Kodiak Museums Do Well Competing for State Grants


Jay Barrett/KMXT

Three of Kodiak’s four museums have received a combined $21,000 in grants from the Alaska State Museum. One was $2,000 to the Maritime Museum for cataloging artifacts in its collection. The Baranof Museum received $9,000 and the Alutiiq $10,000.

Scott Carrlee is the curator of museum services for at the state museum in Juneau. He agreed that Kodiak is quite a museum town.

— (Museum Grant 1 18 sec "Kodiak is really a shining spot in the state for museums. I think world of what’s going on in Kodiak. Not only because they’re doing such a great job, but it’s for the community – that’s the main thing. I really think the way Kodiak community museums are doing it is just the way it should be done.")

Carrlee says the Grant-in-Aid program gives Alaska’s small museums a chance to find money for projects without having to compete against huge museums on a national level, where about 75 percent of applications are turned down.

Kodiak, he says, is successful in acquiring grants on both national and state levels, largely because the grant writers here are excellent:

— (Museum Grant 2 30 sec "Katie Oliver at the Baranof Museum is one of the best grant-writers in the state. And I think that is the key to why Kodiak is successful always is because they have good people writing those grants and they have to be well-written to be successful. You can’t just slap something together. They have to have a beginning, a middle and a end and a story to tell. You have to engage the grant readers, the reviewers in your project. You have to make them get excited about your project.")

Katie Oliver, the executive director at the Baranof, said that after several years of refurbishing the Erskine House, this $9,000 grant will go toward developing the museum’s permanent exhibits.

— (Museum Grant 3 32 sec "That’s exactly right. We spent these last four years working on the building and the structural integrity of the building and making safer and more sound for our staff, for visitor access and collections. We’re ready to turn our attention to the public side, the exhibits, exhibit development and story telling, both for Kodiak community members who are knowledgeable of Kodiak history and visitors who are here for the first time and don’t have any context for Kodiak history.")

Danielle Ringer, the public outreach coordinator at the Alutiiq Museum, said their $10,000 grant will be used to enhance exhibits:

— (Museum Grants 4 39 sec "So we’re going to be working on a revision of the Culture Through Time, which is a display that tracks Alutiiq history for the past 7,000-plus years. Not only will we be updating that, we’ll also be supporting a new installation of photo panels in our children’s corner, in the wamwik, and it’s going to be a play on the "I-Spy" game, so it’s going to be these panels with Alutiiq history and people will look at the photographs and they’ll feature artifacts from our teaching collection, kind of matched with natural environment pieces and it’s going to be real fun to be able to look at these and learn about the Alutiiq past.")

The grants range from $1,000 to $10,000, and are awarded on a competitive basis from funds provided yearly by the state legislature. There were 23 projects awarded a state museum Grant-in-Aid this year, totaling $105,600.


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