2020 Proposal: Keys to Life

Alaska Women’s Giving Circle Proposal

Name of Nonprofit Organization:

Keys to Life


Your name (AWGC member):

Kate Wedemeyer- not a board or staff member of Keys to Life

Short Description of Organization’s Mission (50 words):

Dedicated to Empowering, Creating and Strengthening an Inclusive Community

Through Rich Arts and Cross-Cultural Experiences.

The Big Why – what efforts are the organization making to change their community (300 words):

The Big Why is: Inspiration!

Each and every one of Shirley Mae Springer Staten’s projects is inspiring. Keys to Life always has some new and inspiring project on the horizon. Upcoming Keys to Life events include:

Intergenerational Storytelling. February 22. Theme is Embracing our Uniqueness. Welcoming ages 9+. Anchorage Waldorf School. 6-9pm. Tickets $15

Community Engagement through Cooking. February 29Ethiopian Cuisine. Cooking class at 4pm. Dinner at 6pm. Class plus dinner $30/person. Dinner only $15/person.

Beyond the Walls of Hiland Mountain Correctional Center. March 25. Discussion and dialogue at

Writers                 Block. 6-7:30pm.

International Virtual Dinner. September 26. Video and audio will connect the international dinner table’ with guests in both Mexico and in Alaska. As the dinner proceeds, a visual brick wall will

be torn down brick by brick to reveal the faces of the diners in the other country.   That’s what I mean by inspired and inspiring!

The Soweto Gospel Choir. Fall 2021. The choir will kick off it’s 2021 US tour in Anchorage. A series of related events will build up to the concert itself.


Short Bio of the organization’s leadership (board/staff, if applicable):

Shirley Mae springer Staten, the Executive Director, is an amazing and gifted community builder and leader. She may be best known for her Lullaby Project in helping Hiland Correctional Center inmates write, perform, and record lullabies for their children. Women’s Giving Circle supported Keys to Life Lullaby Project in 2017. Another currently visible project is 19 children stories based on the questions “What are you dreams for yourself, your family and our community. These personal story of immigrant children from many individual countries living in our community. “Eyes Closed” Exhibit Panels are located at the Peratovich Park, Mt. View and Loussac Library. Shirley Mae was an active participant in Healing Racism in Anchorage where I first met her. Healing Racism was a life changing experience for me. Shirley Mae later became a Healing Racism board member. Shirley Mae has lived and served the Anchorage community since she came to Alaska in 1981. She has helped design and lead countless Anchorage arts, social, and cultural activities for 40 years through a variety of work and volunteer positions.


Funding Request:

                Half a million dollars would be nice, but $5,000 would be great too.


Organization contact person, phone number and email address:

Shirley Mae Springer Staten, 907-317-3417, Keystolifealaska@gmail.com