Arts & Culture

Stories about the arts and culture.

Slideshow: 2019 Cama-i Festival

Mar 31, 2019
Gabby Salgado / KYUK

Performers, artists, families, and fans came together in Bethel for the 2019 Cama-i Festival over the weekend of March 29-31. 

The smallest Kasigluk dancer performs with his community dance group at the Cama-i Dance Festival on March 16, 2018 in Bethel, Alaska.
Amara Freeman / KYUK

Friday begins the cultural explosion of the Cama-i Dance Festival. The dancing begins this evening at 5 p.m. at Bethel Regional High School and will last through the weekend until late Sunday night. Dance groups from across the region, the state, and the lower 48 are gathering to share dance, culture, tradition, and community. Across the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta, dancers are getting ready to take the stage.

Father Michael Trefon of Bethel's St. Sophia Orthodox Church leads a Theophany ceremony on the Kuskokwim River near Bethel's boat harbor on January 19, 2019. The ritual is meant to recreate the baptism of Jesus Christ as described in the New Testament.
Jacob Resneck / CoastAlaska

January 19 marks a Russian Orthodox holy day. In Bethel, Russian Orthodox Christians commemorated the day by re-enacting the baptism of Jesus Christ on the frozen Kuskokwim River.

Q&A With Father Michael Trefon On Slaviq Celebration

Jan 7, 2019
Katie Basile / KYUK

Christmas isn’t over yet, as many on the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta know. The Russian Orthodox Church is preparing for its big celebration, which includes Orthodox members and non-members going door-to-door, singing and feasting with neighbors. KYUK’s Krysti Shallenberger talked with Father Michael Trefon about what to expect this year, and about some of his favorite memories from past Slaviqs. 

The Bethel community came together to paint a panel of a glowing cube titled "Something Very Beautiful," an art exhibit by Bethel artist Josh Fisher.
Anna Rose MacArthur / KYUK

Over the New Year’s holiday, members of the Bethel community came together to create Something Very Beautiful. That name, “Something Very Beautiful,” is the title of local artist Josh Fisher’s recent art exhibit: a larger-than-life, glowing cube. The Bethel community picked up paint brushes and markers to help Fisher with his piece, which has been in the works for more than a decade.

Bethel’s First Christmas Tree Lighting

Dec 13, 2018

If you were driving by the Bethel courthouse Wednesday evening, you may have noticed a crowd. If you were lucky, you may have caught sight of the first lighting of the city Christmas tree.   If you missed it, just close your eyes and imagine being there while listening to this audio snapshot.

Bethel To Hold First Christmas Tree Lighting Wednesday

Dec 12, 2018

Bethel residents get a special treat today: the town’s first Christmas Tree lighting. The event will be held in front of the Bethel  courthouse starting at 5:45 p.m. It’s expected to last until 6:30 p.m.

There will be singing, hot chocolate, and other refreshments hosted by various organizations. Vice Mayor Raymond “Thor” Williams will plug in the Christmas tree lights in the stead of Mayor Fred Watson. 

Tom Burke

Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta communities showed up in several motion pictures at the Anchorage International Film Festival last week. Two of them dealt with climate change, something that surfaced as a theme at the festival. 

On Saturday, November 17, friends, family, and Elders gathered at Bethel Search and Rescue headquarters to share memories and a meal in honor of the late William “Gubby” Samuelson.
Gabby Salgado / KYUK


Over the weekend, Bethel Search and Rescue hosted a one-year honorary feast to celebrate the life of one of their own: the late William “Gubby” Samuelson. Family, friends, and community Elders gathered to share memories and a meal in Gubby’s honor.


Matt Faubian

The late and beloved John Active has joined the ranks of the Alaska Broadcasters Association Hall of Fame. John worked with KYUK for more than 40 years in both radio and television as a journalist, Yup’ik translator, storyteller, talk show host, and radio personality. The Alaska Broadcasters Association inducted John on Friday at the Association’s annual awards ceremony in Anchorage. KTVA "Frontiers" host and former KYUK News Director Rhonda McBride, along with KYUK General Manager Shane Iverson, nominated John and presented the award. John’s cousin Marie Meade, a professor of Alaska Native Studies at UAA, accepted the award on behalf of John’s family. Below are their speeches in full. John, congratulations. We wish you could have been there.