About Us

Mission: We value Diversity, Artistry and Community.  We create and nurture community-based opportunities for artistic expression.

The focus: Arts opportunities by and for the community.  We strive to have individuals involved at all levels: participating in the arts, behind the scenes, volunteering, supporting and attending events.  Although we do a little bit of presenting visiting talent, our mission and operations is largely locally produced arts.  We are guided by the articles and bylaws established by the founders in 1981. We are also guided by the strategic plan that is revised annually.


Denali Arts Council (DAC) was founded in 1981.  Denali Drama and Green Light Circus were the first programs created, driving the formation of DAC.  The other programs were born in later years, from the passion of community members who wanted to expand opportunities.  The Sheldon Community Arts Hangar was acquired in the 90s, and after renovation, opened in 2004.

Who We Serve

Although located in Talkeetna, Denali Arts Council serves the entire northern Susitna Valley.  Approximately 3,000 full-time residents live within the area, with the population swelling substantially in the summer.  It is an area with a concentration of artists and a strong base of support for the arts.  Art funding in the schools is limited so DAC often partners with area schools.

Board of Directors

Elliot Hunker (President), Troy Smiley (Vice President), Bekah Mathiesen (Secretary), Kathy Ernst (Treasurer),  Butchy Fuego,  Serena Berkowitz, Melissa Brazeau, Mary Farina, Jamie Panariello

The DAC board meets on the second Monday of each month at 6:30pm. These meetings are always open to the public. ( presently being held via zoom) They are usually held at the Sheldon Community Arts Hangar or at the Talkeetna Public Library; listen to KTNA Talkeetna 88.9FM for location. If you have questions or would like to be on the agenda, please send an email to the board president: Elliot Hunker.


Artistic programming is driven by volunteers. In fact, aside from the administration, most of the arts happen through volunteers. Community members play many roles: actors, tech crew, facility maintenance, landscaping, plowing, bartenders, admissions, event organizers, set construction, make-up, costumes, serving on the board and more.


Over 300 individuals are members of Denali Arts Council. Membership is a vital source of financial support as well as volunteerism.


Denali Arts Council is funded by private, corporate and foundation memberships and donations, Alaska State Council on the Arts, and the National Endowment for the Arts.