Ketchikan Basic Arts & Culture Institute:  Amplifying Stories through the Arts

Ketchikan High School, Ketchikan, Alaska
June 3 – June 14, 2019
8:30 — 5:00
4 Ed 590 graded credits available through UAS

2019-Ketchikan-Basic-Poster-1.pdf (245 downloads )

In this two-week summer intensive, participants will be immersed in integrating the art of storytelling into curriculum and instruction, with drama, music, movement/dance, traditional cultural arts, and media arts.
Teachers will leave the Institute with plans to integrate the arts and culture into their diverse curricula and classrooms.

  • Learn to integrate standards-based art & culture with your classroom curriculum & lessons
  • Work with and learn from Alaska Native artists & elders
  • Understand the impact of the arts on student performance, engagement, motivation, & brain activity
  • Experience the production, criticism and appreciation of a variety of art forms
  • Grow your personal knowledge & understanding of the value of the arts

Teacher-leaders are:

Edward Littlefield

Tlingit culture, music, movement

I am Tlingit from Sitka, Alaska and was raised in both the western and traditional cultures. Growing up I studied classical violin at the same time that I was singing and dancing in Tlingit dance groups. This helped me develop an awareness of the similarities and differences of the two cultures. This helped me be able to teach the values and traditions of the Tlingit people to people from various backgrounds. I am a professional musician and composer and in addition to studying and composing my own music I have spent the last 10 years working on new ways to incorporate traditional music and culture into the classroom. I have been a teacher leader at the Basic Arts institutes for four summers and I’ve been fine tuning my educational approach to cultural integration every summer.

Debbie Piper, Visual Arts

Educational Theory

Debbie has over thirty years of elementary classroom and visual arts teaching experience through which she has fine-tuned her teaching methods and pedagogy. Integrating art into all content areas with a focus on literacy is her passion. She has been the Visual Arts Leader for numerous Basic and Advanced Art Institutes and has taught classes in art integration for UAA, UAF and the Kenai Peninsula College. As teaching artist, she conducts Artist in the School Residencies through the Alaska State Council through the Arts Artist in Schools Program. In 2010 Debbie was presented the “Art Educator of the Year Award” by Homer Council on the Arts and in 2011 received a “BP Teacher of Excellence Award.”  Debbie has a Master’s degree in Art Integration,  an Art Endorsement on her Teaching Certificate, and a contagious joy of guiding students to construct deep meaning in and through the arts.

Gabrielle Vance

Media Arts/digital storytelling

Gabrielle Vance is a geologist, teaching artist, and cartoonist born and raised in Juneau. She uses stop motion animation to help students explore the intersection of art and science as collaborative creative endeavors. In addition to working as an educational designer at UAF and adjunct instructor at UAS, she has taught STEAM to students of all ages in classroom, after school, and museum settings. Gabrielle has a B.A. in Geology from Whitman College and an M.S. in Geology from the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

Also will include:

  • Ketchikan Native storytellers and artists
  • SERRC presenters on Multicultural Education, Gerry Briscoe and staff

The venue for the daily sessions will be Ketchikan High School. Participants coming from out of town can contact Barb Short at to find out if housing is available at the school.

There will be a required welcoming dinner/orientation on June 2, Sunday night.

Intended Audience:  Any educators

Sealaska Scholarships:

Sealaska Heritage is offering full registration scholarships to teachers from Ketchikan, Juneau and Yakutat.  Thus, Sealaska will pay the $500 registration fee for the first 20 to sign up and attend.  These scholarships cover only registration–no travel or housing, etc. . For those applying for the scholarship choose the scholarship registration and pay a $100 deposit to hold the spot and encourage attendance.  This deposit can be refunded up to 30 days in advance of the Institute (May 3rd) if there is a need to cancel.  The $100 deposit will be returned  to each participant once they attend the Institute.

Registration and fees:

All participants should register through the link below.   (If not attending please advise 1 month in advance or forfeit deposit.  Thank you.)

  • Member District Teachers not from Juneau, Ketchikan or Yakutat – $500
  • Non-member District Teachers – $600
  • Scholarship Teachers from Juneau, Ketchikan or Yakutat – $100 deposit
  • Ketchikan Basic Arts & Culture Institute
     June 3, 2019 - June 14, 2019
     8:00 am - 4:00 pm


Venue Phone: (907) 225-9815

Venue Website:

2610 4th Ave, Ketchikan, Alaska, 99901, United States

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