Rural Arts Initiative was a new endeavor of AAEC with a plan to recruit 5 rural Alaskan districts to join us and work together to expand arts and cultural arts in their schools and communities.

The overarching goal of the Rural Arts Initiative (RAI) is to expand arts access, equity and quality for Alaskan rural students by increasing the competence and confidence of educators to more fully integrate the arts.

Goals for the Rural Arts Initiative in Alaska
•Build and support district educators and community partners to be leaders and advocates for increased arts
learning for all students in each district
•Develop a multi-year, multi-dimensional Arts Action Plan with each district
•Co-Sponsor place-based and culture-based professional development in the arts suited to the needs and
interests of each district
•Nurture other local/regional partners to be active supporters and resources in project activities

The first step was to identify 5 districts and those that signed up are below.
Alaska Gateway
Lower Kuskokwim
Lower Yukon

The next step was to hire an RAI Coordinator and we were very lucky to find Maite Agopian who was well-qualified and looking for a little more work! S

In January 2023, we convened the first meeting of the entire cohort. We met in the conference room of the Alaska State Council on the Arts, which was wonderful. First Convening of RAI district representatives in  January 2023

The RAI project is actively applying for grants to support these districts, and many are excelling on their own account.

Below is a recent article from Nome: Nome RAI Arts article

Also below is a recent article from Skagway:Skagway art article