Juneau’s Xh’unei Lance Twitchell has received one of five Connie Boochever Fellowships for 2013, the Alaska State Council on the Arts announced Friday. The $2,500 fellowships are awarded every other year to emerging artists in disciplines alternating between the visual arts and the performing and literary arts. Twitchell, assistant professor of Alaska Native Languages at the University of Alaska Southeast, was named a Literary Arts Fellow.
The other four recipients of this year’s awards are Erin Hollowell, of Homer (Literary Arts Fellow); Lucas Rowley, of Anchorage (Literary Arts Fellow); Nicole Stellon O’Donnell, of Fairbanks (Literary Arts Fellow); and Allison Warden, of Anchorage (Performing Arts Fellow).
Twitchell, originally from Skagway, was also named a “Top 40 Under 40” by the Alaska Journal of Commerce earlier this year, a list that recognizes young leaders who demonstrate “professional excellence and commitment to community.” He writes a regular column on Alaska Native Languages for the Empire’s Arts section, and contributes period blog entries for the Huffington Post. He also writes fiction and poetry, and has his own blog on language revitalization (visit it here: tlingit.info).
Previous local recipients of the fellowship include photographer Ben Huff (2011), performing artist Ryan Conarro (2005), painter Dan DeRoux (2003) and performing artist Roblin Gray Davis (2002).
Connie Boochever, who died in 1999, was a performer, director and producer of community theater, and a long-time supporter of the arts. She served on the first Alaska State Arts Council, and later founded Juneau’s Community Theater and the Juneau Arts and Humanities Forum. She was also a strong advocate for the Percent for Art program in Alaska, mandating a percent for art in public buildings. The Connie Boochever Fellowship was established in 2001 to honor Boochever’s passion for the arts and to carry forward her support. Fellowships are funded through the Connie Boochever Endowment and the Alaska Arts and Culture Foundation, and administered by the Alaska State Council on the Arts.
For more information, contact the Alaska State Council on the Arts at (888) 278-7424.