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About F

May 2009 Cover


Contributors Double Truck

F Hideout
F Magazine



F Hideout’s mission is to provide a platform for the fringe culture, arts and artists – particularly marginalized artists – of Alaska.  This forum is predominantly the function of F Magazine, to introduce and inform Alaskans and those on the Outside of the rich and vibrant cultures, and tremendous artistic talent of all genres and mediums here in Alaska.

F Magazine’s goal is to bridge the gap between artists and the general public by providing in-depth personality profiles, feature stories and critical analysis.

The overall goal for both is to raise the bar as well as visibility of the arts. Thus, F Hideout is the mother ship that hosts a number of healthy statewide arts competitions (fashion photography, youth art & writing, music video and the all-ages and multiple genres writing competition), as well as a number of concerts and arts celebrations, and produces an annual music compilation CD (a different genre each year.) F Hideout is not just a thing – it’s a movement.



F Magazine is a quarterly, multi-award-winning, independently owned, arts, music and culture publication (available in print and online). Each issue has an over-arcing theme, and includes art, music and book reviews, and in-depth articles where we take a look at the personalities, the skills, the talent and the events that shape the communities in our state, covering all genres and mediums of the arts. We are completely run by volunteers. Since our first issue in May 2007, we have been blessed; hundreds of people have volunteered their time, their skills, their talents and their craft. F Magazine is a publication for the community, by the community.


At F we believe in not just paying it forward; if we are to be for and about community, we have to be a part of the community.

  • Now for the 5th year, F Magazine hosts a statewide youth art & writing competition, formerly as the statewide affiliate for the national Scholastic Art & Writing Competition, but independently as ASYAWC – the Alaska Statewide Youth Art & Writing Competition (formerly as the statewide affiliate for the national Scholastic Art & Writing Competition) since 2012. The competition is open to young people in grades 7-12, and the home school equivalent. Finalists of this competition have their work curated in a gallery and published in an issue of F. The Awards ceremony, which includes an actor-reading of the writing winners and a viewing of past and present art finalists, is streamed live on line so that students outside the Anchorage area can still witness the event. And as of 2013, the top finalists in both art and writing is awarded a full scholarship and airfare to Sitka Fine Arts Camp – a two week summer arts intensive. All finalists are awarded certificates, winners are awarded medallions and trophies. This competition is wholly run through grants and donations.
  • Since 2012, F Magazine hosts F-Action! – the only statewide music video competition. Winners are premiered at a public awards ceremony, that includes live improvised music to Alaska-made short silent films. Winners are showcased in a number of film festivals in and outside the state, and are awarded trophies. Judges for this competition are entirely Outside directors, musicians, producers and composers.
  • F Magazine hosts a statewide Art of Fashion Photography competition. This competition collects nearly 1,000 entries from all over the state, and publishes the top fifty, awarding a 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place award as well as judges’ awards to the top entrants. Judges for this competition are entirely Outside designers, hair/makeup artists, models, publishers and photographers. In 2013, 10 of the 50 published photographers went on to have their work published in national and international fashion publications.
  • F Magazine hosts F’Air Words – a statewide writing competition of all genres, open to all ages. Winners of the competition are awarded certificates and published in an issue of F Magazine.
  • Every year, F Magazine produces a compilation CD  – a different genre each year – of Alaska music. This CD is included in the fall issue of F Magazine, and a kick off concert with some of the talent featured on the CD precedes the release.
  • F Magazine is a contributor and sponsor of numerous events, including Anchorage Pride;  Spenard Jazz Fest, and Cirque Literary Journal
  • F Hideout also holds events of its own, including the annual F’Raiser – a huge arts celebration extravaganza, Audio F’ile party – an annual concert to kick of the compilation CD, F-Action! Red Carpet Awards – the live music and video awards event, and the Youth Art & Writing Awards celebration.

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The F CREW – who we are

The Founders:

Teeka A. Ballas, co-founder, publisher, content editor

Ballas’ life has always been a bit on the fringe – her family was nomadic (at last count, they lived in 15 U.S. towns and cities, and several overseas, before she was 15), very arts-inclined (musical, visual, theatrical), rather impoverished (but rich in love and perseverance), and considered by many, the dregs of society (mother: hippie, father: motorcycle enthusiast- aka biker). This rich background has lent itself well as fodder, perspective and ambition, particularly when it comes to running F Magazine. Upon fleeing the coup at 16, she studied voice and music composition in Los Angeles and then worked as a professional vocalist on stage and in the studio for 15 years before turning to journalism. Since then she has traveled even more extensively and worked in numerous U.S. states and countries covering everything from hostile environments to travel and leisure. She has won numerous awards in local and national media competitions for print, radio and photography.


Ballas has a propensity for radical hair changes, nonconformist attire, and impressively passionate public rants  – usually on the topic of arts and culture, and continues to live life a bit on the fringe.

Gretchen Weiss – co-founder

At heart and in practice, Weiss is an artist, and she also has a diverse media background that includes working in print, video, television and online.  She studied journalism at the University of Alaska Anchorage while working as the photography editor and then the executive editor of The Northern Light newspaper (where she and Ballas first connected).  Weiss worked in media locally at the Anchorage Daily News, KTVA Ch. 11 and various video and film ventures around Alaska and in Texas (for a brief, worrisome stint).

Though Weiss is no longer a co-owner of F, her initial vision, love and devotion are still a huge part of the staying power behind the publication. Without her, F would not be.


Nick Bradford – photo editor

Bradford started contributing to F as a photographer before was even old enough to cover live bar entertainment. A few years later, heis not only one of the most highly sought after photographers in Anchorage, he is also F’s photography editor. He coordinates, assigns and collects images from dozens of volunteer photographers. He has won numerous awards for his work with F – and we must admit, we’re pretty gleefully proud to have him working with us.


Mariajose Echeverria Stewart – layout designer

We don’t really know how she does it, but we’re pretty sure she uses a caldron and a wand – Mariajose makes magic happen to the pages. Originally from Ecuador, we’re certain her sexy accent is one of the ingredients when building her design concoctions. She is an artist first and foremost, but she’s also a graphic designer with MSI Communication – and it’s pretty obvious that we’re ecstatic to have her working with us.


Dawnell Smith – business manager, editor, writer, distribution, overall support vehicle

Somehow this badass Roller Derby All Star skater is able to run the only progressive art house in the state, raise two teenage boys, do a weekly dog walking gig, write award winning poetry and essays, contribute award winning articles to F Magazine, help deliver the magazine, edit the content, and be continual moral support to the exhausted and moody editor. She’s like the dreaded, feral superhero.


Bruce Farnsworth – poetry editor

If something brilliant, huge and amazing concerning the arts is happening in Anchorage, it’s guaranteed Farnsworth name is somehow attached or very nearby. But that’s not the only reason he’s aligned with F Magazine. He has been a friend and mentor since the beginning, and because (a little known fact to many in the arts community), Farnsworth is a phenomenal poet. This fact is well known among other poets, however, which makes him a great beacon for incredible AK poetry talent.

Nathan Shafer – Augmented Art manipulator extraordinaire

Shafer (he’s the one on the left – his wife is on the right and you can’t rightfully mention him without including his wife, Joelle, because she’s the HUGE bonus of getting to work with Nathan) speaks in tongues. If he was trying to deceive you, he’d be the master riddler. But in fact, he’s just a genius. He’s the magician who brings augmented reality to our pages. Take your mobile device, wave it over our pages and get: MORE ART! How F’in cool is that????

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What’s the F Squad? It’s all of those who also make F happen. They are the contributors, the supporters, organizers and promoters. Fall into this list and not see your name here? Let us know, as this is surely only a partial list of all those who have helped continue into its fifth year of existence.
Charlotte Alexander – soul provider


Riza Brown – writer

Trista Crass

Don Decker – art reviewer



Kellie Doherty – distribution & contributor

Rebecca Goodrich – book reviewer

Zach Horwitz – music Reviewer & more!

Samantha Kemplen – designer

Clark Mishler – photographer

Madeleine Otto – music reviewer

Evan Phillips – music magic maker

Lee Post – comic artist


Patrick Race – comic artist & Southeast supporter

Tim Remick – photographer

Alexis Roskelley – designer

Nic Sweet – comic artist

Stefanie Tatalias – collaborator

Craig Updegrove – designer

Shelly Wozniak – writer

Clark Yerrington – photographer


Brian Adams
Fawn Carparas
Camille Conti
Jessie Desmond
Makenzie Rose DeVries
Jack Gette
Serine Halverson
David Holthouse
KB Imle
Brendan Joel Kelley
Theodore Kincaid
Sandra Kleven
Jonathan Lang
Andi Powers
Jimmy Riordan
j.t. Shedaker

Matt Sullivan
Amanda Thompson
Jesus Landin-Torrez III