Summer Arts and Lectures Series

Our Summer Arts & Lectures Series promotes the arts and sciences as integral and necessary components of an educated and enlightened existence. This program is organized to inspire personal discovery, creativity, and intellectual inquiry. We hope to sustain an inclusive community by presenting relevant, unique, entertaining, and diverse events including performances, films, and lectures in the Kennicott Valley.

Most of our lectures and arts presentations are free to members and highlight the incredible talent housed in or drawn to this small mountain community. This series is sponsored in part by the National Park Service. Many of the events are held in the Kennecott Recreation Hall and others occur at our McCarthy campus. Please check back for an expanding list of specific dates and times. FREE to current members. There is a $5 suggested donation for non-members unless noted otherwise and WMC membership is available at each event, or sign up here. Please write to with questions.

2017 Schedule

  • Saturday, June 3 - Spring Migrations, Bird Habits, and Habitats: A Walk with Mark Vail: Meet in front of the Old Hardware Store for a fun, informative bird walk. Coffee, tea, and coffeecake will be served. Meets at 7 am.
  • Monday, June 5 - Body Knowledge with Stephanie Sever: A lecture about the physical body with the goal of heightening body awareness, promoting self-care and injury prevention. The basics of skeletal structure and muscle tissue will be covered and you will learn how imbalances in these systems lead to pain and/or injuries. 7 pm at Porphyry Place.
  • Wednesday, June 14 - Animating Glaciers with Meredith Leich: In this presentation, Meredith will talk about her collaboration with glaciologist Andrew Malone on the animated documentary "Scaling Quelccaya", which is about the shrinking Quelccaya Ice Cap, the world’s largest tropical glaciated area, high in the Andes Mountains of Peru. 7 pm at Porphyry Place.
  • Tuesday, June 20 - Geology of the Wrangells: Join geologist Mike Loso (National Park Service) for an overview of Wrangells/Kennicott Valley geology. Topics of local interest that will be covered include area bedrock history, formation of copper, volcanism, and glaciology.
  • Wednesday, July 5 - Storytelling from the Outside: Writing in Alaskan History: Annie Osburn will share her research into Athabascan storytelling throughout the Yukon Territory and Alaska, and the impacts boom and bust mining towns have had on it. How do we square our current understanding of a place we love with the sometimes overwhelming context surrounding it, and how does that shape our art? 7 pm at Porphyry Place.
  • Tuesday, July 11 - Fossil Evidence of Mass Extinction: A team of researchers are in McCarthy to conduct a study of past life, mass extinction, and the impact of severe environmental change that took place in the Panthalassan Ocean ~200 Ma to 180 Ma during the Late Triassic to Early Jurassic time. During this lecture they will discuss the background and scope of their study, as well as a preliminary data from a previous study.
  • Wednesday, July 12 - Chris Snyder Songwriter Showcase: Singer-Songwriter, Chris Snyder, plays an eclectic acoustic blend of music styles that define Americana. Chris actively tours the Lower 48, based out of Stillwater, MN with long songwriting stints back to his homeland of Alaska. 7 pm at Porphyry Place.
  • Friday, July 14 - Family Music Camp Barn Dance: at the Old Hardware Store, 7:30 pm. Join us for this family friendly, fun event, open to the public. $5 Suggested Donation.
  • Saturday, July 15 - Family Music Camp Open Jam Night: Community members and visitors are invited to join the instructors and participants for this fun evening of sharing music. 7:30 pm at the Old Hardware Store.
  • Monday, July 31 - Drawing as Storytelling: Themes & Process with Zoe Keller: Zoe will discuss her drawing process from a technical perspective, illuminating how a piece goes from a glimmer of an idea to a fully realized drawing. 7 pm at Porphyry Place.
  • Monday, August 21st - Writing in Place Workshop with Gabriela Halas: Join WMC writer in residence Gabriela Halas for an afternoon workshop exploring the dynamic relationship of writing in place using different technologies—capturing words using pen and paper, typing, and orally. 1-5 pm at Porphyry Place.
  • Thursday, August 24th - Artist in Residence Lecture with Jowita Wyszomirska: During her residency stay, Jowita will create a 2-d work incorporating the weather data from the Wrangell- St. Elias National Park, as well as, the Chesapeake watershed where she resides in Baltimore. Tracing the connection of both locations made by her travel, the work will be developed based on explorations of the surrounding landscape and the Kennicott Glacier 7 pm at Porphyry Place.

  • Saturday, August 26 - Tall Tales Storytelling Contest and Silent Auction: Our annual fall storytelling contest returns for 2017! Bring your best story (or most compelling lies) and join us for this entertaining evening showcasing the creativity of local residents and visitors at the New Golden Saloon.

  • Sunday, September 3rd - Investigating the lost volcanic Arc: Wrangell-St. Elias National Park Alaska: We will discuss the rock dating techniques used and the age of the Wrangell Volcanic Arc, the tectonic setting, and where volcanic activity was centered with time within Wrangell-St. Elias National Park.

  • Community Interviews with the Residents Storytelling Alaska’s Foodways with Sarah McColl: Food isn’t just what we eat—it’s how we live. Writer, home cook, and interviewer Sarah McColl is collecting stories from McCarthy, Alaska’s kitchen tables, restaurant lines, and beloved dining rooms. Share your kitchen’s lessons, losses, and loves, as well as the traditions and challenges of cooking at the edge of the wilderness. Your story will be available as an archived oral history, and may also be featured in a series of audio stories about Alaskan foodways.

  • Music of Wrangell-St. Elias with Jill Haley: Jill will present a concert of new music written about Wrangell/ St. Elias National Park. She will perform on the oboe and keyboard with possibly a guest guitarist. The music will re ect her impressions of different sights and experiences while living at the Wrangell Mountains Center. She will also describe how she writes the music drawing on the inspiration she receives from the Park.

Stay tune, we will continue to add to our 2017 Summer Arts and Lectures Series schedule! Check out past schedules here.

The Wrangell Mountains Center is supported in part by the Alaska State Council on the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts.


Lecture notices are also typically announced on our Facebook page, like us to stay up to date on the latest scheduling news. If you are interested in giving a lecture at the Wrangell Mountains Center, please contact our Executive Director at to submit a proposal.

Past Schedules

Past schedules may be viewed here.

If you are interested in presenting in this series contact to submit a proposal. 

Banner Photo: Nathaniel Wilder