Rasmuson Foundation nominees were among the winners of this year's Governor's Awards in the Arts and Humanities. All Alaskans should be thrilled by the breadth, depth and caliber of the artists and scholars in our state.

Eowyn Ivey receives her award

Eowyn Ivey receives her award.

Rasmuson Foundation often works to ensure proper recognition of Alaska’s nonprofits, artists and leaders who are making good things happen in our state. With this in mind, we are happy to share that our nominations for the 2014 Governor’s Awards for the Arts and Humanities, Willie Hensley and Eowyn Ivey, are among the nine recipients.

William “Willie” Iggiagruk Hensley of Anchorage, former state senator, author, and activist received a 2014 Governor’s Award for the Humanities. Hensley, Inupiaq from Kotzebue, is currently a distinguished visiting professor at University of Alaska Anchorage.

Novelist Eowyn Ivey of Palmer is the recipient of the Individual Artist Governor’s Award. Her first novel, “The Snow Child,” was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Fiction. In 2011 a Rasmuson Foundation Individual Artist Award helped to support research for her new book.

Two additional awardees were past recipients of awards from the Foundation. Artist and educator Ronald Senungetuk of Homer received the Governor’s Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Arts and Humanities. In 2008, he was selected for the Rasmuson Foundation Distinguished Artist Award. Also honored is Eva Saulitis, an essayist and poet from Homer, who received a 2014 Governor’s Award for the Humanities. In 2006, she won a Rasmuson Foundation Project grant award.

Other Alaskans honored were:

Governor’s Awards for the Humanities:

• Aaron Leggett, Special Exhibits Curator, Anchorage Museum, Anchorage

• Patricia Ann Relay, Executive Director, Valdez Museum & Historical Archive, Valdez

Governor’s Awards for the Arts:

• Arts Advocacy Award: Cam Bohman, Music Coordinator, Alaska School Activities Association, Anchorage

• Margaret Nick Cooke Award for Alaska Native Arts and Languages: Martha Galila, Artist and Educator, Goodnews Bay

• Business Leadership Award: Darl Schaaff, Company Partner/Owner, Art Services North, Anchorage

The Governor’s Awards recognize individuals who inspire others through their outstanding contributions to shaping the story of Alaska. The awards are a joint effort of the Alaska Humanities Forum and Alaska State Council on the Arts.

Our congratulations to all nine Alaskans honored. A reception and awards ceremony was held Jan. 30 at the Alaska State Museum in Juneau.