Arts & Culture

Stories about the arts and culture.

Making Art In A Changing World

May 20, 2019
Johanna Eurich KYUK

Four people from the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta were awarded arts grants from the Rasmuson Foundation this year. Two are from the same family: Stephen Blanchett and his mother, Marie Meade. Blanchett, one of the founders of the musical group Pamyua, will use his $18,000 fellowship grant to focus on dance. He plans to use many techniques, including masks and the internet, to experiment with the traditional forms of Yup’ik dance.  

Attendees at Project Homeless Connect line up for a bowl of soup.
Anny Cochrane

Bethel held its fourth ever Project Homeless Connect event last Friday at the cultural center. The purpose of the event was to connect Bethel’s homeless population with services they might not already know about. 

Michelle DeWitt

Yesterday, two Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta women were inducted into the Alaska Women’s Hall of Fame. Mary Ciuniq Pete was nominated because of her leadership in subsistence and education. Beverly Hoffman got the honor because of her work in the community and the long campaign she waged to get a fitness center built in Bethel. Many people from the hub community fished from boats in the Kuskokwim River, but did not know how to swim. They’ve been learning, because the fitness center that Hoffman helped get built has a swimming pool.

Rashah McChesney / KTOO

KYUK proudly took home seven awards during the annual Alaska Press Club Conference last week. Among KYUK’s accolades, former reporter Teresa Cotsirilos earned an honorable mention in the prestigious all media Public Service Award for her series about the daily struggles of a village police officer in Mountain Village. 

Two well-known Bethel residents will be inducted into the Alaska Women's Hall of Fame at the end of April: Beverly Hoffman and Mary Ciuniq Pete, according to the Delta Discovery. 

Drummers gather for the Heart of the Drums at the Cama-i Dance Festival at Bethel Regional High School on March 30, 2019.
Rashah McChesney / KTOO

The climax of the Cama-i Dance Festival falls in the middle of the event. All the drummers from the dance groups come together, circle the audience, and bang their drums as one. The ritual is called the Heart of the Drums and is led by festival emcee Peter Atchak. Atchak calls this moment his "favorite part of Cama-i." Hear an audio postcard of this moment.

A field near harvest time at Meyers Farm in Bethel, Alaska.
Daysha Eaton / KYUK

On Thursday evening, you can turn on the television and see a piece of Bethel. The story of Tim and Lisa Meyers' organic farm is part of a new national television series debuting Thursday on the History Channel.

Courtesy of Mary Sattler Peltola

Yuraq dancers from the University of Alaska Fairbanks - Kuskokwim Campus honored their late director, Mary Ciuniq Pete, at the Cama-i Festival this year. 

Regalia, Stories Abound At Cama-i

Apr 4, 2019
Rashah McChesney / KYUK/Alaska's Energy Desk


On the Yukon-Kuskowkwim Delta, Yup’ik dance has undergone a renaissance. Everything that goes along with it, from intricate beading, headdresses to mukluks, dance fans to masks, has a story.


Joey Mendolia / KYUK

The Scammon Bay dancers returned to the Cama-i stage for the first time since their Elder, Maryann Sundown, passed away in 2011.