If you've ever wanted to ask a world-famous artist what makes him or her tick, tonight is your chance.
Environmental artists Christo and Jeanne-Claude are in Juneau tonight. The two have done some incredible works - giant outdoor projects such as wrapping buildings and bridges with fabric, and erecting hundreds of big umbrellas across the countryside. Check out their Website at www.christojeanneclaude.net if you're interested. They've done far more than I ever realized.
The two artists will give a presentation and answer questions at 6:30 tonight at the Alaska Native Brotherhood Hall. Tickets $18 at Hearthside Books.
From 7 to 9 tonight Juneau bird guru Bob Armstrong will give a free talk on migratory birds at the Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center, called "Where our birds come from." There will also be raptors on hand and demonstrations of bird banding.
Outdoor recreation is in full swing these days. The next week holds sailing classes, public trap shooting, organized family and group hiking trips, fly-casting practice sessions, guided bird walks and bike trips. Many of these activities are free. Check the "Out and About" calendar on Page 15 of Thursday's Empire for full details on these opportunities. It's part of Empire Outdoors, a new weekly feature on outdoor recreation. It will published every Thursday.
One outdoor activity Saturday is the annual Spring Clean Up. It's a way to meet new people and to do your part for a few hours to make Juneau a better place. You can pick up garbage bags at most grocery store parking lots between 9 a.m. and noon. Volunteer contractors will patrol the major roadways until about 3 p.m. and pick up those filled garbage bags, so get the bags down to any of those roads.
If you're interested in cleaning a stream, pick up maps and garbage bags at the Duck Creek Market parking lot. A free barbecue for all Clean Up volunteers will be held from noon to 2 p.m. at the market.
International Museum Day will be celebrated in Juneau on Sunday with a host of free activities from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. There's free admission, tours, new exhibits and activities at the Juneau-Douglas City Museum, the Alaska State Museum, St. Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church and the Last Chance Mining Museum. A free shuttle service will run between the sites.
Earnest Shackleton's epic Antarctic adventure has recaptured peoples' imaginations in recent years. A documentary film made during the expedition has been re-released and comes to Juneau this weekend. "South" shows at 2, 7 and 8:30 p.m. Saturday and 2 and 7 p.m. Sunday at The Goldtown Nickelodeon Theater in the Emporium Mall.
Music ranges from choral to Cajun this week. The Alaska Youth Choir Spring Concerts will be at 7 tonight at Northern Light United Church and 7 p.m. Saturday at Chapel by the Lake. A reception will follow each concert. Tickets are $8, $5 students and seniors and $20 per family, at Hearthside Books.
The Ray-Jen Cajun Band from Homer, an excellent Cajun group, plays from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. tonight and Saturday at the Alaskan Bar. There's no cover. Another free event is the band Top Cover, an eight-piece group from Anchorage playing top 40, classic rock and county. They're a sub-set of the Air Force's 30-piece military band and they played a great show here last year. They get all the gigs for the officer's parties and such and serve as the Air Force's musical ambassadors. The band plays at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at Juneau-Douglas High School.
The Thunder Mountain Big Band with Bruce Paulson, an excellent jazz trombonist from Los Angeles, plays a dance beginning at 9 tonight in the Elks Lodge Ballroom. Band member Ron Maas said the band has new material and features modern tunes, including swing dance tunes. Paulson has been in Juneau many times as a featured guest for Jazz and Classics and he's a top-notch player.