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Latest Newsletter


May 2021

It seems we have turned the corner on the pandemic in Juneau to a great extent. Our last meeting of the Alliance was held in person and what a joy it was to sit across from our partners, CBJ staff, and the architects as we worked on the latest versions of the unified facility design. We spent two hours evaluating the input from the first two public meetings and making adjustments to the design. We came away with some promising solutions which the team will share at the next public meeting scheduled for this coming Thursday, May 27, at 6:00 p.m. This will be a virtual meeting and to attend you must register in advance. There is link below to do that. 

In other news, we welcome our new Communications Manager, Heather Hintze, to the organization. We will feature Heather in our next newsletter to more fully introduce her but for now we are very pleased to have her professional journalism expertise and experience added to the staff. Heather will start on June 1. We owe a great deal of thanks to Christy Ciambor, who has been generous with her time and talent these last 16 months. We wish her good luck and good fortune with her future endeavors.  

A big shout out to the volunteers that made the May 1st event at Overstreet Park such grand success. We had upwards of over 700 people visit and partake in the various activities. For the first public event in over a year, it was a total success and it felt great to be around people again! We are fortunate to live in a community that has such dedicated and efficient health providers; a local government and many others in our town that helped guide us through these times. We owe them all a big thank you. 

The last year has proved to me the strength of the commitment supporters of the New JACC project consistently demonstrate. A worldwide pandemic upended all aspects of communication, travel and life in general, but this organization and its partners have kept on point. Not only keeping the original vision alive, but being willing to explore a combined and enhanced facility with the members of the Alliance. Overall, the effort is proving to be invaluable in reaching a broader understanding of what a unified building means and how it needs to function for us, all of us in the community…a very positive step in reaching our common ground. 

We hope to see you at the coming May 27th meeting. 

Best Regards,

Bob Banghart
Executive Director, New JACC Partnership Board 

Are you planning to attend the Thursday, May 27th public meeting about the project? Please register by clicking the button below. Our thanks for your participation.

A hearty THANK YOU to everyone who attended Spring into Art on May 1st at Bill Overstreet Park. Proceeds from this event ( $1000 +) benefited the Juneau Arts & Humanities Council and the New JACC.Drawing stations, painting eggs, live animals, live music – it was a day filled with fun and creativity!

Our thanks to:

Musical Groups and leaders: JAMM Fiddlers directed by Meghan Johnson and Franz Felkl, Mariachi De Colores directed by Michael Bucy with Bradley Saunders and Missouri Smyth, and Riverbend/JAMM Kindergaten- first grade xylophone players directed by Rebecca Ricker

Animal owners: Hali Duran (Toaster the dog), JDHS Farm Club and Caplan Anderson (bunnies), Marta Lastufka and Michael Bucy (chickens), and Melanie and Ashlyn King (pygmy goats)

Volunteers: Bing Carrillo, Bob Banghart, Bud Carpeneti, Dave Hunsaker, Erin Few, Felix Thilet, Jacque Farnsworth, Jan McPhetres, Jeana Varney, John Pugh, Leonard Johnson, Karen Crane, Kathleen Harper, Kaycie Parady, Melanie White, Nimmy Phillips, Rob Stephenson, Peggy Cowan, Reggie Schapp, Richard Radford, Sally Donaldon, Stephen Blanchett, Sydney Hughes, and Tavish Hunter

Event Artwork: MK MacNaughton

Event Sound: Keith Giles

Planning Committee: Annie Calkins, Barb Krehrer, Christy Ciambor, Hali Duran, John Roxburgh, Laura Wanechek, Marjorie Menzi, Mary Wegner, Nancy DeCherney, Rachelle Bonnett, and Stephanie Hoag

Countless other individuals also contributed to the success of the event!

Earlier this year, The Partnership welcomed Mary Wegner to its Board of Directors. Mary’s infectious spirit and long history in education and the arts is such a welcome addition to the project.She’s moved back to Juneau for the third time this past June (she first moved here in 1989) after retiring from a 35 year career in public education where most recently, Mary served as the superintendent of the Sitka School District. After failing at retirement, Mary started a new career as faculty at UAS helping to cultivate the next generation of school and district leaders throughout Alaska. Additionally, for the past six years Mary has served as a Trustee on the Alaska State Council on the Arts, and through this work learned a lot about the breadth and depth of the arts community in Juneau.

She joined the board because she was looking for a way to continue to support the impact of the arts on our daily lives. As the superintendent in Sitka, she had seen first hand the impact on students when they got to perform throughout the span of their school career in a dedicated performing arts space that was designed to support the presentation of the arts. To quote Mary, “It was magical to watch the confidence and skills of the youth evolve over the years when they could perfect their craft on a stage designed to showcase their skills.” Additionally, Mary saw first hand the economic value to the community of having a dedicated performing arts space. She says, “it was significant and contributed to a thriving quality of life and I wanted to help bring that to Juneau.” 

Outside of her new career at UAS and board service, Mary says that 
one thing she was very excited to do when she moved back was to get her sewing machine serviced. “I am a quilter and have made over 150 quits over the past 30 years. Living in Sitka for the past decade, I was able to get my sewing machine serviced once; however, the way I use my sewing machine requires more service than was possible living in Sitka. My favorite quilts to make these days are when my granddaughter, who lives in Juneau, draws me a picture and I turn it into a quilt.”  She added, “our first collaboration started when she was 7 years old and won the People’s Choice award at Sitka’s Quilt Show.” 

Please help us welcome wonderful Mary Wegner to the Board! 

50 for the Future, our monthly giving program, was designed to be flexible and offers the opportunity to give monthly in honor of a child or grandchild. What better way to help chart a course for Juneau’s future by giving in honor of someone who IS Juneau’s future. Donate here.

Juneau Arts and Humanities Council to Receive $75,000 Our Town Grant from the National Endowment for the Arts 

Our partners at the Juneau Arts and Humanities Council were approved to receive a $75,000 Our Town grant to support design and planning activities for the Juneau Aak’w Village District. This is one of 63 grants nationwide that the agency has approved in this category to support projects that integrate arts, culture, and design activities into efforts that strengthen communities by advancing local economic, physical, and/or social outcomes; ultimately laying the groundwork for sustainable systems change. 

“As the country and the arts sector begin to work towards a post-pandemic world, the National Endowment for the Arts is proud to announce this Our Town funding. These awards support cross-sector partnerships such as the one led by Juneau Arts and Humanities Council that demonstrate the power of the arts to help communities create a better future for themselves.” said NEA Acting Chairman, Ann Eilers. 

Nancy DeCherney, Executive Director for the Juneau Arts and Humanities Council says “We are excited to be working with 10 neighborhood partner businesses including:  

• City and Borough of Juneau • Sealaska Heritage Institute and Corporation  • Central Council Tlingit & Haida Tribes of Alaska  • Zach Gordon Youth Center • Ix_six_a´n Ax_ K_wa´an (IAK) Indigenous youth group  • Fireweed Place (retirement community) • KTOO public media  • Foodland Shopping Center • Ramada Inn by Wyndham, Juneau  • Juneau Economic Development Council

And with other supportive partners, all of which are located in the neighborhood, including: • Alaska State Library, Archives and Museum • U.S. Coast Guard • Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation • Heritage Coffee • Pinz Bowling Alley – to help plan ways to make this neighborhood an exciting, inviting, thriving part of our town for the whole community. As we move forward in 2021, we will be looking carefully at our complex history of community inequities, and work together to set up mechanisms to bring about a revitalization of the neighborhood, reflective of our diversity and honoring its history.”  We’ll be sharing news as the project launches early August. 

For more information on the projects included in the Arts Endowment grant announcement, visit





Our mailing address is:
The New JACC
P.O. Box 33193
Juneau, Alaska 99803
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