New Permanent Stage Completed at Fair
Dena’ – People’s Stage dedication to be held August 27
Palmer, Alaska – After years of fundraising, planning and construction, the much-awaited Dena’ – People’s Stage is now completed at the Alaska State Fair. A dedication of the 1,000-square-foot permanent stage, located at The Gathering Place on the fairgrounds, will take place Saturday, August 27 at 1 p.m. All are invited to attend.
The dedication will include an introduction of the Fair board members, along with members of The Gathering Place advisory board, and remarks from Jerome Hertel, Fair general manager, Tabetha Toloff, chair of the advisory board, and Carol Kenley, Fair board president. The major funders, including Rasmuson Foundation, Alyeska Pipeline Service Company and Spenard Building Supply, will also be recognized for their role in making the stage a reality.
Fundraising and planning for the project initially began in 2012. Construction of the structure commenced in fall 2015 and was completed this month. The project utilized the talents of RIM Architects, Great Northern Engineering and Erickson Construction.
The 1,000-square-foot permanent stage features several amenities not previously available at The Gathering Place, including a dressing room and stage lighting. The venue will offer a dedicated performance area for Alaska Native entertainment at the Fair.
At the 2016 Fair, the stage will host a wide variety of music, drumming and dancing, as well as World Eskimo-Indian Olympics traditional games, Alaska Native humor and storytelling, and the Inupiaq blanket toss, among others. A schedule of events for the venue is posted on the Fair website.
The stage is the latest feature at The Gathering Place, which opened in 2014 as a designated place for sharing Alaska Native history, culture, arts and entertainment, while offering performance and business opportunities to Alaska Native performers and artists from across the state.
Last year, all regions of Alaska were represented at The Gathering Place, which featured 38 Alaska Native dance group performances, 23 Alaska Native artisans, 13 storytelling concerts, 10 Alaska Native games demonstrations, and nine music concerts.