AD Main Menu

Mike Dunham

Six young Alaskans received $1,500 scholarships during ceremonies at the Alaska State Fair in Palmer on Sunday. The six were this year’s honorees in the Summer of Heroes program, sponsored by Boys & Girls Clubs-Alaska and Alaska Communications. The program recognizes youth who make a positive impact in their communities.

The 2014 Summer of Heroes scholarship recipients are:

• Zoe Ballard-Huffman, 13, an eighth-grader at Jimmy Huntington School in Huslia, who serves as the treasurer and secretary for the village’s Junior Dog Mushing Club. She raises money for the club by organizing bake sales...

Mike Dunham

The suicide of Robin Williams earlier this month sent staffers scrambling to find out whether or not the actor/comic had ever performed in Anchorage, like maybe back in the pipeline days. I found no record of him even stopping over in town in the available newspaper archives, but colleagues dug up a 2010 interview with Decca Aitkenhead of the British daily The Guardian, where it was suggested that movie-making in Alaska had something to do with his resumption of drinking after 20 years on the wagon.

“On location in Alaska in 2003, however, he started drinking again,” Aitkenhead wrote...

Mike Dunham

The first time Preston Pollard saw a skateboard it awakened a passion.

“My dream was crazy,” he said. “I wanted to be a professional skateboarder. I was seven years old. Black kids didn’t skateboard. My friends made fun of me. I wasn’t good at it. And I lived in Alaska.”

Born in Anchorage in 1988, Pollard pursued his crazy dream with a single-minded dedication that seemed to contradict his description of himself as having attention deficit disorder.

“I practiced for hours. You could only get about four months of outdoor skateboarding here, so I practiced in the garage.”...

Mike Dunham

Design Nervous energy The Alaska Design Forum continues its lecture series on the role of ornamentation in contemporary design, titled “Bling,” with a presentation by the Boston-based design duo Nervous System. The pair uses 3D printers to create everything from jewelry to industrial design. They’ll follow a one-hour lecture with a two-hour workshop demonstrating software and 3D printed designs. The event is free, but is limited to 40 participants. It takes place at the Anchorage Museum starting at 6 p.m. on Friday. More information is available at alaskadesignforum.org...

Mike Dunham

You have plenty of ways to soil your hands at the Alaska State Fair. You've got animals, dust and mud, sticky confections and condiments dripping from snacks -- and that’s just what happens before you even get out of the car. But a new feature called Sudsy’s Barn, “a play-based, interactive hand-washing station,” aims to make scrubbing your knuckles one of the happiest reasons to go to the fair.

Sudsy’s Barn is the brainchild of Elisa Hays of Puyallup, Washington. On a promotional video, she says, “Why can’t we get people, and especially kids, to wash their hands? Because it isn’t fun, that’s why!”

So she set about making it fun, using her background in children’s entertainment to create a cross between Disneyland and your bathroom sink...

Mike Dunham

Former Alaska Poet Laureate Richard Dauenhauer died of pancreatic cancer on Tuesday in Juneau. He was 72. A noted historian, linguist, editor and educator, Dauenhauer made particularly important contributions to the preservation of Tlingit lore and language...

Mike Dunham

The gray front of the metal two-story warehouse-type building on Ship Creek looks plain enough, surrounded by gravel parking areas with a cluster of utility boxes lining the wall next to the main entrance.

But you never know what you’ll find behind the door.

In the past few weeks, Anchorage Community Works has hosted the thrash metal band Seracs, an acoustic show by the much-recorded Matt Hopper and all-ages concerts by local groups including Mythological Horses, Thunderfish and Dr. Zen. They’ve held swap meets, where musicians could buy and sell surplus gear. And, on any given day, one may encounter artists working on paintings, sculptures, prints, photography -- or juggling...

Mike Dunham

The Alaska State Council on the Arts unveiled the 11 new pieces recently added to the Alaska Contemporary Art Bank at a reception on Aug. 7. The works by Alaskans join more than 700 other paintings, photos, sculptures and mixed-media items that are placed in public offices around the state.

The biggest crowd seemed to gather around Mark Tetpon’s “Inuit Hunter Mask,” a large painted wood face surrounded by animal figures executed in whalebone and ivory -- about half a walrus’ worth of ivory, from the looks of it. I was particularly struck by the careful carving of two juxtaposed dancing walruses whose arms curved over their heads, almost as thin as ribbons...

Mike Dunham
Primary Category: 

The new Alaska Airlines Center at the University of Alaska Anchorage features a 5,000-seat fishbowl arena for sports events but will also be a venue for concerts, graduations and more...

Mike Dunham

When the crowd passes under the soaring stainless steel columns in the lobby of the University of Alaska Anchorage’s new Alaska Airlines Center to hear Alabama Shakes next month, they’ll be walking into history.

The performance by the nationally acclaimed Southern roots rock band, its Alaska debut, will be the first concert in the $110 million, 192,000-square-foot building that is likely to become one of the state’s prime live music venues...

Mike Dunham

Pages