Wrangell Mountains Songwriting Workshop

with Michelle McAfee and Robin Child, July 11, 12, & 13, 2014

Led by Oregon-based singer/songwriter Michelle McAfee, this program will offer musicians and writers of all levels the opportunity to be immersed in the art of songwriting. Drawing inspiration from the Wrangell Mountains and fellow songwriters, workshop participants will be guided in how to expand as musicians by developing skills in musical composition and lyric writing. The workshop will conclude with a Songwriters Showcase in which participants and community members will be encouraged to share original work. Come be involved in this creative workshop and make art through music!

Making music in the mountains

Making music in the mountains

Michelle McAfee

Michelle McAfee

Instructor: Michelle McAfee has a diverse musical background that includes: being a staff songwriter for Warner-Chappell Music and Sony/Maypop Music Publishers in Los Angeles, CA and Nashville, TN; touring consistently as a performer; opening for or performing with The Indigo Girls, Jewel, G Love & Special Sauce; writing and performing music for Shelley Niro’s film “Kissed By Lightening”; co-creating the artist collective “One Soul” with Alaskan artist’s Melissa Mitchell, Spiff, Rik Nielsen which takes music and art into prisons; recording two albums Up In The Air (2010) which charted at 80/522 on the AMA radio Chart  and Float (2013) which is scheduled for radio release February, 2014. Find out more at www.michellemcafee.com

Robin Child

Robin Child

Program Director: Robin Child is always surrounded by music. She was raised in an instrument-toting family. Between the ages of four and eighteen, she participated in a chorus that toured her home-state Colorado, writing and performing original music. Robin continues to pursue her passion for banjo-playing and sharing music with people. She spent the past two years as an art and music teacher in Koyuk, AK, developing a program that integrates arts into the core curriculum.  Robin enjoys being a part of a remote community and recognizes the important social connections that occur through music. She runs a community music night at the school each month and continues to write and record music from her yurt on the edge of the tundra. She is hoping to finish and release her first album this summer!

Location and Venue: 

The WMC is a private nonprofit institute which fosters understanding, appreciation, and stewardship of wildlands and mountain culture in Alaska through scientific and artistic inquiry in the Wrangell Mountains. The course is based at the WMC's headquarters in the Old Hardware Store in McCarthy, Alaska. The town of McCarthy is set in the heart of Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve, the largest national park in the U.S. Over 23% larger than Switzerland, Wrangell-St. Elias is world renowned for its wild landscapes, high peaks, massive glaciers and rivers, healthy ecosystems, and dramatic scenery as well as its unique cultural history.

McCarthy is approximately a seven hour drive from either Anchorage or Fairbanks. It is possible to fly or arrange shuttles from Anchorage to McCarthy, and occasionally we can help arrange carpools for students, though we make no promises.

McCarthy and neighboring Kennecott, a national historic landmark, are situated within the Kennicott Valley (note the different spellings between the natural features and historical features.) McCarthy and Kennecott serve locals and travelers alike as a gateway to world-class backcountry opportunities and amazing frontcountry hikes and walks (including access to the Root Glacier); the Kennicott Valley also provides a window into some of the most unique chapters in Alaska's history and an authentic, lively contemporary community.

Schedule:

Sign up for one, two, or all three days on July 11, 12, and 13th. Lunch and dinner are included. We will meet at 10 am and go all day with optional after dinner sessions. There will be a musical showcase on Sunday night.  

Lunch in the Hardware Store backyard

Lunch in the Hardware Store backyard

Meals and Accommodations: 

Lunch and dinner will be provided and shared communally; workshop participants are responsible for the breakfast meal. Breakfast can be purchased from a limited number of local vendors or participants can bring breakfast provisions to store and cook in the Hardware Store facilities. Hot water will be provided for coffee and tea. Every effort will be made to accommodate dietary needs and restrictions with advance notice. Course participants are invited to contribute to daily chores connected with our organic garden and meal clean-up in keeping with the WMC’s commitment to cooperative living and sustainable systems. Primitive camping is available at no cost to workshop participants. The private site is located just a short walk away from the Wrangell Mountains Center campus. Those who camp are welcome to store gear and food, borrow bear barrels, and use our rustic shower and other facilities at the Hardware Store. WMC staff will direct you to the campsite and orient you there upon your arrival. 

Other lodging options within McCarthy include the full service McCarthy Lodge and Lancaster's Backpacker Hotel, located just down the street. The Kennicott River Lodge and Hostel is another great option outside of town; it's a short bicycle ride or twenty minute walk each way. If you bring a vehicle with you, Currant Ridge Cabins is located on the McCarthy Road about three miles from the road's end; it's about a half mile walk between the parking area there and the Old Hardware Store. Free shuttles run between the river and McCarthy on a rotation with limited hours. If you bring a camper in or would otherwise like to camp out with your vehicle, there are two commercial campgrounds near the end of the McCarthy Road that will accommodate you without advance reservations.

Cost: $75/person/day before May 1st and $85/person/day after May 1st. $75/person/day for current WMC members. Sign up for one, two, or three days. The workshop price includes lunches and dinners and optional camping and food storage facilities.

Register: To register for this workshop, please fill out the attached form with a $50 deposit. If you prefer you may also mail in your registration and a check (download .PDF). Balance is due 30 days prior to workshop start date. Write to info@wrangells.org or call 907-242-0515 with any questions.