Unalaska museum hosts film festival
A foreign film every weekend for the rest of this month. A new collections manager has been hired. And how about changing the eligibility for members of the board of directors?
Lots of things are happening at the Museum of the Aleutians in Unalaska.
Melia Knecht is the new collections manager, with a starting date projected for June 1. She is married to former MOTA executive director, Rick Knecht, who is now a professor of archaeology in Scotland. He will remain there until his retirement next year, and then move back to Unalaska, according to Virginia Hatfield, museum executive director.
A call to open up museum board membership surfaced again, this time raised by Unalaska resident Abi Woodbridge at last month's board meeting. She said the museum membership should be allowed to elect directors. Board members are currently appointed by various organizations, with four seats appointed by the Unalaska City Council, and one each by the The Aleut Corporation, the Ounalashka Corporation, and the Qawalangin Tribe of Unalaska.
While the mayor and city council appoint a designated city seat, they likewise also appoint the three "public" members, Woodbridge complained, echoing comments made at a meeting last year by board chair Suzi Golodoff.
Board member and Unalaska City Manager David Martinson said the board appointments reflect the level of financial support from the organizations that appoint museum board members, with the city being the biggest donor.
The board decided that the issue requires further discussion before any changes are made to the museum director membership.
Every Saturday in February at 3 p.m., the museum will host a foreign film, according to Education Director Richard Barnes.
Feb. 11 [--?Retreat from Kiska (1965): A Japanese film set during the retreat of their forces from Kiska during World War II. We chose this film because of its relation to our mission of Aleutian History and the relative rarity of the film itself, Barnes said.
Feb. 18?— Bran Nue Dae (2009): A film set in the 1960s about an Australian aboriginal young man trying to decide his place in the world and the comedic, musical, and slightly raunchy adventures he goes on. We chose this film because its exploration of life and prominence on the film festival circuit, he said.
Feb. 25?— Nausica? of the Valley of the Wind (1984): A Japanese animated film about a young princess of the titular valley who seeks to make peace with the strange bug creatures her people war against. We chose this film both for its message of peace and to ensure we had a kid-friendly film in our line up, he said.
"Each film will be followed by a discussion section where attendants can talk and debate about each film and their messages," Barnes said. Admission is free of charge.
Jim Paulin can be reached at jpaulin@report alaska.com.