State of Art

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

Hosted by:
Ammon Swenson

Listen to State of Art on KSKA FM 91.1 in Anchorage, AK.
Fridays at 8:00 p.m. and as part of Hometown, Alaska on Mondays at 10:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m.

State of Art: The Alaska Writers Guild annual conference connects writers and illustrators

On this episode of State of Art we're discussing the Alaska Writers Guild and their upcoming conference. The guild connects Alaska writers and provides educational opportunities for things like business and marketing. Their annual conference for writers and illustrators will be held on Friday and Saturday the last weekend of September at UAA's Rasmuson Hall. We're joined by Alaska Writers Guild board members Laura Carpenter and Brooke Hartman to find out more about the guild, what to expect from the conference and more.

State of Art: Black comedy classic ‘Arsenic and Old Lace’ returns to Anchorage Community Theater

This week on State of Art we're joined by "Arsenic and Old Lace" director MaryAlice Larmi to discuss the fast-paced farce. It centers on Mortimer Brewster and his maniacal family including spinster aunts who have a habit of murdering lonely old men, a brother on the run from the law and one who thinks he's Teddy Roosevelt. She tells us about what to expect, casting the right performers, and acting icon Boris Karloff's contribution to Anchorage Community Theater's 1957 production of the play.

State of Art: Meet two young filmmakers looking to take their next steps

This week on State of Art we're hearing from filmmakers Kendrick Whiteman and Logan Smith. They're both products of Alaska Teen Media Institute and are peer mentors with the youth media training organization. Whiteman was featured at the Anchorage International Film Festival in 2022 and leans toward a surreal atmosphere with his work while Smith likes to blend the weird with comedy. We discuss what got them into film, their previous work and what comes next.

State of Art: Medium Build and Quinn Christopherson to headline benefit concert in Anchorage for northern tribal school

This week on State of Art we're discussing an upcoming benefit concert to help the Qargi Academy Tribal School in Wainwright. We're joined by longtime musician and Marketing Manager for the Arctic Slope Community Foundation, James Dommek Jr., who is organizing the show. He tells us about what makes the Qargi Academy unique, including indigenous performers as the opening act and more.

State of Art: An original ‘Hamilton’ rap won this Anchorage student free tickets to the hit musical

This week on State of Art we meet an Anchorage winner of the "Hamilton" creative competition organized by the Alaska Center for the Performing Arts and BroadwayBoundAK. Students from across Alaska going into grades 7 through 12 were invited to make and submit an original creative piece that was inspired by the hit musical. Winners were chosen from across the state and get to see "Hamilton" for free in September. Sam Beesley is starting his freshman year at West High and was chosen for his song called "Don't Wait For It."

State of Art: Celebrate all things Irish at Galway Days

This week on State of Art we're hearing all about Galway Days Irish Festival. It takes place on Saturday, August 12 at Town Square Park. There will be vendors, food, music and more. Irish Club of Alaska President Dawn Berg joins us to tell us about the festival, the club and she even sings us a song.

State of Art: Old Crow Medicine Show lead singer says playing Alaska has been a life-long dream

Ketch Secor first visited Alaska when he was 14 and it made a lasting impression on him. He traveled the Alaska Railroad, bought chewing tobacco in Sitka and kissed a girl in Fairbanks. The singer and fiddle player for the long-running, high-energy folk band Old Crow Medicine Show joins us this week ahead of the group's Salmonfest appearance. He tells us about their upcoming album "Jubilee" that celebrates a quarter century as a band, the finer points of playing street corners and more.

State of Art: Writer Corky Parker comes to Anchorage to share her award-winning memoir

Parker was an original staff member of KSKA nearly 45 years ago, but she's added many chapters to her life since then. Her memoir “La Finca: Love, Loss, and Laundry on a Tiny Puerto Rican Island” tells her story of running a rustic eco-lodge and what she learned along the way. The book is filled with sketches, images and other artwork that won her a 2023 University Press Award for Book & Cover Design along with her 2023  Pacific Northwest Writers Association Nancy Pearl Award for Memoir. She will be in Alaska in August for readings and other events.

State of Art: Salmonfest 2023 is packed to the gills with talent

This week on State of Art we're hearing from Salmonfest director David Stearns. The festival runs from August 4 through 6 at the Kenai Peninsula Fairgrounds in Ninilchik. Headliners include Old Crow Medicine Show, Sierra Farell, Pigeons Playing Ping Pong and Leftover Salmon. Stearns tells us about what to expect from the festival, this year's groovy artwork, zero waste efforts and more.

State of Art: Voices of ‘Antiques Roadshow’ in Anchorage

The popular television show came to film in Alaska for the first time last week. Since only a small fraction of the 2,500 attendees will make it on the show, here are some of the people who were there that day.