Kindling Conversation brings people together for short, thoughtful discussions on themes central to life in Alaska. A facilitator, chosen by your group, leads a conversation for 5-30 participants using the materials supplied by the Alaska Humanities Forum. The program toolkit contains a short text focused on a hot topic or occasion in Alaska (our inaugural Kindling Conversation topic is "Homelessness"), a discussion guide, a promotional kit, participant surveys, and a media release (for photographs taken during the conversation). 


Anyone may host a Community Conversation. Individuals, tax-exempt organizations, and schools in Alaska are eligible to receive a $200 micro-grant to help defray the cost of hosting the program. You receive the funds after hosting the event and submitting participant surveys and final reports. 

If you have questions about finding a facilitator for your conversation, please contact the grants office at You can also schedule a phone call here.


Kindling Conversation gatherings may be scheduled at any time of the year. Applications must be submitted at least 3 weeks prior to a scheduled event. 

Kindling Conversation Micro-grant recipients must host their community conversation within 3 months of receiving notification of acceptance.


In order to be eligible for the $200 Micro-grant, the community conversation must be at least an hour long and have at least five participants apart from the facilitator/host. The organization must acknowledge the Alaska Humanities Forum in event promotion and during the event itself. Finally, the organization must submit a final report within 3 weeks of the completion of the conversation. This final report includes attendance information, evaluation surveys to be completed by conversation participants, and a brief (<500 word) reflection by the facilitator. Photographs are recommended but not required. 


The Kindling Conversations Micro-grant is an unrestricted stipend to defray the cost of promoting, hosting, and facilitating the event. The Micro-grant recipient may choose to use the grant to cover food, advertising, printing, facilitation, or facilities fees. 


At this time, we are offering only one Micro-grant per organization or individual. Micro-grant recipients may contact the grants office if they wish to host additional conversations after submitting their final report to see if there are funds available for additional sessions.

Please email with questions. 

Thank you for your interest in Leadership Anchorage 23. To begin your application, please complete this form.  Deadline for submission is September 6, 2019

Please note that along with this form Leadership Anchorage requires two current letters of reference, including at least one letter from a specific community group where you are or have been involved (e.g., community council, religious or educational group, tribal group or organization, Arts Council, Filipino Community of Anchorage, etc.).  Please do not include letters of recommendation from relatives and only one letter from your employer or workplace.


Contact Jennifer Gibbins
Director of Leadership Programs
(907) 770-8401 or

You don't need to be an expert, a professor, or a professional to make an impact on the cultural life of Alaska. If you cherish the richness that history, literature, and lifelong learning have added to your life and feel moved to help create an Alaska where the humanities inspire citizens to engage with ideas and one another, you can make a difference.

The Alaska Humanities Forum seeks active change-makers and community leaders, listeners and storytellers, fund raisers and friend raisers from across the state to join its board of directors. Board members can offer diverse perspectives, but are all committed to encouraging dialogue and sharing the stories that move us and make us Alaskans.

The board sets the Alaska Humanities Forum's policy and direction, and board members raise funds and strengthen the organization's statewide network of partners. The board meets quarterly (with additional committee work conducted via conference call or in person), and members serve a three-year term with the possibility of reelection to a second term.

To nominate a board member, please fill out the form here. Self-nominations are accepted. 

Once elected, Board Members are expected to:


  • Determine, understand, and support the organization’s mission.
  • Be knowledgeable about the organization’s major programs.
  • Convene and participate in long range visioning and strategic planning to ensure the organization’s future ability to carry out its mission.


  • Establish fiscal policy and boundaries, including budgets and financial controls.
  • Make a meaningful annual gift commensurate with personal ability.
  • Assist in fundraising by, for example, identifying prospective donors, personally asking others to make a contribution, signing thank you notes, or making thank you phone calls to contributors.


  • Set policies for the organization’s operation and guide its general course from year to year.
  • Select, evaluate and, if necessary, terminate the appointment of the chief executive.
  • Ensure that the provisions of the organization’s charter and the law are being followed.
  • Attend meetings in person or via teleconference.
  • Serve on at least one committee of the board.
  • Recommend qualified individuals with relevant skills and experience as possible nominees for the board.

Important as it is to understand what the duties of directors include, it is equally important to understand what they do not include.

Directors should not:

  • Engage in the day-to-day operation of the organization.
  • Hire staff other than the chief executive.
  • Make detailed programmatic decisions more appropriately left to staff.
Please be sure to inform the candidate that the selection process involves several stages and is affected by a number of factors that do not in any way reflect on the quality of his or her candidacy. These qualifying factors vary from year to year, and candidates who are not selected for this year’s slate may be invited to remain in the pool for future consideration.

The Alaska State Council on the Arts (ASCA), the Alaska Arts and Culture Foundation (AACF) and the Alaska Humanities Forum (AKHF) are pleased to announce that nominations are now open for the 2020 Governor’s Awards for the Arts and Humanities. The deadline for nominations is September 3, 2019.

The awards for Distinguished Service to the Humanities are presented by the Alaska Humanities Forum (AKHF) to recognize those Alaska individuals and/or organizations whose efforts have contributed to telling the stories of our past, present, and future, and whose work has helped build a more culturally diverse, economically vibrant, and equitable Alaska where people are engaged, informed, and connected. These awards honor the well-established -- as well as the lesser known -- that have stepped up and made an impact in our communities and our state. Eligibility is open to any individual, organization or institution that has made a significant contribution to the arts and humanities in Alaska, with the exception of current AKHF Board members, staff, or prior Award recipients. A list of prior awardees can be found here. For questions, please contact Nancy Hemsath, 

2020 Humanities Award Categories

  • Education: This award recognizes an Alaska individual or organization that has helped strengthen communities by contributing to a better understanding of the world, one another, and the human experience. 
  • Leadership: This award recognizes an Alaska individual or organization that has helped strengthen communities through their commitment to improve Alaska's social, economic, and civic life.    
  • Community: This award recognizes an Alaska individual or organization that has helped strengthen communities by forging connections between people across, race, class, and cultural divides. 

Each year, these awards are offered by the Alaska State Council on the Arts (ASCA). Eligibility is open to any individual, organization, or institution that has made a significant contribution to the arts in Alaska, with the exception of current ASCA Council members, staff, or prior Award recipients. A list of prior awardees can be found here. For questions, please contact Keren Lowell, 

2020 Arts Award Categories

  • Margaret Nick Cooke Award for Native Arts and Languages: Awarded to an individual or organization whose work furthers traditional Alaska Native language or culture.
  • Business Leadership: Awarded to a business whose fiscal generosity and participation has made a substantial impact on the arts in Alaska; a business that has used the arts to propel its success; programs that engage employees with creativity and other community activities that support arts and business partnerships; a business dedicated to promoting the arts through administrative and professional efforts.       
  • Individual Artist: Awarded based on artistic leadership, distinction, and merit; recognition of artistic contribution to the state or community through previous honors and awards, reviews or articles; longevity of impact to state or community.

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Documents to review before applying: 

 Documents to review during your application: :

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the grants office at Due to an overwhelming number of requests, we ask that you schedule phone calls or meetings to discuss the grant application ahead of time. These can be requested at

For technical assistance with Submittable, please contact Submittable support

The Alaska Humanities Forum