Ellen Frankenstein received a $7,500 individual artist award from the Rasmuson Foundation on Friday (05-12-17). (Photo by Lily Weed)

Sitkan Ellen Frankenstein is one of 34 artists to win an individual artist award from the Rasmuson Foundation. The winners were announced on May 11th.

Frankenstein received $7,500 for a year of professional development. The media artist has six documentary films under her belt, including Eating Alaska and Tracing Roots.

The Rasmuson grant intrigued her as a chance to stretch her wings. “I wrote in my proposal about a fear of redundancy and mid-career,” Frankenstein said. “I think as someone who has been producing stuff for awhile, I could just say the same thing. I also worry about media in this era being on the surface and I want to make sure it’s not.”

With this award, Frankenstein plans to attend workshops and conferences in writing and public art. She’ll also enroll in a lighting course with cinematographer Bob Elfstom, who she met while showing her film Eating Alaska in California.

Frankenstein spent the weekend in Anchorage attending a workshop with other award winners, some from Southeast. Those include weaver Lily Hope and musician Marian Call of Juneau, writer Jessica Meadowlark Platcha and songwriter Christy Tengs Fowler of Haines, and artist Carmel Anderson of Ketchikan. See a profile of Anderson when she visited Sitka here

Frankenstein says she feels lucky to be working with Rasmuson and wants to make art that interrupts daily life to spur social dialogue. She is the founder of the non-profit Art Change Inc., hosting storytelling events and community art projects.

“It’s really about storytelling, but also about conversations that make us pliable and aware and bringing other forms of art whenever possible,” Frankenstein story.

Frankenstein is the previous recipient of a Fulbright – Hays Fellowship and grants from the Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs and the National Endowment for the Arts and the Humanities.