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Smithsonian Arctic Studies Center

Smithsonian Arctic Studies Center

Location: Anchorage, Alaska

The Orientation Video Feature is a continuously looping multi-screen program in the main gallery of the Smithsonian Arctic Studies Center in the Anchorage Museum. Seven large video screens immediately draw visitors into the vital, ongoing worlds of 10 Alaska Native culture groups while evoking deep connections to the recent and distant past. Each program interweaves the voices of an elder and youth member of the community. The elder bears witness to cultural tradition and the community’s journey through history; the younger community member brings focus to some of the challenges and opportunities of the future, the changing meanings of Native identity, and new expressions of culture and art. Periodically, thematic, synchronized segments sweep across all seven screens. The overall program weaves music, sound effects and voices to create distinct and telling glimpses into the rich and complex stories of each Alaska Native community group.