Author: Samantha Davenport

Anchorage singer-songwriter wins NPR’s Tiny Desk Contest

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Music

This article was originally written for the Anchorage Daily News. Quinn Christopherson, a singer-songwriter in Anchorage who is Athabascan and transgender, has won NPR’s Tiny Desk Contest — a nationwide competition that invites musicians to submit a video of one of their songs. “Quinn’s entry astounded our judge panel from start to finish. His powerful song ‘Erase Me’ is a nuanced take on his experience as a transgender man coming to terms with the power […]

A little electro-pop, a little outlaw country: Jared & the Mill is back in Alaska

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Music

This article was originally written for the Anchorage Daily News. Jared Kolesar is no stranger to being on the road. He and his bandmates of Jared & the Mill — an indie-rock band with southwest roots — have been playing together for seven years on tour anywhere between seven to nine months out of any given year. Kolesar says his bandmates — Michael Carter, Larry Gast III, Chuck Morriss III and Josh Morin — have […]

Inuit actress plays lead role in ‘Twilight Zone’ episode set in Alaska

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Arts and culture
(Photo by Robert Falconer/CBS)

This article was originally written for the Anchorage Daily News.   Trouble is brewing in the fictional town of Iglaak, Alaska: It has entered “The Twilight Zone.” The 2019 CBS All Access series is the third revival of the original 1959 series. This time it’s narrated by actor and filmmaker Jordan Peele. Canadian actress Marika Sila plays Sgt. Yuka Mongoyak in the series’ fourth episode, “A Traveler,” which is set in a town above the […]

Here are some up-and-coming art galleries to check out in downtown Anchorage

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Arts and culture

This article was originally written for the Anchorage Daily News. The sun is still shining at 8 p.m. and the ice is almost entirely melted off the sidewalks. That means Anchorage is entering into the best time of year to walk around downtown and check out the First Friday art openings. There are plenty of places downtown April 5 that First Friday-goers are familiar with — the International Gallery of Contemporary Art and the Anchorage […]

In ‘Whale Song,’ a young Alaska Native woman must decide the fate of the world’s bowhead whales

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Arts and culture

This article was originally written for the Anchorage Daily News. When Cathy Tagnak Rexford first saw an Alaska Native actor on stage, she said, “I can do that too.” She didn’t end up acting, but she is a playwright. Her play “Whale Song,” a Perseverance Theater production, opens this weekend in Anchorage. “Whale Song” is set in the present day and follows the journey of Ani, a young Native woman who — in order to […]

7 Harry Potter novels in 70 minutes: ‘Potted Potter’ comes to Anchorage

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Arts and culture

This article was originally written for the Anchorage Daily News. In 2005, fans of the Harry Potter series lined up outside of a bookstore in London for the midnight release of J.K. Rowling’s sixth installment, “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince,” and Jefferson Turner and Daniel Clarkson decided to perform a street show of the first five Harry Potter books for the crowd. They never thought it would result in sold-out shows around the world […]

Hot-air balloons, street racing, blackjack: Some Fur Rondy events didn’t stand the test of time. Here’s why.

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News
Photo by Al Geist/Geist Arts.

This article was originally written for the Anchorage Daily News.   A few Fur Rendezvous traditions have stood the test of time. The blanket toss has been a staple of the festival since before statehood, and the Beard and Mustache Competition will celebrate its 69th appearance this year. But whatever happened to some of the old Fur Rondy favorites, like the Fur Rondy Grand Prix or the hot-air balloon aerial display over Westchester Lagoon? Since […]

Gail Jackson

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Profiles

This article was originally written for the Rasmuson Foundation.   Gail Jackson’s morning routine begins with meditation and Qigong, a Chinese practice of movement. Then she plays her gongs. She carries a friction mallet across the metal slower than a second hand on a clock. The sound starts low, then grows louder. When she slows even more, the sound is brought out. One light hit from her mallet, Jackson says, brings forth many different tones […]

International Guitar Night brings flamenco, gypsy jazz and something entirely new to Anchorage

Arts and culture

This article was originally written for the Anchorage Daily News.   In 2017, the Italian musician Luca Stricagnoli’s cover of the hit Gorillaz’ song, “Feel Good Inc.” featuring his triple-neck guitar — an invention of his — went viral. The video of Stricagnoli executing the bass line, melody and percussion simultaneously has been seen over five million times. Stricagnoli will guest host and perform in the International Guitar Night tour; it kicks off in Anchorage […]

Review: ‘Franklin’ delivers with mystery and history

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Arts and culture

This article was originally written for the Anchorage Daily News.   Plenty of artists and authors have sought inspiration from Franklin’s lost expedition. Now, a new play from Perseverance Theatre is putting a spin on it by combining music, storytelling and science. In 1845, English Captain John Franklin led a doomed attempt to journey across the Northwest Passage. On the expedition were two ships: the HMS Erebus and the HMS Terror, an unfortunately fitting name. […]