State of Art

State of Art is a weekly program covering arts, entertainment, and culture in the Anchorage area.

Hosted by:
Ammon Swenson

Reach us by email:

Listen to State of Art on Fridays at 8:00 p.m.

State of Art: Saying goodbye to retiring Hometown, Alaska host Kathleen McCoy

Kathleen McCoy spent decades as a journalist before joining Alaska Public Media as an original host of Hometown, Alaska. After years behind the mic interviewing local leaders and community members, she’s stepping down to enjoy retirement. We look back at McCoy’s career and what comes after public radio.

State of Art: Looking back at 60 years of artist Garry Kaulitz’s work

This week on State of Art we hear about artist Garry Kaulitz’s retrospective at the International Gallery of Contemporary Art. Kaulitz worked as a professor at the University of Alaska where he taught printmaking and his works have been featured in hundreds of exhibitions. The show features a diverse range of prints, paintings and drawings spanning six decades with a concurrent exhibition in Kaulitz’s adopted home of Cuenca, Ecuador.

State of Art: The 34th annual Anchorage Folk Festival

This week on State of Art the Anchorage Folk Festival returns with in-person performances, workshops, and more. We hear from Johnse Ostman, president of the fest’s board of directors, to find out about the local and featured acts, volunteer opportunities, and what to expect.

State of Art: Artist Meg Anderson and RKP Production’s ‘Out to Lunch’

This week on State of Art we meet artist Meg Anderson. Her show “Yellow Skies and Black Birds” will be on display at Cyrano’s Art Gallery from January 6 through February 26. Originally from Wisconsin, Anderson spent 24 years as an interpretive graphic artist and illustrator for Alaska State Parks. We discuss her work for the parks, her show and her many other creative projects. We also hear from RKP Production’s Audrey Weltman Kelly and Dick Reichman about the new original play “Out to Lunch: A Political Comedy.”

State of Art: Alaska Playlist Project makes it easier to find homegrown musicians

This week on State of Art we’re hearing from Juneau-based singer-songwriter Marian Call. As part of the Alaska Independent Musician Initiative and a new endeavor called MusicAlaska, Call tells us about the work being done to compile playlists of Alaska musicians to help paint a more complete picture of the state’s music scene. We hear about the working musician’s grind, the benefits of these playlists and plans use them.

State of Art: The Anchorage Community Concert Band explores ‘Reverence’ in upcoming winter concert

This week on State of Art we’re hearing from Dr. Mark Wolbers, director of the Anchorage Community Concert Band. Their free winter performance, “Reverence,” will take place on Sunday, December 4 in the Discovery Theater in the Alaska Center for the Performing Arts. Wolbers tells us about being in the band, managing the wide range of skill levels and what to expect from the concert.

State of Art: Preserving Alaska’s music with Jimmy Riordan

This week on State of Art we’re hearing from local artist and the mastermind behind the Alaska BookMobile, Jimmy Riordan. His current work is focused on digitizing analogue Alaska music. He got his start working in Bethel and preserving recordings found around the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta, but has branched out to more of a statewide focus. We hear about how he got started, what he’s found along the way and what comes next.

State of Art: Anchorage Museum’s Seed Lab is a space of endless possibilities

This week on State of Art we’re learning about Anchorage Museum’s Seed Lab. The black building covered in murals is located across from the main museum facility on the corner of 6th and A in downtown Anchorage. In addition to supplementing other museum programming, they hold a variety of workshops on topics ranging from climate to repair and reuse and other events and conversations focusing on community and the environment. They also support artists in residence in addition to things like housing a tool library and a newly built podcast studio.

State of Art: Tent City Press zine fair and Anchorage Community Theater’s ‘Constance and Sinestra and the Cabinet of Screams’

This week on State of Art we’re hearing from the owner of Tent City Press, Bryce Fredrick. Along with the Anchorage Public Library and the Seed Lab, Tent City Press will be hosting a zine fair and swap on Friday, November 4. We also hear from Anchorage Community Theater’s Executive Director Matt Fernandez about their current production of spooky musical “Constance and Sinestra and the Cabinet of Screams.”

State of Art: ‘The Alaskan Blonde’ and Anchorage Opera’s ‘The Pirates of Penzance’

This week on State of Art we’re hearing from James Bartlett, author of true-crime book “The Alaskan Blonde: Sex, Secrets, and the Hollywood Story that Shocked America.” The book examines the murder of wealthy Fairbanks businessman Cecil Wells on October 17, 1953. We’ll also hear from the conductor and stage director/choreographer from Anchorage Opera’s production of “The Pirates of Penzance.”

State of Art: Talking with Joy Harjo, 23rd poet laureate of the United States

This week on State of Art we’re hearing from Joy Harjo. She served as poet laureate of the United States from 2019 to this year. As the first Native American to hold the position, she made it her goal to lift up the voices of indigenous poets. We discuss her relationship to Alaska, her time as poet laureate and her new work.

State of Art: Anchorage Community Theater’s ‘The Sensuous Senator’

This week on State of Art we’re hearing from Marrin Eighinger, director of Anchorage Community Theater’s production of “The Sensuous Senator.” The fast-paced comedy follows a presidential candidate running on a morality platform, his indiscretions and the fallout of his secrets. The final performances are Saturday, October 1 at 7 p.m. and Sunday, October 2 at 3 p.m.

State of Art: Talking shop with restaurant consultant Steph Johnson

This week on State of Art we’re hearing from Steph Johnson. She was an early hire when the Bear Tooth Grill was first opening, eventually becoming general manager of the Bear Tooth Theatrepub and Grill. After two decades with the company, she’s helping other restaurants find their way. We discuss her work as a consultant, what makes a good dining experience and the un-sexy side of the business.

State of Art: On the cusp of 80 Linda Lucky celebrates milestones with ‘Loose Ends’

When you walk into the International Gallery of Contemporary art in downtown Anchorage, you’ll be greeted by a painting of a woman. She’s sitting on a chair, wearing nothing but a sheer scarf and hat that says “Art Slut.” It’s a self-portrait by artist Linda Lucky, inspired by Alice Neel who painted herself in the nude at 80. Lucky’s show at IGCA called “Loose Ends” is a journey through a diverse selection of work showing the fun and whimsy of youth, the sophistication of midlife and the nostalgia of looking back.

State of Art: Painter Scott Clendaniel takes a lighthearted approach to his Alaska-themed paintings

This week on State of Art we’re hearing from artist Scott Clendaniel. He combines his love of the outdoors, beer and positive vibes in his work. In addition to landscapes and other Alaska scenes, when scanning through his collection of paintings, you might find X-wings from Star Wars flying over Denali, an octopus hitting up some fresh powder on skis, or local beers in the foreground of an epic background. You can find his paintings on display at Turnagain Brewing until October 6.

State of Art: Meet the guys behind Akela Space

This week on State of Art we’re hearing from Jovell Rennie and Young Kim from Akela Space. The local photographers and long-time friends are the driving force behind the spot’s mission to showcase new artistic talent and provide an inclusive community space. We hear about what they look for when collaborating with an artist, past shows and events, and how they want the spot to be a blank canvas of possibilities.

State of Art: Meet Anchorage Press Editor O’Hara Shipe

This week on State of Art we’re hearing from O’Hara Shipe. She took over as managing editor of the Anchorage Press in March after being a long-time contributor to the alt-weekly. She is also the state director for cannabis magazine Alaska Leaf and has her own photography business Shipe Shots. We discuss her professional hockey career, her work as a journalist and her goals for the paper.

State of Art: ‘5 Lesbians Eating a Quiche’ and the art of Elizabeth Belanger

This week on State of Art we’re diving into what’s been happening at Cyrano’s this month. We hear from the theater’s Producing Artistic Director Teresa K. Pond about the play “5 Lesbians Eating a Quiche” and how social repression and dread of nuclear war in the 1950s helps influence the period comedy. We also hear from painter Elizabeth Belanger about her work on display in the theater’s gallery and how a cancer diagnosis helped her start painting again.

State of Art: Meet this month’s makers at the IGCA

This week on State of Art we’re hearing from three creatives that make up August’s diverse International Gallery of Contemporary Art exhibits. Rachael Juzeler has a love for rust and incorporating found objects into her sculptures, Ronald Viol examines human expression with his clay work, and Robert Werner engineers objects using 3D printing and computer […]

State of Art: Emma Hill’s ‘Park Songs’ and celebrating Irish heritage at Galway Days

This week on State of Art we’re joined by local singer-songwriter Emma Hill who tells us about her project “Park Songs.” Hill spent months travelling around the U.S. and Canada visiting national parks, recording notes and melodies along the way. The project is a combination of music, travelogue and advocacy for parklands. In this episode we also learn about Galway Days. Peggy Monaghan from the Irish Club of Alaska tells us about the upcoming celebration of Irish culture.

State of Art: Hear from Salmonfest organizer David Stearns

This week on State of Art we’re joined by Salmonfest organizer David Stearns. The music and arts festival runs from August 5 through 7 at the Kenai Peninsula Fairgrounds in Ninilchik. Headliners include Umphrey’s McGee, Shakey Graves, Rising Appalachia and California Honeydrops. We learn about the old days, the festival’s salmon-centric mission, and what’s new this year.

State of Art: Learn to tell your story with Anchorage-born author Patrice Gopo

In her collection of essays called “All the Colors We Will See,” Patrice Gopo examines her experience of being raised by Jamaican immigrant parents and growing up Black in Alaska. Now she’s helping others tell their stories in a free writing workshop.

State of Art: Going to Salmonfest? Check out these headliners

The salmon-supporting festival runs from August 5 to 7 and features dozens of visiting and local musicians.

State of Art: Trading bindings for guitar straps

Pro snowboarder turned musician Gus Engle releases his second album “Dungeon Master.”

State of Art: After decades of playing and fixing pianos in Alaska, musician Dan McElrath says goodbye with two final shows

Dan McElrath spent the last three decades living and making a name for himself in Alaska through his jazz combo The Dan Mac Band, collaborations with local artists and through is work as the state’s premier piano technician.

State of Art: Boundary-pushing ensemble brings their brand of chamber music to Anchorage

Wild Shore New Music is a New-York based chamber music collective that features Alaska-raised musicians with a focus on the relationship between art and our environment.

State of Art: Indie Alaska, SpongeBob and the music of Dan McElrath

This week on State of Art we’re checking out the newest episode of Indie Alaska called “How Running Ultramarathons Saved Carol Seppilu’s Life.” We’ll also hear about one Sitkan’s musical fingerprints on the SpongeBob SquarePants cartoon. We wrap up the episode with a track from long-time Alaska musician Dan McElrath who is playing two going away shows this summer.

State of Art: Children’s musical ‘The Claw’ grabs hearts and minds of any age

The show tells the story of toys stuck in a out of order claw machine and what happens when it’s turned on. We’re joined by “The Claw” director Justin Stewart and music director Annika Merkel to find out about the musical, working with youth and the play’s theme of facing the unknown.

State of Art: New Anchorage pottery studio debuts on First Friday

The studio occupies the former Fire Island Bakery Location on G Street in downtown Anchorage and promises memberships, one-off classes and more.

State of Art: Anchorage Opera returns after a two-year hiatus with ‘Tosca’

The opera is considered one of Puccini’s masterpieces and has all the passion, intrigue and death you’d want from a dramatic performance. 

State of Art: Anchorage Festival of Music celebrates the diverse work of Dave Brubeck

The Dave Brubeck Centennial Celebration Concert takes place on Wednesday, April 27 at 7:30 p.m. in the Discovery Theater.

State of Art: Fringe Festival is a return to form for Out North

The multi-week fest consists of performances, workshops, and film. We’re joined by three guests who tell us about coming back to the stage after a long hiatus, how the fest has been going and what else we can expect.

State of Art: Anchorage Community Theater sings its way through “Ordinary Days”

This week on State of Art we’re hearing from “Ordinary Days” director Warren Weinstein. He’s been involved with ACT since the early 90s, but this will be his directorial debut for the company. He tells us about his deep ties to ACT, why a sung-through musical is nothing to be afraid of and what’s on his mind as he gets ready to debut.

State of Art: Kikkan Randall and others share their #alaskaseafoodhacks

On this episode of State of Art we hear from five-time Olympian Kikkan Randall and Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute communications director Ashley Heimbigner about their seafood hacks, underrated seafood options, and more.

State of Art: ‘Tiny Beautiful Things’ puts life’s difficult questions on stage

upcoming presentation of “Tiny Beautiful Things.” It’s based on the book “Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life From Dear Sugar” by author Cheryl Strayed.

State of Art: Youth filmmakers get a chance to show off their work at this Anchorage festival

This week on State of Art we’re learning about After School Special. It’s a youth film screening organized by Alaska Teen Media Institute. We’re joined by ATMI veteran and student filmmaker Daisy Carter who tells us about getting over her own fears of people seeing her work, what it’s like to see your film on the big screen, and why young filmmakers don’t need to be nervous about getting involved.

State of Art: Anchorage students turn health care worker selfies into works of art

This week on State of Art we’re discussing “Portraits of Those Who Serve,” a project meant to thank and honor healthcare workers during the continued COVID-19 pandemic.

State of Art: Anchorage Community Theater turns to the airwaves for their production of Frankenstein

This week on State of Art we’re hearing about Anchorage Community Theater’s production of Frankenstein. We’re joined by ACT’s executive director Matt Fernandez to talk about the classic story, the main cast and how this play gave the crew of a canceled show a second chance.

State of Art: Anchorage writer releases spooky new book in time for Halloween

This week on State of Art we’re learning about “Come into the Water,” a new illustrated book from Anchorage writer Jessica Faust. It tells the story of an isolated young pregnant woman who starts having some unsettling experiences

State of Art: Anchorage concert organizers hope to fund future musicians

This week on State of Art we’re learning about the upcoming concert from Amplify Alaska, an organization that pairs musicians with nonprofits to help fund various causes. It will feature Ed Washington along with some up-and-coming Anchorage musicians performing at Williwaw on Friday, October 1. Sales from the show will help fund a recording studio at the Mountain View Boys and Girls Club.

State of Art: Anchorage Museum podcast host finds enlightenment and connection through conversation

On this week’s State of Art we’re hearing from Cody Liska, independent journalist and host of the Anchorage Museum’s “Chatter Marks” podcast. Each episode of “Chatter Marks” features a long-form discussion with scientists or creatives whose work relates to Alaska.

State of Art: Former Alaska wildlands firefighter turned romance author takes the indie route

LoLo Paige retired from the Department of Interior in Alaska after a career as a wildlands firefighter.

State of Art: Anchorage musician Bethlehem Shalom does things her way

Bethlehem Shalom has multiple releases that showcase her eclectic tastes and a kind of Jackson-Pollock-style songwriting. Her albums will keep you on your toes as she blends genres and moods from indie rock to jazz to hip-hop.

State of Art: Anchorage Museum program aims to empower teens to address climate change

In the new program, teens in grades 9-12 will work with museum educators and use museum resources to discuss and find solutions to climate change.

State of Art: Anchorage student journalist wins international award

This week on State of Art we’re hearing from Daisy Carter who recently won Youth Journalism International’s Student Journalist of the Year award. Carter is a producer for Alaska Teen Media Institute and has written for UAA’s student newspaper The Northern Light.

State of Art: Learn about early Anchorage residents with Stories at the Cemetery

This week on State of Art we’re talking about Stories at the Cemetery. Every summer visitors can make a few trips to the Anchorage Memorial Park to watch actors perform as some of the cemetery’s more notable residents. We’re joined by Audrey Weltman Kelly and Bruce Kelly as they perform their parts as Sydney and Jeanie Laurence.

State of Art: 18-year-old Alaska singer-songwriter Ava Earl releases fourth album

Ava Earl grew up in Girdwood and has been writing songs since she was a little kid. The teenage musician recently released her fourth album called “The Roses.” On this week’s State of Art Earl talks about the new album, being a young performer, and more.

State of Art: Fairbanks teacher makes Shakespeare accessible with new book

Rachel DeTemple wanted a better way to teach students Shakespeare that didn’t equate to period correct dentistry, so she put together a version of Hamlet that even the most Bard-hating reader could enjoy. That’s why she released “Hamlet by William Shakespeare: The Know-it-All Version.” 

State of Art: Anchorage garage band Outta Place is ready to rock your garage sale

This week on State of Art we’re hearing from members of Anchorage band Outta Place. Father son duo Duke and Shane Russell have been playing music together forever, but with more musicians in the mix and gig opportunities returning, they’re champing at the bit to take audiences on a musical journey.

State of Art: FORUM magazine casts a wide net to showcase Alaska culture in their spring 2021 issue

This week on State of Art we’re learning about FORUM magazine, a quarterly publication from the Alaska Humanities Forum. The spring 2021 issue is out now and features stories ranging from dogsledding in Denali to a toolkit for reader-lead discussions.

State of Art: Forget your troubles with this sci-fi comedy from Anchorage Community Theater

This week on State of Art we’re learning about Anchorage Community Theater’s current production “Shaula: Queen of the Universe.” The play can be seen live from May 14 to May 30 and streamed from May 21 to to the end of the production.

State of Art: Marine biologist turned photographer pays it forward

When Cory Lescher heads out to the Aleutian Islands to help fishing crews manage bycatch or escapes to the mountains to play, he’ll bring his camera to document the experience. As he improved his skills he didn’t want to just use his photos to brag to his family in Oregon, he wanted to help out. That’s why every month he donates 50 percent of his photo earnings to a different nonprofit organization.

State of Art: Hear about RKP Production’s third virtual roadhouse play

This week on State of Art we hear from director Dick Riechman and actor Jill Bess about the play “The Inner Man.”

State of Art: Find out how Anchorage School District students honored healthcare workers

This week on State of Art we’re hearing from Eagle River High School art teacher Jacob Bera and Anchorage School District fine art coordinator Leah Maltbie. They tell us about an art project meant to show appreciation for everything healthcare workers have done during the COVID-19 pandemic.

State of Art: Relive Anchorage’s first full-length classical music concert with this virtual re-enactment and lecture

On this week’s episode of State of Art, we hear from Anchorage Festival of Music artistic director Laura Koenig. We find out what it took to not only put this event together 100 years later, but also the research of the original concert and its performers.

State of Art: The Alaska Virtual Symphony wont let distance hold them back

The COVID-19 pandemic forced arts groups of all kinds to pivot and reevaluate how they can continue to create, but also reach audiences. The Alaska Virtual Symphony was organized to give musicians much needed opportunities to learn, connect and perform from anywhere in the state. Regardless of age and experience participants join in weekly via video conference for lessons and prepare for virtual concerts.

State of Art: Anchorage rockers Photonak want to bring light to dark times

Photonak is one of those bands that come across as totally genuine in their mission and respect for each other. With their debut album “Tempered,” the band hunkered down in their home studio and turned out a highly produced piece of sprawling rock and roll.

State of Art: Miss the Anchorage Folk Fest this year? Check out these open mic performances.

The 32nd annual Anchorage Folk Festival was held virtually this year. Despite the pandemic, they persevered and came through with as close an approximation of the festival that we’ve come to know and love.

State of Art: Alaska author Don Rearden gets poetic in “Without a Paddle”

In his first published collection of poetry Rearden covers everything from tiny moments in time to Alaska memories to big picture reflections. He tells us about making poetry accessible, the lasting influence of growing up in rural Alaska, and what makes him a poet with a lowercase “p.”

State of Art: RKP Productions and Anchorage Community Theater team up for “Bush Poet”

This week on State of Art we’re hearing about “Bush Poet,” a play written and directed by Dick Reichman. The play features Mark Robokoff as a gruff and solitary Alaskan who meets a young boy, played by Mason Dolphin, whose parents work at a nearby lodge.

State of Art: Check out the debut album from Anchorage’s Photonak

On December 17th, Anchorage rockers Photonak released “Tempered.”

State of Art: Pipeline Vocal Project wants to spread a cappella love across Alaska

This homegrown a cappella trio’s mission is to sing, perform, and educate. From virtual performances and an active social media to workshops and singing telegrams, Pipeline Vocal Project has a lot going on, but they’re just getting started.

State of Art: Celebrate 40 years of Alaska Quarterly Review with these live readings

This week on State of Art we have poetry from the Alaska Quarterly Review. In celebration of its 40 years, the literary journal and the Anchorage Museum teamed up to host 21 live online reading and discussion events featuring contributors to AQR.

State of Art: Learn about the man behind the monsters with Anchorage Community Theater’s “Karloff”

This week on State of Art we’re hearing about Anchorage Community Theater’s production of “Karloff.” The play tells the story of William Henry Pratt, better known as the actor Boris Karloff, who played Frankenstein’s monster in the 1931 film. “Karloff” is a biographical one-man play lead by Matt Fernandez and directed by Devin Merilatt. They join us to talk about the Karloff the man, his connection with Alaska, and not giving up.

State of Art: Anchorage Festival of Music goes Baroque with their first virtual concert

This week on State of Art we’re learning about Anchorage Festival of Music’s upcoming performance “Baroque Reflections.” While not your traditional classical music experience, AFN worked to recreate the next best thing. Combining video, dance and food for their first virtual concert, “Baroque Reflections” is a testament to artistic ingenuity and commitment.

State of Art: Anchorage theater company goes virtual and pokes fun at corporate greed with their upcoming melodrama

This week on State of Art we’re learning about RKP Production’s upcoming play “Tanker on the Rocks or the Great Alaskan Bad Friday Fish Spill of ’89.”

State of Art: Fill the void with street food at this Anchorage food truck carnival

This week on State of Art we’re learning about the Spenard Food Truck Carnival. A couple time a week, 10 food trucks converge on the Chilkoot Charlie’s parking lot to serve up dishes ranging from classic BBQ and hot dogs to traditional Russian and Laotian food.

State of Art: Socially distant and virtual concerts, cover songs and poetry

This week on State of Art we’re hearing the music of Anchorage’s Juicy Harps, Ed Washington and the Modern Savage. We also check out a poem by author Don Rearden.

State of Art: Celebrating 50 years of public radio in Alaska

On a recent episode of Talk of Alaska, host Lori Townsend interviewed people involved with the origins of public radio in the state. For this week’s State of Art we’ll hear a condensed version of that show.

State of Art: Virtual Anchorage concerts, a new youth podcast and more

This week on State of Art we’re featuring Anchorage musicians Emma Hill, The Forest that Never Sleeps and the Jephries. We also preview a new youth podcast from Story Works Alaska.

State of Art: Sexual assault survivors tell their stories with “Unheard”

On the heels of winning a Pulitzer Prize for their series “Lawless,” the ADN and Propublica began publishing stories from sexual assault survivors along with their photos. The project is now an outdoor exhibit at the Anchorage Museum featuring large portraits, quotes and audio clips of the survivors themselves.

State of Art: Anchorage musician James Glaves releases solo material

This week on State of Art we’re hearing from Anchorage musician James Glaves. He’s been involved with a huge amount of projects from playing in bands to recording and producing them.

State of Art: Reminders of our past or symbols of oppression? An Alaska artist reflects on statues of figures with checkered pasts

This week on State of Art, we’re hearing from Nicholas Galanin Yeil Ya-Tseen, a Tlingit-Unangax̂ artist from Sitka. We also check out some of the Anchorage Downtown Partnership’s virtual concert series.

State of Art: Talking “21st Sensory” with Anchorage musician Chad Reynvaan

This week on State of Art we’re hearing from Chad Reynvaan. His musical fingerprints are all over the Anchorage music scene, whether he’s playing in a band or recording one at his own Wattage Studio. He tells us about his new album “21st Sensory,” the appeal of vintage gear and his tendencies towards dad-rock. We also check out his new track “Permanently Lost.”

State of Art: Anchorage photographers and community rally to raise money for marginalized groups in light of national demonstrations

This week on State of Art we’re hearing from local photographer Jovell Rennie. After getting caught up in the frenzy of demonstrations following the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police, Rennie wanted to do something more than just document the local protests. Working with friends, colleagues and community members, Rennie and company put on the “I Can’t Breathe” First Friday and fundraising event at his gallery, Akela Space, in downtown Anchorage.

State of Art: “Crude Conversations” podcast highlights Alaska culture and voices worth recognizing

This week on State of Art we’re hearing from journalist and podcast host, Cody Liska. His podcast “Crude Conversations” spawned from an ambitious DIY zine publication and social media presence called “Crude Magazine.” He has deep roots in Alaska’s snowboard scene, but Liska’s interviewees range from athletes and educators to activists and artists. We talk about how he got his start, what he’s learned and why we do this.

State of Art: The Spenard Jazz Fest goes online while Anchorage keeps its distance. Plus, who was the charismatic criminal Joe Spenard?

This week on State of Art we’re talking Spenard — the man and the jazz festival. We learn about the newly virtual Spenard Jazz Fest and we hear from a local historian about the colorful Joe Spenard, the namesake of the Anchorage road and neighborhood.

State of Art: Alaska’s favorite storytelling event goes virtual

This week on State of Art we’re checking out two stories from the recent virtual Arctic Entries event. Hosts and storytellers connected with the audience via Facebook Live from their homes in a close approximation of a typical Arctic Entries. Our first storyteller talks about losing love and finding herself stuck in Canada, while our second storyteller tells us about connections and isolation while working in Antarctica.

State of Art: With no exhibitions, UAA art grads have an unconventional end to school. Plus, a track from Anchorage’s Juicy Harps

This week on State of Art we’re finding out how graduating amidst a pandemic affected UAA art students and we hear a beer-centric track from folk trio, Juicy Harps.

State of Art: Virtual festivals aim to reconnect Alaskans

This week on State of Art we learn about AKAK, a virtual music festival featuring local musicians streaming tonight. We also find out what to expect from Anchorage Community Theater’s weekly Virtual Short Play Festival.

State of Art: New music from The Jephries, Kittiwake and Braided River

This week on State of Art we’re hearing new music from local bands Braided River, The Jephries and Kittiwake.

State of Art: Learn how to apply for the Ted Stevens Young Alaskan Artist award. Plus, a song from Duke Russell and the Shirt Tuckers.

This week on State of Art we’re hearing from Juliana Osinchuk, founder of the award that ultimately became the Ted Stevens Young Alaskan Artist Award. Organized by the Anchorage Festival of Music, the award goes to an Alaska classical musician ready to take their next step into the professional world. We learn about the classical-music-focused award and how to apply. We also hear a track from Anchorage artist Duke Russell’s musical project, the Shirt Tuckers, called “Spiritual Poptart.”

State of Art: A poem from Don Rearden, a virtual First Friday from the Anchorage Museum and revisiting Arctic Entries

This week on State of Art we have a poem from local author, Don Rearden, called “Listen and Learn.” We also get a glimpse into the Anchorage Museum’s virtual First Friday featuring composer Mathew Burtner and his piece “Nuiqsut Bell” for the museum’s Listen Up: Northern Soundscapes series. Finally, we hear a bear story from Arctic Entries from earlier this year.

State of Art: Local performers turn to the web, a new book about Alaska journalist Genie Chance and a poem from Don Rearden

This week on State of Art we have a taste of Anchorage band Saturday Cinders’ recent online performance and an interview about “This is Chance!” a new book about Alaska journalist Genie Chance and her invaluable reporting following the 1964 earthquake. We also have a poem from local author Don Rearden.

State of Art: Ways to enjoy the Anchorage Museum while keeping your distance

This week on State of Art we hear from Anchorage Museum director and CEO Julie Decker. She tells us about the museum’s latest public art project, accessing their collection online and virtual tours of other museums.

State of Art: Anchorage’s Duke Russell reflects on the good and bad of childhood with his first comic book

This week on State of Art we’re hearing from Anchorage artist Duke Russell. He tells us about his history with comics, self-reflection while sober and we get a taste of his current musical project, The Shirt Tuckers.

State of Art: Navigating cultural appropriation with Anchorage artist and educator, Thomas Chung

This week on State of Art, artist and educator, Thomas Chung joins us for a conversation about cultural appropriation, his approach to art and finding humor in dark places.

State of Art: Young performers can cut their teeth at these Anchorage under 21 open mics

Being a young performer can be tough in Anchorage. If you’re not old enough to drink, your options of venues are slim. That’s why the Anchorage Music Co-op teamed up with local youth to establish Under 21 Open Mic.

State of Art: New book examines African American history in Alaska

From whalers who left port in New Bedford, Massachusetts to soldiers who helped build the Alcan Highway, African Americans have a long history in Alaska. University of Alaska Anchorage history professor Ian Hartman recently released a book called “Black History in the Last Frontier.”

State of Art: Anchorage Opera’s ‘Frida’ opens this weekend. Check out this conversation with the leads discussing the unique production

This week on State of Art we’re hearing from “Frida” leads Catalina Cuervo, who plays Frida Kahlo, the iconic Mexican artist, and Bernardo Bermudez, who plays Diego Rivera, the famous Mexican muralist and Kahlo’s husband.

State of Art: A program at the Anchorage Museum lets people with sensory-sensitivities experience exhibits in a way that works for them

Once a month during the museum’s winter hours, one exhibit is open and modified to accommodate people with sensory-sensitivities. Multi-media presentations might be turned down or off, lights dimmed and activities are provided as an alternate means of engaging with the museum.

State of Art: Revisiting past Anchorage Folk Festival performances

The Anchorage Folk Festival wrapped up its 31st annual folk music extravaganza. The festival includes workshops, performances and featured guest artists. Folk Fest chief sound engineer Lucy Peckham dug through her archives and passed these tracks along.

State of Art: Making connections with Anchorage’s Festival of Cultural Stories. An interview with Shirley Mae Springer-Staten

Springer-Staten remembers her aunt, an amazing storyteller, recounting the lynching of a young African American boy and the impact that and other stories had on her. While physical barriers to racial harmony are somewhat less blatant these days, it’s the mental barriers between cultures Springer-Staten hopes to break with the Festival of Cultural Stories.

State of Art: Looking back on the Anchorage Folk Festival with long-time chief sound engineer, Lucy Peckham

This week on State of Art, Peckham joins us to talk about her time behind the board at the Anchorage Folk Fest, smoking mixing boards and watching Folk Fest kids grow up.

State of Art: Anchorage theater group RKP Productions examines age and class with Dick Reichman’s “Florida”

RKP Productions’ Audrey Kelly and Dick Reichman stopped by the Alaska Public Media studios to talk about their unique theater company, the legacy of collaborator Robert Pond and revisiting a dormant play.

State of Art: Anchorage musicians raised the bar in 2019. Here are some highlights

This week on State of Art we’re looking back on some excellent local releases that came out last year.

State of Art: Storytelling Saturday Theater at the Anchorage Museum

This week on State of Art we’re talking about Storytelling Saturday Theater. For their first season, SST is performing different family-friendly versions of the Cinderella story from cultures around the world.

State of Art: Jimmy Riordan resurrects a retired bookmobile

This week on State of Art we’re hearing from artist Jimmy Riordan. He spoke with Hometown Alaska host Kathleen McCoy about his new project involving a retired bookmobile, raising funds for repairs and what comes next.

State of Art: Sheila Wyne and James Temte

This week on State of Art we’re hearing from local artists Sheila Wyne and James Temte.

State of Art: Anchorage Community Concert Band winter performance: “The Sounds of Music”

This week on State of Art we’re hearing from Mark Wolbers, director of the Anchorage Community Concert Band. We talk about their upcoming winter concert, “The Sounds of Music,” the volunteer band, and some background about the pieces they’ll be playing.

State of Art: “Midnight Son” with James Dommek Jr. and music from Anchorage band The High Pets

This week on State of Art we’re hearing from Alaska musician and writer James Dommek Jr. He sat down with Alaska Public Media’s Casey Grove to talk about Dommek’s new project “Midnight Son.” The sound-rich, narrative podcast is a bestseller from Audible and tells the story of Teddy Kyle Smith, a well-known Alaska Native actor convicted of attempted murder. We also hear “Leaves,” a track from Anchorage band The High Pets’ new album “Burn Forever.”

State of Art: Anchorage Civic Orchestra, The Jangle Bees

This week on State of Art we’re hearing from Oleg Proskurnya, director of the Anchorage Civic Orchestra. Their Fall Concert is Saturday, Nov. 16 in the Sydney Lawrence Theater. We also have a track from Anchorage’s The Jangle Bees off their self-titled album.

State of Art: Spenard Art Studio and Arlitia Jones’ “Summerland”

This week on State of Art we’re hearing from Gayla Ranf, owner of Spenard Art Studio. She talks about the new space and creating using encaustics. We also look at “Summerland” from Anchorage playwright Arlitia Jones and Cyrano’s Theater Company. The play wraps up its Anchorage run Sunday, Nov. 10.

State of Art: November 1, 2019

This week on State of Art we’re hearing from playwright and screenwriter Vera Starbard. Her Perseverance Theater produced play “Devilfish” is finishing its Anchorage run on November 3. She talks about keeping things authentic while weaving together Tlingit legend and history.

State of Art: “The Ice Maiden”

It’s theater season and a weekly dose of Anchorage arts and culture just isn’t enough to get it all out there. In this SOA bonus interview, we hear from “The Ice Maiden” director Dick Reichman and cast member Krista Schwarting.

State of Art: October 25th, 2019

This week on State of Art we’re getting an education on opera. We learn about “The Barber of Seville,” the first production of the season from Anchorage Opera. Stage director Laura Alley and Anchorage Opera principal conductor Brian DeMaris put “The Barber” in historical context and talk about why it’s a good introduction to the art form.

State of Art: October 18, 2019

We’re wrapping up our membership drive and we have a couple of pieces to give your ears a rest.

State of Art: October, 11 2019

This week on State of Art we’re in our fall membership drive. We featured an old tune from Jared Woods and an even older one from Alaska Public Media’s Shonti Elder. We also featured a story from the Spirit of Youth Awards.

State of Art: October 4th, 2019

This week on State of Art we’re hearing from Anchorage author, Don Rearden. His most recent project is “Warrior’s Creed,” a memoir he co-wrote with Roger Sparks, a decorated veteran who has served as a Recon Marine and an Alaska Pararescuman. We learn about what goes into co-writing a book, reliving other people’s trauma, and doing their stories justice.

State of Art: September 27th, 2019

This week on State of Art we’re hearing from Anchorage band Tanana Rafters. They recently recorded some tracks for a new video series from Alaska Public Media called Polar Playlists. We check out those tracks and find out more about the band.

State of Art: September 20th, 2019

This week on State of Art we’re talking about the superhero comedy “Hearts Like Fists,” from Cyrano’s Theater Company. We hear from director Frank Delaney and cast member Kaichen McCrae. We talk superheros, cast chemistry, and stage fighting.

State of Art: September 13, 2019

On this week’s State of Art we’re hearing from Juneau artist David Woodie. His solo exhibition “Studio 212” opened this month at Cyrano’s ArtSpace Gallery. We’ll also hear about a University of Alaska Anchorage professor whose pop-up book aims to teach kids about what happens when plastics reach the ocean.

State of Art: September 6th, 2019

This week on State of Art we’re hearing from local artist Maxine Fekete. Back in June, she opened her first solo exhibition. A couple of weeks later, she was in the hospital after a random attack in downtown Anchorage. The closing day of her show turned into celebration of being alive. She tells us about the attack, her recovery, and what’s next.

State of Art: August 30th, 2019

This week on State of Art we’re hearing from Anchorage band Medium Build. Singer Nick Carpenter and multi-instrumentalist/audio guru James Glaves let us know what they’ve been up to and what they have planned. We talk about Nick touring with Tiny Desk Concert winner Quinn Christopherson, Medium Build’s new video, and their upcoming album.

State of Art: August 23rd, 2019

This week on State of Art we’re handing the mic off to Anchorage artist Duke Russell. He interviews his occasional collaborator Ted Kim, who recently opened a solo exhibition at Middle Way Cafe called “At Home.” It runs until Oct. 5th.

State of Art: August 16th, 2019

This week on State of Art we’re looking at what the Anchorage Concert Association has coming up on their fall schedule. ACA Executive Director Jason Hodges stopped by Alaska Public Media to give us a sneak peak.

State of Art: August 9th, 2019

This week on State of art we’re talking Stories at the Cemetery and hearing from an Alaska musician who sang on the theme song for the new PBS Kids show Molly of Denali.

State of Art: August 2nd, 2019

Welcome to the first episode of State of Art. This week we’re talking about First Friday — what it’s like in Anchorage and what’s happening at the Anchorage Museum for August’s First Friday. We also hear from Jenni May Toro, lead singer of Anchorage band The Modern Savage.