it means to be Alaskan.

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