Sitkans gathered to drape the totem pole outside Pacific High School in black cloth on Wednesday morning. It was part of a statewide “Public Art Black Out.” Artists and organizers dressed in black and covered public monuments with black cloth to protest the elimination of the State Council on the Arts, funding for public broadcasting, and public education. KCAW covered the widespread implications of those cuts in recent reporting.

Tommy Joseph climbed a ladder to cover the totem pole outside Pacific High School. Joseph carved the totem pole with students from the school. (KCAW/Nina Sparling)
Joseph secures the cloth in place. (KCAW/Nina Sparling)
The action was part of a statewide effort to bring attention to what Gov. Dunleavy’s budget veto means for the arts and other public institutions in Alaska. (KCAW/Nina Sparling)