OVERVIEW: Alaska Pulitzer Prize Centennial Campfires Activities

Presented by:
Alaska Humanities Forum
Current Initiative: Centennial Campfires National Partner: The Pulitzer Prizes Local Partner: Museums, Other, Public Radio Subject: Journalism, Performing Arts Audience: All, Colleges and Universities, Educators, Young Adult

AHF conducted six events linked to two programs: The 2016 Alaska Press Club Conference and John Luther Adams’ return to Alaska, commemorating the centennial of the Pulitzer Prizes. Following is a description of those programs and events.

“STORYBUILDING IN THE DIGITAL NEWSROOM” PANEL DISCUSSION (April 2016)

Conducted on the campus of the University of Alaska Anchorage, New York Times reporter and two-time Pulitzer Prize-winner Cliff Levy participated in a panel discussion with fellow Pulitzer Prize-winner and Russia correspondent, Kim Murphy. The talk was moderated by Alaska Dispatch News Editor David Hulen and was part of the 2016 Alaska Press Club Conference. Approximately 120 people attended the panel discussion.

“FINDING YOUR DIGITAL VOICE” KEYNOTE ADDRESS (April 2016)

Also part of the 2016 Press Club Conference was Cliff Levy’s keynote address “Finding Your Digital Voice,” which according to the Alaska Humanities Forum as posted on pulitzer.org “encouraged a lively discussion.” The council noted that Levy spent an hour answering every question from the audience “until there were none left.” The Keynote was free and open to the public and drew a crowd of more than 250 print, radio, broadcast, and online media reporters and editors from more than 30 communities throughout Alaska. The group represented a wide range of ages and experience-levels, from seasoned journalists to student journalists in high school and college.

FIRESIDE BOOKS CHAT WITH CLIFF LEVY (April 2016)

For the third and final Pulitzer event held in conjunction with the Alaska Press Club Conference, Cliff Levy traveled north to Palmer, Alaska, a community of 5,300 residents in the Matanuska Valley. At Fireside Books, Levy discussed his time as The New York Times Moscow bureau chief and the 2011 Pulitzer Prize in International Reporting he shared with Ellen Barry. During his talk, Levy shared his perception of the current status of human rights and freedom of speech in Russia as compared to a decade ago. An estimated 40 people attended live and another 200 through the radio. Radio Free Palmer broadcast the talk and a recording is available for download on its website.

JOHN LUTHER ADAMS IN ALASKA – THREE EVENTS (September 2016)

Pulitzer Prize-winning composer John Luther Adams returned to Alaska for a three-day series of special events celebrating the Pulitzer Prize centennial. Adams’ orchestral work Become Ocean received the 2014 Pulitzer Prize in Music and a 2015 Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Classical Composition. Born and raised in the lower 48 states, Adams became involved with the campaign for the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act (ANILCA) in the mid-1970s and moved to Alaska where he subsequently served as the executive director of the Northern Alaska Environmental Center. The series spanned three days and included a reading from Adams’ upcoming memoir followed by a signing and reception. Approximately 60 people attended the reading and discussion, which was free and open to the public. Then, the Anchorage Museum hosted two events: an artist talk “Music in the Anthropocene” that explored how artists should engage with times of environmental crisis, a reception, and a sound installation of “Veils and Vespers” in the museum atrium.

PARTNERSHIPS:

  • Anchorage Museum
  • Alaska Press Club
  • Radio Free Palmer

EVENT LOCATIONS:

  • Palmer, AK
  • Anchorage, AK

PULITZER PRIZE PARTICIPANTS:

  • Cliff Levy (International Reporting, 2011; Investigative Reporting, 2003)
  • John Luther Adams (Music, 2014)

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