By Erin Kirkland
For Senior Voice 

Anchorage Museum's community outreach expands


February 1, 2018

Courtesy Anchorage Museum at Rasmuson Center

If you've not visited the Anchorage Museum at Rasmuson Center lately, it may be time. Yes, the newly-recreated Alaska Exhibition is a contemporary upgrade from the previous space; certainly the "Cruisin' the Fossil Coastline" exhibit featuring artist Ray Troll is whimsical. The museum's atrium has also been remodeled to reflect the true nature of the space, and the Discovery Center provides a worthwhile look at science for guests of all ages. But it's the programming that I'm focusing on for 2018.

With eyes and ears tuned into what visitors truly desire from a museum experience, staff at Anchorage Museum at Rasmuson Center have crafted a series of unique opportunities for those who wish to take a new approach to museum wandering. With personal visits to museums (and all art experiences, for that matter) on a slow decline ( ) thanks to a digital age of streaming events or reading about exhibitions rather than actually seeing them in person, cultural and art organizations are now looking at creative ways to encourage visitors to walk through the front door.

The Anchorage Museum has been a hub for Alaska culture and education since it opened in 1968. It's a first stop whenever we have family or friends in town, and a fine way to spend a rainy afternoon browsing among artwork, catching a planetarium show, or learning more about our city's history. But the museum now offers even more within its 247,000 square feet of space. Much more.

From yoga in the new Art of the North Galleries to a social media class designed for those over the age of 55, Anchorage Museum staff are inviting the community to explore and connect with both each other in non-traditional ways.

The museum is open Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m., and Sunday noon-6 p.m. There are a variety of museum membership levels available, and members receive numerous discounts on meals at the museum restaurant, gift shop items, and classes and events.

For a complete listing of admission prices, upcoming events, and other information, visit the Anchorage Museum at Rasmuson Center website

Museum Behind-the-Scenes ( ); 2 to 4 p.m. Wednesdays.

Museum staff share how they preserve and care for the museum's collection. Among featured activities are: conservation, archive processing, photo preservation, object storage and object/art accessioning. Included with admission.

Yoga in the Gallery

12:10 to 1 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays, Art of the North Galleries.

Practice yoga in the Anchorage Museum's Art of the North Galleries. This 50-minute, lunchtime class is open to yogis of all levels. Participants are guided through various aspects of yoga including mindfulness, meditation, breathing and moving postures of both yang-style vinyasa and yin yoga. Bring a mat. Limited extra mats available. $18, members receive a 10 percent discount.

Senior Social: Smart Phone Training and Social Gathering for Seniors, 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. Thursdays through April.

This class teaches seniors how get the most from their smart phones in a relaxed social setting. New tips presented weekly to boost knowledge of everything from camera functions and data storage to social media. Bring a smartphone. See for list of topics. Included with admission.

Museum Launches Spring Book Club

Join the discussion – the Anchorage Museum's Unbound Book Club explores art, science, history, design and culture through fiction and non-fiction. The informal exchange examines ideas through books four Friday evenings this spring: Feb. 16 "The Balloonist" by MacDonald Harris; March 16 "Far from the Tree" by Robin Benway; March 30 "Spineless: The Science of Jellyfish and the Art of Growing a Backbone" by Julie Berwald; and April 27 "The Discovery of Slowness" by Sten Nadolny. Books are available for purchase in the Anchorage Museum Store. Book club discussion is included with museum admission (free for members) and is part of the museum's Unbound experimental literary series.

Get your Steps in at the Anchorage Museum during museum hours. Included with admission.

With more than 247,000 square feet of indoor space, the Anchorage Museum is a beautiful location for walking, especially during winter. Walk just one loop through all of the public spaces and you've climbed five flights of stairs and taken 1,480 steps. Take time to enjoy the many exhibitions and artworks throughout. Download map at

Polar Nights

Join us Friday evenings for Polar Nights when we open select galleries and host after-hours events. With discounted admission (free admission on First Fridays), exhibition openings, music, art classes, gallery talks and other events, we want to be the place you meet with friends, hang out or just take in some Northern culture. Museum admission is half-price or free Fridays from 6 to 9 p.m. through April.

Erin Kirkland is a freelance travel writer and author. She writes from Anchorage.


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