The Alaska Arts Education Consortium (AAEC), is pleased to announce the Champions of the Arts for 2017. The AAEC Champions of Arts Award was created as a way to formally recognize and honor individuals or organizations from around the State of Alaska who “champion” the arts in education. AAEC believes these Champions carry the torch for arts education through high-caliber instruction, arts support, and ongoing arts promotion.

This award is a celebratory action, aimed at highlighting the positive impact of the arts on the lives of our children and youth. Champions are nominated by a member of their community, and submissions are reviewed by the AAEC board. This is an annual award, recognizing the efforts of these champions in teaching and supporting arts across the curriculum reflects the mission of AAEC, which is “to promote learning in and through the arts for all Alaska students.” AAEC thanks all those who nominated a Champion of the Arts and celebrates all the nominees for their work in support of Alaska’s children and youth.

The AAEC Champions of the Arts for 2016-2017 Are:

Robin Hopper, Anchorage | Arts Educator

Robin exudes compassion, care and love for her students. They spend their years loving and appreciating music and the ways it brings people together. She volunteers as a mentor, leading a cohort for music teachers and mentoring for 1st & 2nd year teachers.

She puts on a Barnyard Bash and families come out for an evening of sing-along songs and traditional dances. This event captures the hearts of students, inspires parents and community members alike, and promotes an unprecedented love for music.

Allison Little, Mat-su | Arts Educator

Allison created a class for students with special needs and students who are typically developing to form friendships through work on the arts.

Allison is a constant advocate for the arts within and beyond schools.  She is and will have a great impact on our community.


Debbie McIavey, Ketchikan | Arts Educator

Debbie is the Native Arts Teacher at Kayhi and has built a thriving program. She teaches students from Kayhi and Revilla, weaving, form line, beading. Debbie works with Tribal Youth and has done an amazing job bringing Native Arts to youth.

Debbie encouraged her class to submit art in our Youth Art Exhibit, we were able to see the amazing work her students do. The program often doesn’t get the support it needs and in the years she has had the program she has nurtured some very fine artists.


Alaska Robotics, Juneau | Arts Advocate

Alaska Robotics is run by Pat Race & Aaron Suring.  They bring professional writers and artists here and offer free workshops to students and adults. They partner with others to give students opportunities to produce work. They honor students by having a show one month out of the year. They sell Alaskan’s work.

This year will be their 2nd Juneau Mini Comic-Con. Guests visit classes and teach methods of creating comics and graphic novels. It’s free and valuable! As I am limited to 255 characters not words, PLEASE go to their website and be amazed at their generosity!  Photo on right is Clair Scott presenting award to Pat Race and Aaron Suring in October 2017.




Lori Hoover, Juneau | Arts Leader

The photo includes from left: Board of Education President Brian Holst, 2016 Alaska Teacher of the Year Amy Jo Meiners, Principal Lori Hoover, Board of Education Vice President Andi Story, Incoming Principal Nancy Pool and Board of Education member Steve Whitney.

Lori has been a fierce advocate of arts integration in education and has supported and helped to advance opportunities in arts integration training for teachers. Lori has pushed ahead with arts integration and made it part of the culture at Auke Bay.  Whether sharing or learning new knitting skills or marimba pieces, she brings art to life daily. She turned the focus of learning at AukeBay to arts integration in every aspect.

Lori demonstrates the power of art as a way to support students’ higher level thinking. Her abilities as a teacher and administrator have placed her in a position to have an impact on hundreds of students and the teachers who interact with them.  Hoover served years on the team to bring ArtsEd.Consort. to reality in Juneau with impacts throughout the state.




Complete information about the Champions is available on the AAEC website at The Contact the Alaska Arts Education Consortium Executive Director Barbara Short at (907) 322-6669 or by email at with any questions, or for information about Champions of the Arts for next year.