Anchorage Museum Hosts Arctic Programming During President Obama’s Visit to Alaska

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The Anchorage Museum celebrates life in the North with events, exhibitions, art installations and more

The Anchorage Museum encourages global dialogue about the North. Image by Brian Adams

The Anchorage Museum encourages global dialogue about the North. Image by Brian Adams

We can change the narrative about Anchorage from a that of a frontier town to one of a pivotal, vibrant city poised to participate in global discussions about the future of the Arctic and its impact on the rest of the world.

The Anchorage Museum is co-hosting events in collaboration with the upcoming GLACIER (Global Leadership in the Arctic: Cooperation, Innovation, Engagement and Resilience) Conference, an event hosted in Anchorage Aug. 30-31 by the U.S. Department of State and the Secretary of State John Kerry to broaden awareness of critical issues the international community faces in the Arctic. Approximately 150 foreign ministers and 300 members of the international press will attend the conference, with President Barack Obama giving closing remarks.

The Anchorage Museum has created multiple exhibitions and programs focused on the contemporary and future Arctic as part of its Polar Lab programming and is home to the Smithsonian Arctic Studies Center. The museum is providing cultural context for GLACIER and is a venue for official activities around the conference.

“This is a distinct opportunity to see cooperation from many members of the Alaska and international community; a chance for Anchorage to celebrate its place in the world while international attention is turned to it," says Anchorage Museum Director and CEO Julie Decker. “We can change the narrative about Anchorage from a that of a frontier town to one of a pivotal, vibrant city poised to participate in global discussions about the future of the Arctic and its impact on the rest of the world.”

GLACIER EVENTS AND ACTIVITIES AT THE ANCHORAGE MUSEUM
The Anchorage Museum celebrates the Arctic with live music, art installations about life in the North, and a fish fry on the museum lawn from noon to 4 p.m. Aug. 30. The Anchorage Museum will also live stream the GLACIER conference in the museum auditorium on Aug. 31, host an event for youth on Sept. 1, and welcome visitors in the Dena’ina Athabascan language with an installation on the museum façade. The North is entwined with history, marks on the land, personal memories and adaptation. The Anchorage Museum invites the public to make their mark on large art installations at the Dena’ina Center and outside the museum Aug. 28-Sept. 1.

OTHER ARCTIC-RELATED PROGRAMMING AT THE ANCHORAGE MUSEUM
Current Arctic exhibitions at the Anchorage Museum include “On Ice,” which explores the historical role sea ice has played in the Arctic; “Florian Schulz: To the Arctic,” a photography exhibition which reveals an Arctic teeming with life amidst complex natural systems; “Arctic Ambitions: Captain Cook and the Northwest Passage,” which examines the legacies of Cook’s northern voyage, including changes to indigenous life; and “Polar Night: Life and Light In the Dead of Night,” which breaks the myth that polar night, the period of continued winter darkness near the Earth’s poles, is a time of inactivity within the Arctic ecosystem.

Upcoming programming includes Curated Conversations that address issues important to those living in the North, such as commodification of culture, and the Smithsonian Spotlight series featuring Alaska Native artists, scholars and researchers.

ANCHORAGE MUSEUM
The Anchorage Museum is the largest museum in Alaska and one of the top 10 most visited attractions in the state. The museum’s mission is to connect people, expand perspectives and encourage global dialogue about the North and its distinct environment. Learn more at anchoragemuseum.org.

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Laura Carpenter
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