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Community Invited to Explore Fairbanks Museum Behind the Scenes



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Feb. 2, 2010


Fairbanks, Alaska—The University of Alaska Museum of the North will host its annual open house Saturday, Feb. 6 from noon to 4 p.m. The free event is one of only two opportunities each year for the public to explore the museum behind the scenes.

During the event, community members can visit the museum’s research labs on a self-guided tour. Curators, collection managers and students will have objects on display to highlight the scope of each collection and current research at the museum. Visitors can step into the climate-controlled room where the museum houses its 1.4 million artifacts and specimens. The specimen preparation labs and exhibit design suite will also be open during the event.

“Part of our responsibility as a museum is to be a caretaker for Alaska’s collections. This event gives the community a chance to see that aspect of our work up close,” said museum director Carol Diebel. “We want the community to understand that this museum is much more than the exhibits.”

As a preview for a temporary butterfly pavilion the museum plans to install this fall, children will help build a butterfly display with origami butterflies that they color and fold. Families can also participate in new gallery activities and crafts in the education center, both designed to complement the behind-the-scenes experience.

Saturday also marks the opening of the special exhibit “Gathering of Gifts: Relationships That Build the Museum’s Collections.” The exhibit highlights some of the donors, partnerships and fieldwork that helped the museum acquire an Asian elephant, a passenger pigeon, new works by contemporary Alaska artists and other recent additions to the museum’s collections.

For more information on the museum’s spring events and exhibits, call 907-474-7505 or visit the museum online at http://museum.uaf.edu.

ON THE WEB: http://museum.uaf.edu

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