Shandiin “Suella” Wendell

November 24, 2021

Suella is a facilitator and communicator of powerful and important social issues. Most recently, she has been focusing on the Missing and Murdered Indigenous People (MAMIP) epidemic, bringing outreach to her community through her projects, participation in community events, and social networking. Suella is an ambassador of Alaska Native issues. She testifies at committees on […]

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Leneil Hafford

December 31, 2016

Leneil Hafford is the heart and soul of Young Native Fiddlers, a nonprofit that offers guitar and violin lessons to Alaska Native youth, as well as numerous opportunities to perform. Leneil is a selfless and effective leader, and a professional performer who also sees to the needs of the group. She inspires the best in others—youth […]

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Camden Kegley

December 27, 2016

Camden Kegley performs with the Lathrop Concert Choir, plays clarinet and saxophone, and has performed in a number of productions.  This past year, he performed at Carnegie Hall. Camden is an inspiration to his peers, as well as a professional and eager participant in the Fairbanks’ cultural community.

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Courtney O’Hearn

Courtney O’Hearn has been playing the violin for 10 years. She taught herself to play cello, guitar and piano after learning the violin.  She has gone to state for solo and ensemble every year and received a superior rating each time.  Courtney inspires others with her music.

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Grace Eldridge

December 20, 2016

Grace Eldridge is very involved in dramatic and artistic pursuits. For several years, she has choreographed the musical theater productions at neighboring Colony Middle School.  Grace has created dance numbers for The Lion King, The Sound of Music, and others.

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Alaska Youth Orchestras-Performing Board Members

November 14, 2016

Amber Pike, Jenna Morris, Isabelle Libbrecht, Charlie Latimer, Aaron Jenkins, Vasily Soloview have all demonstrated exceptional leadership skills in their role as Anchorage Youth Orchestra performing board members. The group of youth act as spokespeople for the orchestra, and are organizing a benefit concert to take place in February 2017.

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Maiya Anderson

October 17, 2016

Bringing together her passion for music and psychology, Maiya Anderson started a piano lesson program at the senior center in Kenai. The lessons bring joy to the elders in the community, while also helping to bridge a generational divide. Not only is Maiya able to create a strong bond with elders—the program also gives elders […]

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Pole Smortum

July 19, 2016

Local Punk bank Pole Smortum is passionate about their music and the community surrounding it. A teen band that revels in dancing to the beat of their own drum, Pole Smortum is helping to provide a safe space for youth to express themselves.

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The Vinyl Floors

December 31, 2015

The Vinyl Floors, a four-person band, plays at community events around Anchorage from the Mayor’s inauguration to the Earth Care Jamboree. They have released a CD and are a positive example for young people.

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Kinani Halvorsen

December 9, 2015

Kinani is enthusiastic about music. From bass trombone to piano, music fills her with a feeling beyond words. She got a digeridoo when she was in elementary school and has taught herself to play the indigenous Aboriginal instrument.

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Cadence Wren Moffitt

October 2, 2015

Cadence has owned her own art business, Yang Wren Art, since she was 14. Last year she undertook a project where she researched, designed and created a mosaic project for a local garden. She has participated in the Copper River Stewardship Program and helped in the design and creation of an interpretive sign for a bioswale project.

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Thomas Soto

April 30, 2015

Thomas is a creative and inspiring force in the Mat-Su community. He has been a band section leader, band council member, drum major and mentor to younger students. Last year Thomas wrote an original score for the Colony High School performance of “The Tempest.”

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