The Alaska State Council on the Arts closed its doors Monday, making Alaska the only state without an arts council. Gov. Mike Dunleavy used a line-item budget veto to eliminate the council’s funding of $2.8 million. Alaska lawmakers fell short last week in attempts to override the vetoes.
It’s 3,200 miles from Joe Balash’s office in Washington, D.C., to the Neets’aii Gwich’in community of Arctic Village. But Arctic Village is barely 200 miles from North Pole, the Alaska town where Balash grew up.