Awesome Everywhere!

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About Us

Awesome Alaska: Making Alaska an even more awesome place one $1000 grant at a time.

We’re here to help. Ten awesome individuals, artists, writers, entrepreneurs, business wizards, and all-around smart folks want to get behind your idea. We’re the names, brains, and money to catalyze your fabulous project.


Who we are:

  • Ken Castner - Proximity theorist

  • Corine Geldhof

  • Joe Geldhof

  • Anne Hanley - Playwright, Producer of The Winter Bear Project, first-time grandmother, fan of awesomeness in all forms

  • Owen Hanley - Pulmonary physician (ret), skier, biker, runner and clean air advocate.

  • Janie Leask - passionate, pragmatic community builder

  • Nancy Lord - Environmental writer

  • Paula Martin - entomologist, educator, consultant and writer

  • Joe Martin - mariner, bicyclist, and fixer of things

  • Dorli McWayne - flutist, teacher of flutists from 6 to 60+, conductor, four-season runner.

  • Jo Michalski - Retired entrepreneur, community activist, parent, grandmother and 46 year Alaskan.

  • Peter Michalski - lawyer, mediator, former judge, believer in community

  • John Mouw - lover of food, reading, community and life.

  • Rika Mouw - artist and passionate advocate for nature and wild places.

  • Don Reed - Happily retired from a very satisfying career, seeking opportunities to share that good luck with others.

  • Kesler Woodward - painter, art historian, curator, and token artist on boards, commissions, panels, and task forces in Alaska and the West.

  • Neil Wagner - entrepreneur of multifarious ventures who loves nature, travel and gardening

  • Kyra Wagner - an enthusiastic person of place

  • Erin Hollowell – dean – poet first and foremost, planter/nurturer of seeds and ideas, champion for the written word

Who we fund:

  • Do you qualify for a PFD? (And if you don’t know what a permanent fund dividend is, you’re not an Alaskan – in other words, we only fund current Alaskans who qualify for a dividend.)

  • Folks with absolutely awesome ideas that have impact, surprise, and ingenuity.

  • Note: we reserve the right to not award a grant during any period during which the Trustees do not receive a proposal that fits their standards.

Things to consider in your application:

  • Proposals are due on the 15th of the month, decisions are rendered by the end of the month. All unsuccessful proposals are then deleted.

  • How is $1000 going to make a difference to your project, you as an individual, and Alaska as a community?

  • What makes your project unique?

  • If your idea is time-sensitive, please apply at least 60 days in advance and make sure that you let us know your “deadline.”

Got a question? Contact us directly at and ask away!

Meet the Trustees