Thursday, August 30, 2012

Talking barns

It is a real pleasure showing our films in the Wineck Barn.  Many of the visitors to the Alaska State Fair come in just to look at the barn itself.  So it is always a pleasure when colony kid Earl Wineck, whose father Ed built the barn in 1936, stops by to share his stories about the barn and teach us more about its construction and history.

On August 29 Earl came by and talked with Helen Hegener, who is writing a book about the Matanuska Colony Barns. Helen had come to the barn to photograph it and learn more about it, so she was delighted to be able to talk with Earl and explore the barn together.

Helen will be joining us in the Wineck Barn on Saturday, September 1st at 1:30 to talk about her upcoming book, "Matanuska Colony Barns."  She has been traveling around the Matanuska Valley to photograph the barns (26 already), and is researching the history of each barn. Join us for this event, and learn more about these beautiful, historic buildings. 

Colony Kids

On August 26 author Heather Lehe came by to talk about her new novel, "Colony Kids."  We're excited about this book because as far as we know it is the first time anyone has written the story of the Matanuska Colony from the point of view of the kids who came up to Alaska with the colony in 1935.  The book, which is written for 5th-to-8th graders, tells the story of the first year of the colony through the eyes of a 13-year old boy and his friends.  Heather did much of her research by watching our films, and then talking to some of the colony kids themselves.  Here she is with us in the Wineck Barn:

Speaking of colony kids, several of them have visited us at the Fair. It is always a pleasure to have them drop by and chat about colony history. Here are Mr. and Mrs. Paul Barry looking at our books in the Barn.

Colony History Garden at the Alaska State Fair

On August 25 teachers from Machetanz Elementary School visited us in the Wineck Barn at the Alaska State Fair to tell us about the Colony History Garden they planted at the school this year. They built ten raised 10'x4' beds, and planted vegetables and flowers originally planted by the Matanuska Colonists in 1935.  The garden helps them teach history, agriculture, science, math, and other subjects, as well as teachng the students about community. The beautiful produce they are raising will help the students eat healthier food, and they are also sharing their bounty with the local food bank.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Alaska State Fair, here we come!

The Alaska State Fair edition of our newsletter came out today, with all the information you need to see us at the State Fair.  Click here to see our newsletter.

Using the beautiful Wineck Barn (right inside the Red Gate) as our home base, we're offering daily screenings* of Alaska Far Away and Where the River Matanuska Flows and exhibits that highlight local history.

And there's more! We've added FOUR very special events for audiences of all ages. And everything in the Wineck Barn is FREE with your Fair admission.

Here's what we've got lined up:
* Daily at 12:00 noon and 5:00 p.m.* - Alaska Far Away
* Daily at 2:00 p.m.* - Where the River Matanuska Flows
     * Note: No screenings on Sunday, September 2, as the Wineck Barn will be hosting Alaska Native Cultures Day events. No screening of "Where the River Matanuska Flows" on August 30 due to Hay Bale Theater event.

* Saturday 8/25 at 11:00 a.m. - Colony History Garden - Students and teachers from Machetanz Elementary School planted a special garden in May, featuring only crops planted by the original Matanuska Colonists in 1935.  They will be sharing the story of their garden in the Wineck Barn.

* Sunday 8/26 at 11:00 a.m. - Most of the colonists who arrived in Palmer in 1935 were children. Author Heather Cooper Lehe has written a novel about that first summer from the point of view of the colony kids. Come here Heather read from her novel, Colony Kids.

Thursday 8/30 at 2:00 p.m. - Celebrate ALASKA GROWN DAY in the Wineck Barn! A special presentation of Hay Bale Theater will be showing films celebrating Alaska's rich agricultural heritage. What better place to watch films about farming in Alaska than in an historic barn? 
* Saturday 9/1 at 1:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. - Author and photographer Helen Hegener is writing a book about the Matanuska Colony barns. Come see her photos and hear what she has learned about these historic structures.

* Daily from 12:00 noon until 8:00 p.m. - The Valley Arts Alliance is sharing the Wineck Barn with us this year, displaying works by local artists that have all been created out of one local birch tree. Come learn about the One Tree project, and see what these artists have created.

See you at the Fair!