These classes have become so popular that The University of Alaska Fairbanks Bristol Bay Campus has recognized First Light Workshops as accredited courses. It also caught the eye of The Bristol Bay Economic Development Corporation, Bristol Bay Native Association, University of Alaska Fairbanks Native Arts Center, Ocean Beauty Seafoods and Alaskan Leader Foundation as an initiative for economic development and community empowerment for Native programming. They sponsored by providing equipment, housing, transportation and meals for all participants.
"We encourage our Bristol Bay community to participate in this event, to experience new art forms and opportunities to create relationships with each other and outside of their community" says Robin Samuelsen, the Chairman of B.B.E.D.C.
The First Light Alaska workshop is the inspiration of Unangan (Aleut) artist Anna Hoover, who recently graduated with a double Master’s degree in Art History and Documentary Film from The University of Washington and has her early work displayed in museums, galleries and Universities across the globe. "We are very grateful to the University of Alaska Fairbanks Bristol Bay Campus, the volunteers, our sponsors and the community for providing the stage for our First Light Alaska annual event" Hoover said. "Village young adults and local community members are signing up for our classes and that’s what inspires me the most, they are coming in by plane, four wheeler and even dog sled, it’s very exciting.”
‘First Light-Artists in Alaska’ at the University of Alaska Fairbanks Bristol Bay Campus is offering classes consisting of art appreciation, painting and drawing, storytelling, steambending wood, caribou tufting and silver engraving.