Ahtna Heritage Dance Project
Alaska State Fair Performance
12:30 pm and 3:00 Pm
August 29, 2019
The Ahtna Heritage Foundation has been awarded a 3-year grant by the Administration for Native Americans to begin the Ahtna Heritage Dance Project. The project will provide the opportunity for youth from the Ahtna villages to learn traditional songs, dances, language, culture, and traditions from elders and other cultural leaders in weekly workshops. They will then be able to share what they have learned with the community at monthly gatherings.
Who is the Project Team?
The Project Team consists of the Project Director, the Activities Coordinator/ Dance Instructor, and two additional Dance Instructors. Under the advisement of the Ahtna Heritage Committee, they will be responsible for working with elders to instruct the youth, as well as recording the group's progress and interviewing elders.
Who is the Ahtna Heritage Committee?
The 12-member Ahtna Heritage Committee (AHC) is made up of three youth, three elders, and three other cultural leaders. They will advise the project team on what and how the group should be taught, as well as how this knowledge should be shared with the rest of the community.
Where will these events take place?
The AHDP has partnered with the villages and local schools to host the weekly workshops. Youth are encouraged to attend the workshops at their school and the others when possible. Due to it's size, the Kluti-Kaah Memorial Hall will be used for the Monthly Community Gatherings.
Will the group do any traveling outside of the community?
While the grant that AHF has been awarded does not include trips to performances such as AFN Quyana Night, the Annual Sobriety Celebration, and others, this is something that the community has expressed that they would like to happen. The Project Team will be going what they can to make this possible and that will include fundraising within the community an elsewhere. Attendance on these trips depends on attendance at the weekly workshops as well as completed Enrollment Forms and following the Code of Conduct. There may also be other requirements such as age and academic performance based on the trip.
What will come out of this project?
In addition to creating a group of Ahtna youth who are educated in traditional Ahtna songs, dance, culture, and more, the project will also produce a songbook that can be used for future education within the community.