Anchorage Museum at Rasmuson Center
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Sarah Anne Johnson, Party Boat, scratched chromogenic print, photospotting and acrylic inks, gouache and marker, 2011


The Northern Initiative brings together thought leaders to explore the current and future state of the North and the Arctic through contemporary art and other narratives that inform, question and lead to further exploration and collaboration.

As one of the premier cultural institutions in the Circumpolar North, the Anchorage Museum is undertaking a Northern Initiative to explore the key issues facing the North and the people who inhabit it.

The Northern Initiative brings together Alaskan and international artists, scientists, anthropologists, historians, decision-makers and influencers immersed in Northern issues. The goal: to explore and discuss challenges facing the North today and develop insights leading to a greater understanding, broader perspective, and celebration of
place and the North.

Through residencies, exhibitions, programs and scholarship we will examine and present the art, science and history of Alaska and its Northern neighbors. We will offer visitors new ways to experience the North of the past and of today. And, we will imagine its future within the context of great environmental and cultural change.


  • Convene artists, scholars and communities to document, research and analyze the North
  • Increase public knowledge of creative and scholarly endeavors in the North
  • Encourage the creation of art expressing the interaction between people and the natural, built and virtual environments of the North
  • Establish a network of institutions throughout the Circumpolar North
  • Foster an active and vested interest in the North as a place of investigation
  • Produce distinct new, interdisciplinary explorations of the North
  • Engage local, regional and international audiences, including non-traditional audiences
  • Bring forth new learning and mutual understanding
  • Include integral components of successful place-making, including artists, organization leaders, research experts and grassroots visioning
  • Develop partnerships and long-term commitments