Posted: Thursday, July 07, 2005

Mahaffey to host book-release party

JUNEAU -Juneau author Montgomery Mahaffey will host a book-release party for her new self-published collection, "Ella Bandita and Other Stories," from 7-9 p.m. Wednesday, July 13, at the second shelter on Sandy Beach.

The evening will include music, refreshments and excerpts from "Ella Bandita" and another story, "The Divorce of Vice and Virtue." The party is open to the public, guests 21 and older.

Mahaffey will take "Ella Bandita" on an extended book tour of the Interior and the Lower 48 for the rest of the year. Earlier this year, Mahaffey won a $5,000 Individual Artist Project Award from Anchorage's Rasmuson Foundation for self-publishing the collection and launching a cross-country promotional campaign. It's her first book.

The beach party is Mahaffey's going-away party. She plans to spend at least two months in the Interior, from Kenai to Fairbanks and any points in between or out of the way. By mid-to-late September, she plans to make her way to Washington state, Albuquerque, N.M., and wherever the book takes her through the Lower 48. She should return to Juneau sometime in late December or early January.

"It's pretty last-minute grass roots, and I'm probably going to learn a lot," Mahaffey said. "Anything could change. I'm pretty excited, and I'm also really scared."

"Ella Bandita and Other Stories" is self-published, printed by Crane Duplicating in Massachusetts and available at the beach for $8, cash only. It will be sold at Lisa Davidson's Boutique, Costa's Diner and Rainy Day Books, among other places.

A compact disc version of "Ella Bandita," recorded at Skatebottom Sound with Albert McDonnell, will be on sale at the beach for $5, cash only. Homemade copies of two other stories, "Preacher Man and the Golden Pedestal" and "Why Roses Have Thorns," illustrated by Joy West, will also be available for $5.

"Ella Bandita" is the story that earned Mahaffey the grant. It chronicles a struggling young woman who sells her heart to an evil sorcerer in exchange for eternal youth. She has an affair with the conjurer in order to learn the secret of seduction, but things go awry. She turns into a seductress, stealing men's hearts to eat them. Eventually, she comes across a wanderer who won't leave her alone. She ends up stealing his heart and turning him into a black wolf.

As she was developing the story, she thought of more plot lines for Ella Bandita. Some of those have turned up in "The Shepherd and the Courtesan," where two characters meet and have a conversation about their experience with the young woman.

Another story, "The Divorce of Vice and Virtue," is about a woman in her 30s who feels as if life has passed her by. She decides to split herself in half, with one half being the vice and the other being the virtue.

Park concert to feature 'Latin Night' Friday

JUNEAU - This Friday's free Concert in the Park will include three Juneau groups with a Latin flavor.

The show begins at 7 p.m., Friday, July 8, at Marine Park. Heather Haugland will be the emcee.

Ritmo Afro-Latino, a percussion ensemble that plays Afro-Latino rhythms including samba, guanguanco, salsa and comparsa, leads off at 7 p.m.

Rumbalaska follows with several Latin dance performances and a salsa and merengue lesson.

Caribe - a Latin band that specializes in salsa, cha cha, merengue and bolero - plays at 8 p.m.

Nelson to discuss Alaska wilderness

JUNEAU - Ohio professor Daniel Nelson will celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act with a book signing and reading from his new book, "Northern Landscapes: The Struggle for Wilderness Alaska," at 7 p.m., Tuesday, July 12, at the Nugget Mall Hearthside Books.

Nelson will discuss the importance of ANILCA's passage, as well as its legacy across the state. He's on a two-week trip through the state, and will share anecdotes pertinent to each region he visits.

He will also appear in Sitka at 7 p.m., Monday, July 11, at the Pioneer Home Chapel, 201 Lincoln St.

"Northern Landscapes" explores the passage of ANILCA and looks at local and national debates over the future of public lands and resources.

"ANILCA is as important to modern Alaska as oil, fish, or anything else," Nelson said in a press release. "It created the ecotourism industry, which, unlike oil, will endure, provided the Alaskans don't wreck their natural heritage. In addition - and no less important - ANILCA transformed the meaning of public lands in the U.S. and raised the possibility of managing whole ecosystems for wildlife, recreation and nature study, not resource exploitation."

Nelson is a professor of history emeritus at the University of Akron, where his specialties include economic, labor and environmental history. He won the Alaska History Prize for an article in "Alaska History." That essay appears in chapter three of "Northern Landscapes."

Museum exhibit apps now available

JUNEAU - The Juneau-Douglas City Museum solo artist exhibit application for the winter 2006-2007 season is now available online.

Interested artists can find the application at parksrec/museum/.

Scroll down the main body of the text and click on "Solo Artist Exhibit Application Information." Applications must be postmarked by Monday, Aug. 15, and candidates will be notified in the first week of September.

Hard copies of the application will soon be available at the museum. For more information, call 586-3572.

Alaska State Museum hands out grants-in-aid

JUNEAU - The Alaska State Museum recently rewarded grants totaling $105,600 to 15 Alaska museums and a statewide museum association. The grants-in-aid are intended to upgrade the quality of Alaska's museum operations and provide improved care for museum collections across the state.

There are more than 80 museum facilities in Alaska, with more in the planning stages. Grant awards ranged from $1,200 to $10,000.

Institutions receiving grants were:

• Alutiiq Museum, Kodiak. Collection storage shelving. $10,000

• Aviation Heritage Museum, Anchorage. CAP survey. $2,000

• Carrie McLain Museum, Nome. "Fritz" exhibit conservation components. $1,200

• City of Palmer (Palmer Museum). Object registration project. $9,825

• Copper Valley Historical Society. Computer and software, hire consultant. $5,625

• Cordova Historical Society & Museum. Exhibit design for new museum space. $10,000

• Eagle Historical Society. Reconditioning of keyboard instruments. $5,997

• Hammer Museum, Haines. MAP Survey, Collections Manage-ment. $2,000

• Juneau-Douglas City Museum. New capital city exhibit. $9,900

• Kenai Visitors & Cultural Center. Display cases for ethnographic exhibits. $10,000

• Kodiak Historical Society. MAP survey, collection management. $3,000

• Museum of the Aleutians, Unalaska. Conservation of kamleika and spray skirt. $5,024

• Museums Alaska. Newsletter, conference scholarships and support. $9,950

• Pratt Museum, Homer. Oral history exhibit component. $5,549

• Resurrection Bay Historical Society, Seward. Computer equipment for photo archive. $7,421

• Sheldon Museum, Haines. Exhibit label upgrade, printer and computer. $8,109.

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