The Top 5 Anchorage Museum Blog Posts Of 2020
As we welcome 2021 with equal measures of optimism and care, we look back at the unprecedented year 2020 truly was.
Museums were already pushing to expand priorities like digital content development, accessibility improvement, and a focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion, but these all took on new urgency as the COVID-19 pandemic shut entire cities down and as museums and other institutions confronted their own histories, value and roles in communities.
2020 meant providing museum content from home, as museum doors remained shut for weeks and months. It meant artists and creatives taking new pathways in a changing, by-the-day reality. It meant co-creating with community members, reassessing and reinventing. It meant listening.
Even as museums struggled during these times, and will continue to do so in 2021, there remains hope and vision for what will come next.
Of the most popular posts on the Anchorage Museum Blog in 2020, many spoke not only to the challenges the year presented, but also to that sense of enduring hope that carried us through the turbulent year, month after month, and deftly into 2021.
We revisit those posts now as we welcome 2021, as though struggles may remain, with hope, there is much new good yet to come.
1. CONTEMPORARY ARTISTS ARE TAKING INSPIRATION FROM ENVIRONMENTS OF THE CIRCUMPOLAR NORTH TO CREATE SOUND ART AND MUSIC
This post was made in February, before the scope of how the pandemic would impact American lives was fully realized. It touches on the Arctic and its own distinct rhythms with Listen Up, an intimate and resonant understanding of place providing audiences a listening experience and a survey of sound art.
2. FAIRBANKS ARTIST TAMARA WILSON TALKS INSPIRATION, FABRICATION, AND LIFE UNDER PANDEMIC
This post came in May, after city-wide shutdowns, stay-at-home and shelter-in-place mandates crossed America. It focuses on Tamara Wilson, who found her creative skills came in handy during the time of prolonged social distancing due to the COVID-19, saying, “Artists know how to work with solitude.”
3. MUSEUMS FOR EQUALITY: DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION
Inspired by the 2020 International Museum Day (May 18) theme - Museums for Equality: Diversity and Inclusion – we presented relevant resources you can explore from home. The resources offered there reflect some of the ways the museum is examining histories of inequity and inviting critical thinking, dialogue and change.
4. LIKE ALL INSTITUTIONS, WE MUST DO MORE TO WORK FOR JUSTICE AND CHANGE
Following weeks marked by unrest, Anchorage Museum Director and CEO Julie Decker published an outline for the role the museum must play in making real change in the community. In part, Decker said, "As our country confronts systemic inequality, we have a responsibility to be part of the change. We are part of the shared history and we should be part of the shared work of change."
5. BRIDGING ISOLATION: REFLECTIONS ON VIRTUAL MOVEMENT WORKSHOPS FOR OLDER ADULTS DURING COVID
As the museum changed the way we presented new exhibitions to the public, so too did the way we delivered programs and workshops. In this post from September, Anchorage Museum Educator Molissa Udevitz reflected on one-week classes called Vital & Creative: Movement at Home for Ages 55+. These movement-centered classes getting seniors dancing to the beat couldn't be held in person like they had been, but thanks to the Internet, the virtual program continued to deliver for participants.