"Communities, Disaster & Change" is a traveling exhibition coordinated by the Valdez Museum and Historical Archive, in Valdez, Alaska. It provides a twist on the fiftieth anniversary of the Good Friday Earthquake commemoration through its connection with other communities and other disasters. The exhibit will travel around the state as well as to Oregon, and Hawaii. The full travel schedule and complete online gallery of the exhibit can be seen here.

This blog serves as a place to host a global conversation about the indomitable nature of the human spirit and communities' reactions to change, how they survive disaster and how they rebuild for the future. We hope this can be a tool for people like you, all across the world, to reach out and share your stories on survival and the will to carry on.

If you have seen the exhibit whether online or in person we want to know your reaction to the work of these twenty-eight Alaskan artists. Please join us in an ongoing conversation, and chime in with your thoughts, views and your personal stories of your community, disaster, and change.

03 August 2015

Valdez Museum Intern and Natural Disaster in Chile!!!

Ms. Larroza, the New Valdez Museum Summer Intern
Working with Mammoth Teeth
 Found in Ester, Alaska 

The Valdez Museum welcomes Juliana Larroza, our new intern for the 2015 summer season!! She has come to us through a grant from the Alaska State Museum. Ms. Larroza is working towards her master’s in Museum Studies at New York University. She has interned at museums in Italy, Coast Rica, Brazil and Argentina. The Valdez Museum has many ongoing preservation projects of which Juliana is hard at work on. She is currently building proper housing for a set of mammoth teeth found in Esther, Alaska. The teeth were donated by Leroy and Marne Churches in 1976.

Traditional Chilean Dancing
 I asked Ms. Larroza if she has ever experienced natural disaster? She said she had not but her family volunteered their time in Los Angeles, their home, to raise money for the victims of the 2010, 8.8 magnitude earthquake that struck Chile. Ms. Larroza is first generation Columbian with family in Argentina, Chile, Columbia and Miami. Ms. Larroza’s Aunt and Chilean husband live in L.A. but have loved ones who suffered the 2010 earthquake in Chile.
National Pride

The earthquake in central Chile was the sixth largest ever to be recorded by a seismograph. The quake triggered a tsunami that destroyed several coastal towns in south-central Chile. Chileans were devastated as their belongings and loved ones were ripped away from them. Juliana Larroza’s family gathered to organize “Unidos Por Chile,” a non-profit organization dedicated to raising money and collecting emergency supplies for victims of the Chilean disaster. Local artists, dancers, businesses and community members gathered for the “Unidos Por Chile” festival in LA, California.

Above are images from the fund raising festival depicting community support through traditional dance, art, music and national pride! Has anyone else experienced this kind of community support!?


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