Arts & Culture

Stories about the arts and culture.

Rashah McChesney / KYUK

The Cama’i Dance Festival in Bethel has been postponed until Fall 2020 out of concerns over the coronavirus. Dance groups from across the region, the state, and the lower 48 gather every year in Bethel to share dance, culture, tradition, and community.

Linda Curda is the coordinator for the festival. She said in an email that the decision came to protect the health of Elders, and because spring break is in full swing for many schools with teachers and families who are traveling. Many of them would return the weekend of the festival, and Curda didn’t want to place anyone in jeopardy should someone be carrying the virus.

Reyne Athanas inside her art classroom at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, Kuskokwim Campus. Athanas will be inducted into the Alaska Women's Hall of Fame on Oct. 20, 2020.
Greg Kim / KYUK

Last month, long-time Bethel educator, artist, and community organizer Reyne Athanas retired from the University of Alaska Fairbanks, Kuskokwim Campus. Next month, she will be inducted into the Alaska Women’s Hall Of Fame. It’s a good time to look back on everything Athanas has done for the community, after which you may be asking, “What hasn’t she done?” 

Courtesy of John Oscar

When you walk into the new hospital building that the Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation built in Bethel, the first thing you’ll see is art that depicts the Yup’ik way of life. One of those pieces of art covers one wall just above a line of chairs in one of YKHC’s waiting areas. 

You can once again watch KYUK’s TV Channels. The channels 15.1 to 15.4 were restored to normal operation last night after a malfunctioning transmitter cut off the signal for several weeks. We appreciate your patience during the outage.

Katie Basile / KYUK

The Russian Orthodox Church has begun its Slaviq celebrations in Bethel, when members and non-members go door-to-door singing and feasting to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. The celebration lasts a week and combines Yup’ik and Orthodox Christian traditions.

The Bethel Fire Department will put on the annual fireworks show on Jan. 2 at 8 p.m. in front of the fire station. The New Year's Eve show was delayed due to high winds.
Christine Trudeau / KYUK

Bethel’s New Years Fireworks were postponed on Tuesday and have been tentatively rescheduled for Jan. 2 at 8 p.m. in front of the Bethel Fire Station. The Bethel Fire Department delayed the original show due to high winds.

Pete Kaiser wins the 2019 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race in Nome, Alaska on March 13 at 3:49 a.m.
Zachariah Hughes / APRN

We’re about to start a new year and a new decade in 2020. But before we move forward, we're looking back on the past year inthe Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta through KYUK’s top stories.

Elias Venes died at age 91 in Bethel on November 29, 2019.
Connie Sankwich

Bethel lost a beloved Elder in the days after Thanksgiving. Elias Venes died on November 29, 2019 at the age of 91. For the following week, family, friends, and community members gathered in his home to share stories, grieve, and remember the man who served as father, grandfather, uncle, and friend to so many.

Krysti Shallenberger / KYUK

Santa Claus delivered presents to Napakiak a little early this year: on Dec. 4 instead of the night before Christmas. And instead of behind flying reindeer, he arrived in a Black Hawk helicopter. 

Wyatt White shows off code for the next game he's working on, called Raven's Nest.
Courtesy of Wyatt White

A video game was released last month, perhaps the first one set around Bethel, Alaska. Game creator Wyatt White, who was raised in Bethel, demonstrated the game.