To the many speakers and attendees at its May 15 opening ceremonies, the Walter Soboleff Building is a work of art, a home for culture, and a powerful symbol of Tlingit, Haida, and Tsimshian people's perseverance and strength. It's also a fitting tribute to Dr. Walter Soboleff, an ordained Presbyterian minister who passed away in 2011 at the age of 102, inspired many in Southeast Alaska with his Sunday morning radio broadcasts, and worked to cultivate Alaska Native pride at a time it was much needed.
TENAKEE SPRINGS - Telling a good story is not as easy as it sometimes looks. Ask anyone who has ever seriously tried. First of all, you've got to snag the potential reader's attention long enough to get her or him to go along with you, only then can you get on to actually telling the story. Even then you're not done until you can find a way to end it in a way that leaves the reader satisfied that it's been worth sticking with you through the telling. This is all about how a good story came to an end last week.
This event is so popular, it sold out in early April. (Tickets for next year go on sale Feb. 1.) The schedule includes a Gourmet Brewers' Dinner at 6 p.m. Friday, May 22 in Harriett Hall featuring a five-course meal paired with craft beers (to get on the wait list, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with your name, a contact phone number, and the number of tickets desired); the Slammin Salmon 5K Run or Walk and 10K Run beginning at 9 a.m. Saturday, May 23; and the event itself, the 23rd Great Alaska Craft Beer and Homebrew Festival Tasting from 1-5 p.m. Saturday in Dalton City, which includes food and live music and the results of the Home Brew Competition.
On May 13, the Alutiiq Museum will celebrate its 20th anniversary. Founded in 1995, the museum grew from the Kodiak Area Native Association's Culture and Heritage Division, following the EXXON-Valdez Oil Spill. A 1.5 million dollar grant from the EVOS Trustee Council helped KANA build a home for heritage collections and cultural programming.
Alaska Robotics and local musician Marian Call will host Seattle ukulele performer, songwriter, and comedienne Molly Lewis for a performance with Call at the Gold Town Nickelodeon next week, on May 20. The two women, who frequently write songs together, will trade songs back and forth during the show, called Geek Girls in Concert. Possible song topics include James Bond, Jane Austen, the space shuttle program, penguins, Mr. T, Myspace, Wikipedia, Stephen Fry, Star Trek, and more. The concert begins at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 20, at the Gold Town Nickelodeon. Admission is $10, and the event is suitable for all ages.
The Alaska State Library hosted the May 5 signing ceremony for SB 63, the bill naming the state's new facility the Father Andrew P. Kashevaroff State Library, Archives, and Museum Building. The bill further names the public reading room the Representative Richard Foster Reading Room.
SEAGLA, Southeast Alaska LGBTQ Alliance, will host a fundraiser called "Wigging OUT" to support the organizations' programming for Juneau Pride this June. Wigging OUT is scheduled for Friday, May 15 at 9 p.m. at the Gold Town Nickelodeon and will feature a screening of the cult classic film, Hedwig and the Angry Inch. Tickets are $13 and are available through the JAHC.org website and Hearthside books.
Spaulding Meadows, Auke Nu, or John Muir Trail -- we all know it by a different name. I call it Spaulding Meadows Trail, as it is named after one of the miners who established the trail, Victor Spaulding. The start of the trail is a small parking lot just north of Sea View Avenue in Auke Bay.
YAKUTAT - Some humans may think of Yakutat as out-of-the-way, but it's right where one of the world's largest known breeding colonies of Aleutian terns wants to be. So for the fifth year, organizers of the Yakutat Tern Festival are hoping people will join terns in making Yakutat a destination. "The idea was around for many years to do some sort of wildlife birding festival," said Yakutat-based wildlife biologist Susan Oehlers. "There's definitely interest in the community for having folks come in to do more than just fish, but there's not that awareness.... We're looking at it from the ecotourism standpoint, and to support the local economy, which is suffering."
Petersburg's Little Norway Festival celebrates Syttende Mai (May 17), the anniversary of the signing of Norway's Constitution in 1814. Now sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce, it was first organized by two local women, Bernadine Trones and Alma Wallen, on May 17, 1958, and has taken place every year since. As those who have attended this festival know, this is a major event for Petersburg, and includes a lively parade, a pageant of traditional Norwegian clothing, dancing and live music in the streets, artist booths, activities including a herring toss, and a community fish bake at Sandy Beach. This year's festival runs from May 14-17.
It's time to take a walk on the wild side with Anchorage Brewing Company and Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales of Dexter, Michigan. Now that Anchorage Brewing Company is settled into the new digs in a brand new building in south Anchorage (148 W. 91st St.) having relocated from the catacombs within the Snow Goose Restaurant and Sleeping Lady Brewing Company in downtown Anchorage, it's time to celebrate all the creativity that comes from these two respective breweries.
Brigham Young University's Living Legends will present their show "Seasons" on May 14 at 7:30 p.m. at Centennial Hall. Celebrating the native cultural heritage of North and South America and the South Pacific, Living Legends combines music, costume, and dance.
In early April, on the day after Easter, fishermen Vernon Hill, Bernard Wolf and George Lindoff returned to Hoonah from Sitka Sound toting a shipload of "Easter eggs." The crew of the Shirley N spent nine days dropping hemlock branches into the shoreline, waiting for herring to spawn and collecting herring eggs on branches.