Anchorage, AK – The largest slate of grant awards in Rasmuson Foundation’s 66-year history will support Alaska projects from Kotzebue to Ketchikan, promoting economic development, recreational opportunities, educational programs for children and more.
Awards will improve local parks and help local museums grow their collections. Two new Head Start preschools — one in Shishmaref, another in Knik-Fairview — will be built, in addition to three new public use cabins, all in different areas of the state. In Anchorage, the Alaska Black Caucus will receive support to establish its headquarters.
At its November meeting, the Foundation board committed more than $15 million for 29 awards. Projects include $3 million to continue and expand the Foundation’s Camps Initiative, a pilot program started by the Foundation in 2019 to ensure youth had access to educational, recreational, faith-based and cultural camps. Partners included The Alaska Community Foundation, the State of Alaska and the Municipality of Anchorage. In 2021, camps-related grants were made to 36 different communities with more than 12,000 kids impacted.
“We have the great privilege to partner with Alaska nonprofits as they take on some of the most pressing challenges. They forge ahead, even in times of great uncertainty. Their Alaska spirit is unwavering,” board Chair Adam Gibbons said.
With a $450,000 award, Alaska Children’s Trust will create a statewide budget and policy center, establishing an Alaska chapter in a network of 42 state-level research and policy organizations. An Anchorage nonprofit, Gamers Sports Travel, will receive $350,000 to help build an indoor baseball and softball center in Mountain View that will serve more than 200 youth a year. After a devastating fire destroyed the Triumvirate Theatre on the Kenai Peninsula, the Alaska Children’s Institute for the Performing Arts will rebuild with the help of a $1 million award.
The Foundation’s largest commitment will benefit the Alutiiq Heritage Foundation to renovate and expand the Alutiiq Museum and Archaeological Repository in Kodiak. Multiple funding sources kicked this long-awaited expansion into high gear, with contributions from regional entities Kodiak Area Native Association, Koniag Inc., and a large bequest from a former Kodiak resident and anthropologist. Additionally, the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Trust awarded $8 million to the museum in October.
About the Foundation
Rasmuson Foundation aims to promote a better life for all Alaskans. Main funding areas are homelessness, health care, the arts, organizational and community development and human services including projects to address domestic violence, child abuse and services for seniors and people with disabilities. The Foundation was created in 1955 by Jenny Rasmuson to honor her late husband E.A. Rasmuson.