Alaska State Council on the Arts closing its doors

Citizens write messages in chalk outside of the Alaska State Council on the Arts in Anchorage.
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ANCHORAGE (KTUU) - Dozens of artists and citizens gathered outside of the Alaska State Council on the Arts to say farewell to the organization as it officially closed its doors today after the governor's vetoes cut $2.8 million in funding for the program in June.

Citizens painted messages in chalk on the sidewalk and musicians sang songs to the crowd at the ceremony on Monday evening.

Executive Director Andrea Noble-Pelant wrote to KTUU that "we have done everything possible to prevent this situation that will forever change our state," and that restoring funding to the program "is now in the hands of our elected officials through your voices and stories."

The council was given a two-week notice that it had to close after the governor's vetoes across a variety of state programs.

Among the programs administered by the council is the Alaska Contemporary Art Bank Loan Program, which loans out artwork to state agencies. All of the art that was loaned out is supposed to be returned "in the coming days pending a complete office shutdown."

It is currently unclear whether that artwork will be returned by the deadline.

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