Alaska Arts Education Consortium


Abel Ryan
From a very young age I knew what I wanted to do when I grew up. I wanted to make art, I wanted to make Tsimshian Art. As I studied and learned more about the art form the more I found that I loved both the differences and similarities between Tsimshian art and the rest of the Northwest Coast in our art and in our traditions, stories and customs. These are very rich cultures, very developed, not primitive but adaptive and at its core, based on an economy that has nothing to do with the concept of money but on how we care for each other. I am very passionate about the work I do, both creating and teaching. I find that when I share what I have learned that others start to see and appreciate in a greater light the people, the art, and the land that we all live on. I try to learn as much from those I am teaching as I hope they are learning from me. I enjoy teaching people of all ages, it is fun and exciting to share my passion and knowledge with as many people as I can.

Barbara Short
Barbara Short has worked as a visual art teacher, arts administrator and an active arts education advocate in Alaska for over 30 years and an artist since childhood. Living in Fairbanks, she taught and administered locally for over 25 years. She was the project manager for the Project ARTiculate grant—a federal Arts Education research grant—that produced the well-known ‘Art Kits’ that are presently in 18 Alaskan districts. After retiring from Fairbanks, Barbara worked for DEED as an art content coach, traveling throughout rural Alaska, training teachers and working with students from pre-school through high school.  Barbara was a founding member of the Alaska Arts Education Consortium back in 2003 and is currently the Executive Director for AAEC. She has taught in and organized many arts & culture Institutes over the years.  She is married, has 2 daughters and 4 creative grandchildren!

Martha Gould-Lehe
Martha Gould-Lehe is an Alaskan Athabaskin woman. She was born and raised in interior Alaska in and around McGrath. She is a wife, mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother.
Martha currently works for Southeast Regional Resource Center (SERRC) as a Cultural-Educational Specialist. She delivers various professional development sessions across the state highlighting Alaska’s Cultural Standards. She presents culturally responsive teaching strategies and shows how they are imbedded into teacher evaluation frameworks. She has 25 years of classroom experience teaching grades 4-6 in Anchorage.

Ed Littlefield

I am Tlingit from Sitka and I grew up learning my culture from my parents and elders around the community. I also was involved with many western musical experiences throughout my childhood. Being involved in both western and Tlingit musical training gave me a unique opportunity to be able to study my traditional songs and dances within a western viewpoint. I’ve been studying and exploring the differences and similarities between the two cultures for many years and during this time I’ve found many ways of incorporating the traditional ways of learning into the classroom environment.

Shelley Toon Lindberg
I am a practicing visual artist who works as an arts administrator and teaching artist, specializing in arts integration and community arts in the Pacific Northwest, Alaska and Hawaii.

I have extensive experience  working with K-12 students and their teachers, in visual and media arts integration.  While I am not a cultural specialist, much of my work is rooted in intercultural understanding; working closely with tribal organizations, elders, school districts and nonprofit arts organizations to reinforce cultural values, especially in the area of language preservation.

Annie Calkins
Annie Calkins is the Evaluator for the Sealaska Heritage Institute’s Amplifying our Voices on the Land grant. Annie has lived in Alaska since 1972 and has worked as Curriculum Director for the Aleutian Region School District, Language Arts and Fine Arts Specialist for the Alaska Department of Education and Early Development, and Assistant Superintendent of the Juneau School District. Annie is a founder of the Alaska Arts Education Consortium. She served on the Alaska State Museum Board, Governor’s Commission on Children and Youth, Alaska State Board of Education, Juneau Alaska Music Matters (JAMM) and was President of the Juneau Arts and Humanities Council. Annie has been the External Evaluator of over 60 grants. She is the Facilitator of the Alaska State Council on the Arts New Visions program, working with seven districts across the state to increase arts learning for all students. She lives in Juneau, still the proud capital of Alaska.