PUBLISHED: 4:10 PM on Wednesday, October 10, 2007
2007 Governor's awards for arts, humanities announced
The Alaska State Council on the Arts and The Alaska Humanities Forum are proud to announce the following recipients of the Governor's Awards for the Arts and Humanities. The awards will be presented at a dinner Friday, Oct. 26, at the Fairbanks Princess Lodge.

The awards event will be held by the Fairbanks Arts Association.

Holland America Line, statewide, was named Business Leadership in the Arts.

Holland America has been a supporter of arts and culture during the last 10 years, having provided support for organizations as diverse as the Alaska Native Heritage Center in Anchorage, the new Morris Thompson Cultural Center in Fairbanks, the Juneau Arts and Humanities Council and Juneau Jazz and Classics.

Marsha Hotch of Haines was given Distinguished Service to the Humanities. Hotch was raised in a Tlingit-speaking home.

She learned the traditional lifestyle as a child, and has raised her children in Klukwan, on ancestral land, teaching them some of the traditional ways.

There are many ways that Marsh has shared her language and heritage.

There was the 2-year study program to develop an oration advocating the protection and cultivation of Tlingit language, with the Alaska Native Oratory Society.

She was part of the team to produce a series of 5-minute programs aimed at putting the Tlingit language on the air.

Marsh has been an adjunct professor of Tlingit for UAS, and program director for two grants teaching the Tlingit language.

With elder Evelyn Hotch, she teaches Tlingit language, free to the public, at Sheldon Museum and Cultural Center in Haines.

And she partners with the Museum's educational coordinator to produce a Tlingit feature in the local weekly newspaper. Marsha is very driven to strengthen her culture.

Because of Marsha, Klukwan elders gather weekly to discuss Tlingit law, protocol, ceremonies, and other aspects of traditional life; every youngster in Klukwan receives daily instruction in Tlingit language; and tourists, regional and national audiences are exposed to Tlingit language.

Because of Marsha, dying traditions are experiencing a dramatic revival.

As she told her family, "It is in my heart to teach the language."