Alaska Museums Week 2020
Alaska Museum Week, a statewide celebration of Alaska museums and cultural centers will take place from June 7 through June 13. Coordinated by Museums Alaska, the event is designed to raise awareness of collecting institutions as stewards of culture and history, centers of education, community anchors, economic engines, and employers. According to Della Hall, the executive director of Museums Alaska, all museums in the state are encouraged to participate.
“We are inviting museums to participate in a daily theme, to help show the many ways they serve our state. Monday we kick off the week with activities for kids, then move through a series of other themes like connecting from home, technology, and life in Alaska.”
Not ready to visit a museum or perhaps the museum in your community remains closed to the public due to the coronavirus pandemic? Hall notes that curators, educators, and exhibit designers have been very busy creating novel opportunities for engagement. You can visit many museums from a smartphone.
“There are more than 100 museums and cultural centers in Alaska, and many remain closed as they plan efforts to reopen safely. But that has not stopped this very creative community. Museums have met the moment by developing virtual programming. There are films, tours, exhibits, gatherings, arts activities, and collections all available online.”
You can listen to an oral history of the Great Alaska Earthquake at the Alaska Jewish Museum. You can browse airplane photo at the Alaska Aviation Museum, enjoy student artwork at the Valdez Museum, or explore historic photos of Sutton at Alpine Historical Park. You can attend a live daily presentation from Seward’s Sea Life Center or write poetry with help from the Juneau Douglas City Museum. Wonder what’s showing this summer? Take virtual tours of galleries in Anchorage, Fairbanks, Kodiak, Sitka, and Whittier. To learn about the many online offerings the Alaska State Museum and Museums Alaska created a directory called Museums from Home. It is available at https://museumsalaska.org/Museum-From-Home. Also look for museum week hashtags on social media—#AKmuseums, #AKmuseumweek, #AKmuseumsmatter.
“In many ways, these digital opportunities are expanding the reach of Alaska’s museums,” said Hall. “They are dissolving barriers and inviting people across the world to learn about our state and its remarkable people. They are building connections at a time of disconnection.”
Museums Alaska is a statewide professional organization supporting Alaska’s collecting institutions and their staff members and volunteers. The non-profit organization supports the improvement of museum services and promotes public awareness of the value of the state’s museums and cultural centers. A nine-member volunteer board governs Museums Alaska with funding from memberships, grants, gifts, contracts, and sales.
In This Issue
Alaska Problems Require Alaska Solutions
On January 16, a fire destroyed the water plant and washeteria in the southwest Alaska village of Tuluksak. For the village of about 350 people, it was a devastating blow. The water plant was the only source of drinking water in the village, in which the primarily Yup’ik residents lack indoor plumbing and rely on honey buckets, not uncommon in the flat, swampy region.