Date Night Program to Expand
The Alutiiq Museum will transform Date Night With Disaster, a popular 2016 event for Kodiak couples, into a two-year series. A grant of $52,595 from EmcArts of Harlem New York, funded by Alaska’s Rasmuson Foundation, will help to underwrite the costs.
Date Night is one of the museum’s latest efforts to connect a broader audience with Alutiiq traditions. Couples buy tickets to an event featuring dinner and Alutiiq-themed activities. In August 2016, patrons brought their sweethearts to Date Night with Disaster, where they learned Alutiiq-style survival skills. After a meal catered by French chefs Joel and Martine Chenet, participants ground leaves of slate into sharp-edged knives and made “nature’s Neosporin,” a healing salve featuring local plants. Twenty-five couples attended.
“Our first Date Night event was a big success”, said Alutiiq Museum Executive Director, April Laktonen Counceller. “People enjoyed this fun, unexpected event and we had many new patrons. The recent grant will help us to scale the event, to create a program based on this model. We plan to host more Date Night events here in Kodiak and to travel the event to Port Lions and Anchorage to connect with people who can’t easily visit us.”
Future Date Night themes will be based on patron feedback. Couples asked for more survival training, a chance to learn local dances–from Polkas to Alutiiq dances–and an opportunity to make Alutiiq dishes like Perok. The first of four 2017 date night will be held in May. Tickets will be available on line, or at the museum. For event notification, please contact Gallery Manager, Dana Haynes, to be added to the museum’s email broadcast list.
The Alutiiq Museum is a nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving and sharing the history and culture of the Alutiiq, an Alaska Native tribal people. Representatives of Kodiak Alutiiq organizations govern the museum with funding from charitable contributions, memberships, grants, contracts, and sales.