The Alutiiq Museum will close its gallery on July 13th to prepare its Mission Road facilities for a major renovation. After five years of planning and fundraising, museum staff will ready the building for construction. Groundbreaking on a $13.89M expansion and renovation is scheduled to begin in August. Construction will add 3,400 ft2 to its building over two floors. It will convert the entire first floor of the Alutiiq Center into public space, with an enlarged exhibit gallery, a classroom, a gathering space, and an expanded museum store. It will also create a collections vault and research laboratory in the basement. The project is supported by the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Trustee Council, Koniag, the Kodiak Area Native Association, Rasmuson Foundation, the Sun’aq Tribe of Kodiak, and many other generous community organizations and individuals.
“This is an exciting moment in the museum’s history,” said Executive Director April Counceller. “We have outgrown our original space. Our collections, programs, and staff have expanded significantly, and we don’t have room to meet the demand for continued programming and research. A community survey demonstrated that our audience wants to create, learn, and gather in the museum. The renovation will make that possible.”
On Saturday, July 8th, at 2:00 pm, the public is invited to the Alutiiq Museum for a presentation by Counceller. She will discuss plans for expanding and renovating museum facilities and share drawings of the new spaces. This event is free and open to the public. Everyone is welcome. Additional information on the project is available on the renovation page of the museum’s website at https://alutiiqmuseum.org/visit/renovation.
During 18 months of construction, museum staff will continue to serve Kodiak with off-site programs and resources, and the museum store will relocate to the KANA Marketplace downtown to continue promoting economic development for local artists. The museum will reopen to the public in the spring of 2025 for its 30th anniversary.
“The next three weeks will be the last chance for visitors to see the current exhibits in the museum’s gallery,” said Director of Advancement and Operations Djuna Davidson. “We encourage people to stop by to view their favorite displays, play in the children’s corner, and shop in the store. When we reopen in 2025, there will be an entirely new set of displays which we are planning with the assistance of community members.”
The Alutiiq Museum is a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving and sharing the history and culture of the Alutiiq, an Alaska Native tribal people. Representatives of Kodiak Alutiiq organizations govern the museum with funding from charitable contributions, memberships, grants, contracts, and sales.