About Us

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Putting Alaskan creativity to work.


Northern Culture Exchange (NCE) was incorporated as a 501c3 in 2012 to work as an umbrella organization for a number of like minded Alaskan and circumpolar creative art and education programs. Through pooling programming and management  resources, NCE programs keep costs low and  the fun factor high, furthering communication between us, ensuring sustainability and accelerating the growth and impact of each participant program.


Anne Thomas Beesley - Chair 

Anne has a broad range of experience working for diverse organizations, and is an  effective problem solver.  She has a Bachelor of Science degree in Marine Biology from Humboldt State University and has worked as a biologist, researcher, and consultant for Educational Institutions, Government Agencies, and Environmental non-profits.  Anne attended Alaska Pacific University and Harvard Extension School completing coursework in Strategic Leadership, Organizational Development, and Sustainability with an emphasis on business and organizational metrics.   She works as an Environmental Coordinator for Alyeska Pipeline Service Company, and has over ten years of experience working alongside the NCE team .Anne is inspired daily by the organization’s work, and its commitment to community, music, and support of Alaskan artists.  In her free time, Anne likes to hike, fish, collect berries and wild plants, garden, watch sci-fi movies, and enjoy Alaskan seafood.

Marieke Heatwole - Treasurer, Vice Chair

Marieke is a board-certified Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner with a master’s degree from Vanderbilt University.  She has  been an advocate of mental health her entire adult life and served on the Alaska Mental Health Board. Marieke is also a metal sculptor, bike enthusiast and mother of two. She is passionate about helping people find their own path to well-being. Marieke is a founding board member of Northern Culture Exchange.

Yngvil Vatn Guttu - Ex-Officio Board Director (Executive Director)

Yngvil has been living in Alaska since 2002, producing theatre and music events and building community

and networks on the arts scene. She has a Masters Degree in music from New York University and  Bachelor Degrees in Theatre (Bruford College, London UK) and Language Teaching ( University in Bergen, Norway). Yngvil has toured extensively to major venues in Europe and North America, with award winning productions. She is a two-times recipient of the Rasmuson Individual Artist Award in 2005 and 2014. She co-founded NCE in 2012 to organize, coordinate and fund likeminded Alaskan creative initiatives. Yngvil teaches how to honor our creative nature in all aspects of our lives.

Yngvil is a popular teacher, coach and keynote speaker. In Alaska her work with exceptional ability learners of all ages has earned her recognition and affection, as has her ongoing mentorship of students and colleagues. Yngvil has been a part of the online learning movement since the beginning. She creates media and educational content through her companies Khione Media and iNorsk, and collaborates with some of the leading global innovators in online learning and music ecology development.

Michael Dickerson - Director

Michael Dickerson is an Alaskan composer, educator, and writer with an interest in the relationships between people and place. Michael co-founded an interdisciplinary arts education program called The Northern Pen, composed a number of new works for soloists in North and South America, and collaborated across disciplines in a handful of multimedia projects in Alaska.

Michael holds a B.A., magna cum laude graduating honors in Music and Philosophy from Middlebury College, VT; an M.M. in Music Composition from University of Northern Iowa; and is currently pursuing an M.A.T. in Elementary Education at University of Alaska Southeast.

Michael's most recent creative projects include a novel, presented at the UAS Power and Privilege Symposium, and a series of compositions for abandoned military structures in rural Alaska, supported by a Rasmuson Individual Artist Award.


Yngvil Vatn Guttu - Executive Director


Cameron Cartland - Administrator- SJF Director


Lisa Hawkins - Executive Assistant - Social Media

Lauren Peterson - Systems and Office Manager



Cameron Cartland - Associate Festival Director, Bookings

John S Christensen - Webmaster
Michael Dickerson - Associate Festival Director, Programming, Hospitality

Yngvil Vatn Guttu - Festival Director

Lisa Hawkins - Social Media, Graphic Design 

Scott Jensen - Videographer, Live streaming

Lucy Peckham - Audio Support

Lauren Petersen - Logistics, Administrator

Michael Powell - Health and Safety, Volunteer Coordinator

Jill Reese - Hospitality

Emily Tallman/Poetica - Communications, Graphic design

Karl Wilhelmi - Bookkeeping, Membership, Merchandise


Lauren Petersen - Program Coordinator
Abi Sparkman, Deven Lind,  Philip Giannulis

Advisory Board- Yngvil Vatn Guttu, Lisa Hawkins, Cameron Cartland


Kevin James Worrell - Host, Producer

Jamie Whiteman - Front of House Producer

​Charles Earnshaw- Photography

Loren Dixon - Media Producer

Bennett Hilsgen - Recording Engineer


Michael Howard - Program Director

Yngvil Vatn Guttu - Associate Program Director

Marian Call - Communications Manager

John Christensen - Webmaster



Both Ears Audio


Jensen Hall


Anchorage International Film Festival

Frostline Studios

Surreal Studios

Visit Anchorage


49th State Brewing Co

Anchorage Museum

Bunnell Street Art Center

The Nave

Spenard Farmers' Market

Spenard Roadhouse

The Writers Block Café


Emily Tallman, Poetica


Alaska Public Media-KSKA

KBBI - Homer Public Radio

KNBA - Koanic Broadcast Corp.

KONR - Anchorage 

Wick Communications - Anchorage PRESS