A Journey to What Matters Invitational Grant Yaaw Koo.eex’ Cedar...Read More
Healing Through Educational Programs
Grantee: Kodiak Historical Society
Story by Lynn Walker
During September 2023, the Kodiak History Museum organized three artist workshops with a public Q & A session. The three artists are all local Kodiak Alutiiq/Sugpiaq artists in varying stages of their careers.
The first workshop of the series was facilitated by Mariah Stapleton on weaving cones. This was Mariah’s first time teaching a workshop, and this was the first time that the Kodiak History Museum has worked with Mariah. The second workshop was facilitated by Susan Malutin on sewing fur mittens. This workshop was full with a substantial waitlist. Susan is a master skin sewer, and she has taught many workshops around Kodiak and the archipelago. This was the first time that Susan partnered with us for a workshop. The third workshop was facilitated by David Tucker on illustrating Kodiak plants. This workshop was also full with a waitlist. David has really not been recognized around Kodiak for his work. This was David’s first time teaching a workshop, and the first time that we worked with him.
This project was a huge success. Through this project, we were able to promote and increase engagement with Alutiiq/Sugpiaq artists inside the museum and in the wider community. There was an overwhelming need for each of the workshops; each workshop filled up quickly and had a waitlist. Participants expressed their desire for future, similar workshops. We were also able to empower each artist in their practice. For two of our artists, this was the first opportunity they have had to teach their practice in the community. They got a sense of how they can teach their practice and improve upon it for future workshops. They were also able to determine what size classes they can handle.
Through these workshops and Q&A session, the three Sugpiaq artists shared their knowledge with other community members using our museum as a platform and facilitator.
Lastly, we made space for Alutiiq/Sugpiaq artists in our museum, which was previously seen as unwelcoming to the Kodiak Native community. As part of our decolonizing efforts, KHM is working to partner with communities who have been largely marginalized and underrepresented in our collections to increase representation within our museum and to promote the healing of intergenerational trauma. While we have done this as part of our temporary exhibits, this project was the first effort that sought to increase representation in our programs.