$231,000 in grants for Anchorage centennial anniversary announced

Thirteen projects connected with the 100th anniversary of Anchorage's founding have received financial support, backers of the program announced Friday.

The Alaska Humanities Forum and the Anchorage Centennial Committee awarded $231,000 in the first of two waves of Anchorage Centennial Community Grant projects, according to an announcement from the Humanities Forum. The program supports community projects commemorating the first 100 years of Anchorage following its founding in 1915, the announcement said.

The Rasmuson Foundation has committed $500,000 over two years for the project.

The projects (listed alphabetically):

• 50/60 Celebration, Anchorage Community Theatre, $2,500

The 1964 Good Friday Earthquake interrupted an ACT production of "Our Town" in Grant Hall. To mark the 50th anniversary of the earthquake and celebrate its 60th season of theatre, ACT will present scenes and songs from the past six decades.

• Anchorage Remembers: A Centennial Memoir Project, 49 Writers, $7,500

49 Writers will conduct a series of free memoir writing workshops for older Anchorage residents of all cultural backgrounds. The project will culminate in a public reading.

• Anchorage Heritage Garden, Alaska Botanical Garden, $20,000

The Alaska Botanical Garden will develop and install a permanent heritage garden exhibit celebrating the work of pioneer gardeners in the early decades of Anchorage.

• Anchorage Stories, Anchorage Community Works/Nathan Shaefer, $34,000

Anchorage artist and educator Nathan Shaefer will create a four-part interactive walking tour of Anchorage presented as an augmented reality application for tablets and smartphones and told through the fictional stories of four characters experiencing the city at different periods in Anchorage history.

• Anchorage Youth History, Spirit of Youth/Alaska Teen Media Institute, $7,000

Alaska Teen Media Institute youth reporters will produce Anchorage history stories from a teenage perspective to air on the monthly KNBA radio program "In Other News."

• Anchortown Historic Buildings Project, Anchorage Fairs & Festivals, $5,000

Working with the Cook Inlet Historical Society, Anchortown will replace 20 existing structures at the annual Trick or Treat Town event with facades of iconic Anchorage buildings.

• Celebrating Anchorage: Ten Decades and Counting, Anchorage Log Cabin Quilters, $14,000

The Anchorage Log Cabin Quilters will create art quilts depicting events, places and people important to the development and growth of Anchorage from 1915 to the present. The quilts will be presented by decade and will hang from a banner quilt featuring the Anchorage skyline during the 2014 Great Alaskan Quilt Show.

• Follow the Light: Anchorage's Next 100 Years, Anchorage Park Foundation/Light Brigade, $35,000

The art group Light Brigade will create a large-scale wintertime light sculpture and live performance venue in Elderberry Park that repurposes the iconic 8-foot-tall Christmas decorations installed annually throughout downtown Anchorage in the 1960s and 1970s. Some 80,000 LED lights will be woven into the ornaments along the flowing contours of the park. Performances at the venue will be free and open to the public.

• From Tents to Towers: A Century of Maps of Alaska's Largest City, Katherine Ringsmuth, $55,000

From Tents to Towers will intersect geography, art and history by depicting Anchorage's development and expansion through historically significant maps and photographs that showcase the unusual and provoke critical thought. The images will be used for public exhibition, academic curriculum, virtual tours and community lectures.

• The Historical Anchorage Radio Hour: The Mysterious Death of Police Chief Sturgus, Alaska Sisters in Crime, $8,000

Alaska Sisters in Crime will produce a 1940s-style radio show based on the true story of the February 1921 unsolved murder of John "Black Jack" Sturgus, the first police chief of Anchorage.

• A Historical View for a Healthy Future, Alaska Sports Hall of Fame, $18,000

The Alaska Sports Hall of Fame will organize a family-friendly, noncompetitive 10K run and 2K walk/run honoring 100 years of athletic achievements in Anchorage.

• Oral and Written History of Fairview, Judith Owens-Manley, $15,000

Dr. Judith Owens-Manley will record oral histories of Fairview in a "Story Booth" inspired by the National Public Radio project StoryCorps, and train Fairview community members to create and collect written histories of one of Anchorage's four original neighborhoods.

• Tent City Festival, Anchorage Chamber of Commerce, $10,000

The Anchorage Chamber of Commerce will host a three-day Tent City Festival on the Delaney Park Strip in July 2015.

A second round of grants is scheduled to open April 15, 2014 with a final deadline of June 15, 2014, the announcement said. For more information, go to akhf.org.

Anchorage Daily News