Sealaska Heritage Institute raised more than $75,000 last week during Celebration for the Walter Soboleff Center under construction in downtown Juneau.
The nonprofit is about $2 million short of the $20 million it needs to pay for the building, which will house the institute’s offices and collections. It also will feature space for SHI’s language program, art exhibits and an artist-in-residence program.
The 29,000 square foot facility is expected to open by early 2015.
“This will help Juneau become the new Northwest coast art capital of the world,” said Sealaska Corp. board chair Albert Kookesh, who led a fundraising pitch from the Celebration stage on Saturday.
Kookesh accepted a $50,000 check from Wells Fargo Bank for the Soboleff Center project. Sealaska shareholder Rod Worl and his wife, Dawn Dinwoodie, donated $25,000, and a handful of individuals gave gifts of a few hundred dollars each.
Sealaska Heritage Institute President Rosita Worl, Rod’s mother, said hundreds of Sealaska shareholders have supported the project to date.
“The most important donors have been our own people,” Worl said.
She also thanked several other donors, including the state of Alaska and City and Borough of Juneau, which are financing about half the project.
The center is named for the late Dr. Walter Soboleff, a Tlingit spiritual leader and educator who passed away in 2011.
Celebration attracted thousands of Southeast Alaska Natives from around the state, country and Canada. Sealaska says it is committed to Celebration for generations to come.
- Emmanuel Jal, a peace activist, musician and entrepreneur visited Juneau to tell high school students about his experience as a child soldier.
- The commission will make a decision within 10 days. In the meantime, Henry has just about a week before he must report to federal prison to serve a year-long sentence for his failure to file income taxes.
- The billionaire husband of Alaska Dispatch News owner Alice Rogoff now has his own prime-time television talk show.
- While Walker’s administration has the authority to issue the bonds, the legislature would have to appropriate money to pay them off.