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by Felicia Desimini, Festival Director

JUNE 2015

Many thanks to all who attended or took part in the 5th Annual Machetanz Arts Festival. This year’s festival a record-breaking success! We look forward to your continued support in the many years to come. This year’s festival truly had something for everyone! We had 2 celebrated 2015 Rasmuson Foundation artists who joined us as the festival expanded to include four 2-day workshops. New this year, was a partnership with 49 Writers project. Saturday evening June 5th a poetry event was staged at the Glenn Massay Theater and participation was powerful! On Sunday an

Independent Film Festival-9 independent films were showcased at the theater as well. Another addition was 3-D printing and Brian McKimson piqued the curious with his knowledge and demonstrations. Others who presented included 100stone project, “Soundlab” making music with found objects, Focus Outreach’s mini-canvases to paint and a local face painter. We thank all of the incredible artist instructors and collaborators who shared their respective talents and expertise We want to take the time to thank our sponsors, especially Make-A-Scene! Our sponsors helped promote and make this festival an affordable

event for us all. We strongly encourage you to utilize the services of each and every sponsor. Planning for the 6th annual festival is already underway to bring additional workshops, new and exciting art and artists to the Valley. Save the dates: next year’s two-day portion of the festival will be held on June 3rd and 4th.

> Thanks again from all of us here at Mat-Su College and the Machetanz Arts Festival!



> July 3rd, 4th, &5th, and 10th, 11th, & 12th Fri/Sat 7:30 show time, Sun 5pm matinee

JUNE 2015

Article contributed by Justin Searls “It is said that history is written by the the winners, well tonight it’s our turn!” Thus begins the ninety minute roller coaster ride through the glorious quagmire of American History called The Complete History of America (Abridged). Produced by Denali Drama in Talkeetna, “Complete History”

presents a satirical reenactment of America’s most significant historical events as well as comically exaggerated impersonations of many renowned historical figures. This is the second in a series of “abridged” shows originally produced by the Reduced Shakespeare Company. In fall of 2012 the players of Denali Drama presented The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged). “Audiences loved the last abridged show we did and we’ve been wanting to do another show like this for a long time”, said director Nick Condon. “This show seemed perfect,

especially considering we’re opening the show on July 4th weekend”. In a style called New Vaudeville, think classic slapstick meets irreverent political satire, this show manages to be thought provoking, corny, and clever at the same time. From Washington to Watergate, from the Bering Straits to Baghdad, from the New World to the New World Order, just about everything since our nation’s founding comes under fire in this fast-paced, brutal take on American history. 600 years of history in 6,000 seconds! The Complete History of America (Abridged) is an irreverent look at

our past through new eyes, at a high rate of speed, reminding us that it’s not the length of your history that matters…it’s what you’ve done with it! The Denali Arts Council presents this show at the Sheldon Community Arts Hangar in beautiful downtown Talkeetna, July 3, 4, 5 & 10, 11, 12. Fridays & Saturday at 7:30pm – Sunday Matinees at 5:00pm. Tickets $17 (or $15 for DAC Members.)







Find the Good

Heather Lende

As the obituary writer in a spectacularly beautiful but often dangerous spit of land in Alaska, Heather Lende knows something about last words and lives well lived.


If You Lived Here I’d Know Your Name

Heather Lende

Tiny Haines, Alaska, is ninety miles north of Juneau, accessible mainly by water or air and only when the weather is good.


If I Stay

Gayle Forman

In the blink of an eye everything changes. Seventeen year-old Mia has no memory of the accident; she can only recall what happened afterwards, watching her own damaged body being taken from the wreck. Little by little she struggles to put together the pieces- to figure out what she has lost, what she has left, and the very difficult choice she must make.


Nourishing Broth: An Old-Fashioned Remedy for the Modern World

Sally Fallon Morell

The follow-up book to the hugely best-selling Nourishing Traditions, this time focusing on the immense health benefits of bone broth by the founder of the popular Weston A Price Foundation.


The Snow Child

Eowyn Ivey

Alaska, 1920: a brutal place to homestead, and especially tough for recent arrivals Jack and Mabel.


Take Good Care of the Garden and the Dogs

Heather Lende


The Price of Whistleblowing

Linda Dunegan

Linda Dunegan confronts the bureaucracy at the Air National Guard


It’s a Long Story

Willie Nelson

The country music icon’s story.

Tara Willis

Following the passing of their invalid father, the poverty-stricken Montoya family is barely surviving, as, together, they wage a daily war against the ravages of extreme poverty, racism and a system bent on separating and destroying them.

Kiera Cass

Twenty years ago, America Singer entered the Selection and won Prince Maxon’s heart. Now the time has come for Princess Eadlyn to hold a Selection of her own.

#9 #10

Carry Me Home


The Alaskan landscape so vast, dramatic, and unbelievable may be the reason the people in Haines, Alaska (population 2,400), so often discuss the meaning of life.



JUNE 2015

The Rasmuson Foundation Artist Residency Program will begin accepting applications again from Alaska artists and writers interested in fully funded two-month residencies in the Lower 48. Please note that the eligibility requirements have changed. Any Alaska-based artist who meets the criteria is invited to apply, whether or not they have received a Rasmuson Foundation Individual Artist Award in the past. An optional and free information session detailing the program, eligibility requirements, and application process will be held June 26 at 6:00 pm. Attendees are invited to attend in person or by

teleconference; the event will take place in the Anchorage Museum's Reynolds Classroom, just off the atrium. For artists outside of Anchorage, instructions on how to call in will be announced in advance of the workshop. Applications will be accepted online beginning July 1, and the deadline is August 15, 2015. Alaska artists selected in past award cycles include Christine Byl, Ernestine Hayes, Arlitia Jones, Linda Lyons, Mary Matthews, Jimmy Riordan, Gretchen Sagan, Maria Shell, and Michael Walsh.




JUNE 2015





Community Events Art PALMER CITY ALEHOUSE LIVE MUSIC: JUNE 20TH @ 7PM - Anna Lynch Band JUNE 27TH @ 7PM - Gimme Gimme Gimme JULY 4TH @ 7PM - Wild Cat Trio JULY 11TH Midsummer Garden & Art Faire JULY 18TH @ 7PM - I Like Robots KLONDIKE MIKE’S SALOON LIVE MUSIC: EVERY WEDNESDAY @ 7PM: Open Mic Night w/ Joe Current of Blue Voo Doo EVERY THURSDAY @9PM: Karaoke w/ DJ Brian from Music & Memories (9PM) JUNE 19TH @ 6PM - Acoustic Projekt JUNE 20TH @ 10PM - DJ Mako Dance Mix JUNE 23RD @ 8PM - Drum Jam w/ Meggie Aube JUNE 26TH @ 6PM - Braided River Band JULY 3RD @ 6PM - Bella Budnan JULY 4TH @ 10PM - DJ Mako Dance Mix JULY 10TH @ 6PM - Paul Cataldo of Ashville, NC JULY 11TH @ 10PM - Danger Money Band JULY 17TH @ 6PM - Acoustic Project THE ROAD TO WARPED TOUR 2015 June 17th, Wednesday Sullivan Arena, Anchorage 38 bands, 4 stages! The Biggest Rock Festival in Alaska Get tickets in Wasilla at Area 51 Hobby & Games HOW TO WRITE A BUSINESS PLAN ANCHORAgE & WEBINAR June 18th - 1-5PM Small Business Development Center 1901 Bragaw Street Anchorage AK 99508 $50.00 907-786-7201

HEALTH CARE REFORM: THE IMPACT ON OUR SMALL BUSINESSES - ANCHORAgE June 25th - 1:30pm-3:30pm Small Business Development Center 1901 Bragaw Street Suite 199, Anchorage $20.00 - 907-786-7201

FREE parking

THE SBDC MARKETINg LAB - ANCHORAgE June 26th 10:00 am - 12:00 pm Small Business Development Center 1901 Bragaw Street Suite 199, Anchorage FREE - 907-786-7201

WOMEN’S CONNECTION LUNCHEON: SUCCESSFUL LIVINg WITH EMILY FIRNSTAHL Mon. July 20 -Noon to 1:30 Evangelo’s Restaurant $18.00, includes childcare Stonecroft Ministries/Janet Faiks - 907-892-8482

ART ON FIRE IRON POUR ART FEST June 27th – 10AM until 5pm Museum of Alaska Transportation and Industry 3800 W. Museum Drive (near the airport) in Wasilla RIDE FOR THE CURE June 28th - 9:30AM Alaska State Fairgrounds 6th Annual Ride for A Cure Benefiting the Multiple Sclerosis Society $20.00 Suggested Donation “RENAISSANCE” ART ExHIBIT by Victoria Peterson July 2015 Espresso Café, Wasilla THE COMPLETE HISTORY (ABRIDgED) Fri July 3rd, July 5, & Friday July 10 - Sun July 12 7:30 to 9:30 pm Sheldon Community Arts Hangar Downtown Talkeetna $15-$17 - Denali Arts Council & Denali Drama 907-733-7929

SUMMER OPEN DRUM JAM Tues, June 23 - 6pm- 8pm Klondike Mike’s Saloon and Roadhouse BBQ 820 S. Colony Way, Palmer FREE - Percussion in the Valley 907-631-8079 907-631-8079

PALMER MIDSUMMER gARDEN & ART FAIRE July 11th – 10am-8pm Music, plants, people, fun!

IS CLOUD COMPUTINg RIgHT FOR YOU? ANCHORAgE AND WEBINAR June 24th - 2:00 - 3:30 pm Small Business Development Center 1901 Bragaw Street Suite 199, Anchorage $20.00 - 907-786-7201 -

10TH ANNUAL FIREWEED FESTIVAL July 18th – 11am-7pm Mile 115.2 Parks Hwy Trapper Creek Live music and fun for the whole family! FREE admission

FUNDRAISINg YARD SALE July 18th – 11am-4pm Mat-Su Animal Care Facility 9470 E Chanlyut Circle Palmer, Alaska

Madd Matters CUSTOM MATTING, FRAMING, AND ART SUPPLIES This month we are having a “Clean Out the Boss’s Garage” sale. Save big on beautiful, ready to hang prints by Ed Tussey, Rick Kelly, Charles Frace and plenty more. Stop in and check out our latest art supplies and see what’s new hanging in the gallery.

10% off supplies 1088 S. Colony745-6045 Way - Palmer for all art students Tues-Sat 10am-3pm

BINgO AND PULL TABS Wasilla Senior Center 1301 S Century Circle Every Wednesday From 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm BINgO Card sales begin at 12:45 pm FREE to the public Wasilla Area Senior Center

MAT-SU TOASTMASTERS 889 N. Elkhorn Drive Wasilla, AK 99654 Located upstairs in the Pub Every Tuesday from 7:30am to 8:30am Mat-Su Toastmasters 907.841.9818 or 907.355.3039 FREE HEARINg SCREENINg PROVIDED BY MAT-SU SERTOMA CLUB First Sat Every Month 10am-1pm Wasilla Physical Therapy Deana Moore 761-5229


Friday, Saturday, Sunday, May 1-3: FRIENDS Book Sale at the library Friday, May 8th: Foreign Film at 7pm Monday, May 18th: FRIENDS Meeting at 7pm Saturday, May 23rd: CHILL at 6pm

Community Events

The 5th annual Play 60 event happens Wed. July 8 from 9am to 1pm with check in starting at 8:30am at the Curtis Menard Memorial Sports Center located at 1001 S. Mack Dr. in Wasilla. Registration is $10 and it includes a t-shirt, lunch and a wide variety of fun physical activities for ages 6 to 15. Parents are encouraged to preregister at . Play 60 is a program intended to encourage people to be active for 60 minutes a day.

It is one of the national initiatives that grew out of the 40 year partnership of the National Football League and United Ways as they have worked together to advance health and education for America’s young people. The combined efforts of the Mat-Su Sea Hawkers, Mat-Su Health Foundation and United Way of Mat-Su are making this event possible.

> and call 373-5807

to volunteer or for more information.


LIVINg WELL ALASKA, MAKINg BETTER CHOICES WHILE LIVINg WITH CHRONIC ILLNESS Wasilla Area Senior Center 1301 S. Century Circle Wasilla, Alaska 99654 Every Tuesday from November 4 thru December 16 at 1pm FREE



NON-DENOMINATIONAL BIBLE STUDY Wasilla Area Senior Center 1301 S. Century Circle Wasilla, Alaska 99654 Every Wednesday from 10 to 11 am in WASI Meeting Room FREE - Wasilla Area Senior Center


Community For the Sockeye Fire: GCI has increased donation collection locations for the Sockeye Fire to include all of its stores in Anchorage, Eagle River and Wasilla, for a total of 14 collection points. As of today, the most important items being requested by the Red Cross of Alaska Mat-Su Disaster Service department include clothing, diapers, nonperishable food and dog/cat food. For the Card Street Fire: GCI stores in Kenai and Soldotna are now collecting items for the Card Street Fire. GCI has been in contact with the Division of Forestry, and they are asking for items that will support the firefighters. They are asking people to donate such items as water, trail mix, granola bars and sports drinks such as Gatorade or Vitamin Water. It is important to note that GCI is not collecting funds on behalf of the Red Cross, but if people wish to make a monetary donation they can visit or text AKFIRE to 41444.

GCI stores collecting donations for Red Cross of Alaska’s Mat-Su Valley Disaster Services ANCHORAGE, Alaska – Anyone wishing to donate nonperishable items to those affected by the Sockeye Fire in the Matanuska Susitna Borough can take items to the GCI store in Wasilla, located at 1879 E. Parks Highway, in the Target shopping center, or to one of five Anchorage-area GCI stores. On behalf of the Red Cross, GCI will be collecting such items as clothing, blankets, food, diapers, dog and cat food and other nonperishable items. “The entire GCI family is concerned about the safety and wellbeing of our employees and residents in the area around the Sockeye Fire, and we want to do whatever we can to support them in this time of need,” said GCI Senior Vice President and General Manager of Consumer Services Paul Landes.

The GCI store in Wasilla will be collecting items beginning immediately. Beginning Tuesday, June 16, GCI will also be collecting donations at five Anchorage-area stores. All donations will then be delivered to the Red Cross of Alaska’s Mat-Su Valley Disaster Services.

> Stores accepting donations include: 1879 E. Parks Highway, Wasilla (in the Target shopping center) 13221 Old Glenn Highway, Eagle River (in the Fred Meyer shopping center) 1524 Muldoon Road, Anchorage (in the Fred Meyer shopping center) 2800 C Street, Anchorage 2203 W. Dimond Blvd., Suite 100-A, Anchorage (corner of Victor and Dimond) 1901 Abbott Road, Anchorage More information about GCI is available at

JUNE 2015

On Fire




> Contributed by Carmen Summerfield

It’s time for another hot, Hot, HOT Iron Pour! Yes, for the 8th consecutive year, the Valley Arts Alliance Art on Fire Iron Pour Art Fest will be held on Saturday, June 27, 2015 in Wasilla. The Valley will be buzzing with artists from across the country, as they gather to cast unique iron sculptures, create Raku pottery, and engage in other similar “fiery” events.

In the weeks preceding this event, Pat Garley (441-6728) will be offering workshops in metal casting and mold making at his studio in Palmer. These workshops will continue at the VAA Art on Fire Iron Pour Art Fest, when these molds are poured with liquid iron. See scenes of last year’s event on our 2014 Art on Fire archives page, And for examples of completed iron sculptures that were displayed at the International Gallery of Contemport Art in Anchorage, see our 2012 Art on Fire Sculpture archive page.


A team of skilled foundry men and women, consisting of Pat Garley, who owns Arctic Fires Bronze in Palmer, D’jean Jawrunner, a college professor from New Mexico who teaches metal casting, Donnie Keen a commercial foundry owner from Houston, Texas, and other local sculptors and skilled metal workers will demonstrate the fascinating 5000 year old iron casting process using a custom designed furnace known as a cupola.

JUNE 2015

PAGE 12 www. MAKEASCENEAK .com JUNE 2015


On Fire

Throughout the day, artist Sandra Cook, who owns “SL Cook Pottery and Fiber Werks” in Palmer, will conduct her Raku pottery workshop. Sandra will provide each participant with a vessel or pot of unglazed ceramic ware, known as bisque, which the participants will decorate with a variety of glazes and then fire in one of Sandra’s special Raku kilns. After a short firing, the “red hot” vessels will be placed inside a metal can full of combustible materials, a process that draws the oxygen out of the glaze and is responsible for the unique and completely unpredictable Raku look. The Association of Alaskan Blacksmiths will demonstrate blacksmithing techniques, Judy Vars will demonstrate Encaustic wax

painting, and other fiery arts, such as glass flameworking, will also be demonstrated. Sahara Storm Tribal Dance Troupe will perform. Live music and food will be available.

> The VAA Art on Fire Iron

Pour Art Fest will be held at the Museum of Alaska Transportation and Industry, located at 3800 W. Museum Drive (near the airport) in Wasilla, from 10am until 5pm on Saturday, June 27.

> The ticket price is $10, with children under 12 admitted free. Please join the fun! We hope to turn this day into an extraordinary Iron Pour Art Fest in the Valley!


On Fire Music

www. MAKEASCENEAK .com JUNE 2015

8 www. MAKEASCENEAK .com



JUNE 2015


Local art instructor and artist, Victoria Peterson, announces the release of her newest series titled, "Renaissance", in an exhibit at Espresso Cafe' in Wasilla for the month of July.

> Her Instructor-led painting examples and student work will also be exhibited at Kaladi Brothers Coffee. Victoria is known for her painting parties which she instructs at businesses, schools, and homes as owner/ instructor of Canvas Cafe' (formerly Doodles art studio). Victoria is a born and raised Alaskan with a love for being on, in, or near the water, beautiful mountain views with a coffee in hand and deep conversation, and campfire sitting with good company. Victoria creates at her home in Palmer, as demonstration amongst students, and at places

of worship. "I'm so excited to share my first solo art exhibit with the community", the artist states, "this body of work is very personal to me and tells a story of my own personal revival brought on by pain that I hope will touch the viewers and encourage discussion". The July exhibits will feature acrylic paintings on canvas. Kaladi Brothers Coffee and Espresso Cafe' showcase local artists with new exhibits every month. Espresso Cafe' will host a "meet the artist"on 2nd Saturday, July 11 from 1-3:00pm. Kaladi's is located at 591 E. Parks Highway, #200 in Wasilla, AK (Phone: 907-357-2590). Hours are Monday-Friday (6 a.m. - 7 p.m.) and Saturday-Sunday (8 a.m. - 7 p.m.). Espresso Cafe' is located at 1265 Seward Meridian Parkway in Wasilla, AK (Phone: 907-376-5282). Hours are Monday-Friday (5 a.m.-7p.m.), Saturday (6 a.m.-7 p.m.), and Sunday (6 a.m.-6 p.m.)

Peterson has been teaching art classes in the Valley since 2009 to organizations that serve the differently-abled, foster care children, at risk youth, homeschool and public school students, and to adults looking for a creative social experience. She received training through UAA in art and elementary education and learns from other accomplished artists and her students daily. Victoria has a passion for helping others heal and realize their worth through creative expression. She loves painting in acrylic and getting messy with charcoal, accompanied by music. Victoria can be reached through her website at:

> Contact Information: 907-775-6960 Facebook - Canvas Cafe \

Victoria is known for her painting parties which she instructs at businesses, schools, and homes as owner/instructor of Canvas Cafe'


Photography After hearing the story of Annabelle Hernandez, the new Mrs. Alaska United States 2015, Hanna was inspired to create a photo shoot that would tell a story of heartache and hope through her image artistry. ANNAbEllE HErNANdEz, tHE NEw MrS. AlASkA 2015 PHoto CourtESy of HANNA tHiMSEN, rEliC PHotogrAPHiC

> Hanna Thimsen is the owner and lead photographer and author at Relic Photographic. She is a Wasilla wife, mother, and entrepreneur that is passionate about art and the beauty of lives redeemed. After hearing the story of Annabelle Hernandez, the new Mrs. Alaska United States 2015, Hanna was inspired to create a photo shoot that would tell a story of heartache and hope through her image artistry. The photos are meant to serve as a visual voice and as a reminder of the graphic reality of so many around us and of the hope that perseveres. Mrs. Alaska United States 2015 is a beautiful person inside-out and has a story to share full of grief, sadness and HOPE. Annabelle spent the first 9 years of her childhood with a drug addicted mother and an abusive step-father. The last nine years of her childhood were spent being raised by strangers in foster care, the physical abuse being replaced with psychological abuse. People used to tell her that a girl such as herself would never get to be a princess. She used to look in a mirror and imagine herself as one anyway. She knew in her heart that they were wrong. And they were.

She’s an advocate. A dreamer. A doer. An overcomer. These photos are meant to serve as a visual part of her voice, as a reminder of the reality of so many around us, and of the hope that perseveres.

JUNE 2015

She walked through many horrors, but never lost hope. Today she is Mrs. Alaska. She has a crown that sparkles like the sun when it rises. She is married to a kind man and is mother to a beautiful daughter. As Mrs. Alaska, her dream and goal is to inspire hope and change into the foster care community. She has a heart as big as our state and wants to be a voice to those who have none.


Hebrews 6:19 This hope is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls‌



JUNE 2015


With statewide expansion in mind, NeighborWorks Anchorage recently changed its name to NeighborWorks Alaska!

The colorful mural is displayed in the “Edible Park” in downtown Palmer located at 209 Evergreen Avenue.

In March, NeighborWorks Alaska opened its newest office in Palmer adding a dynamic business partner to the downtown area. The office is located at 625 S. Cobb Street, Suite 100. Staff coordinated the name unveiling at our new office Friday, June 12th at noon, to coincide with our National NeighborWorks Week program, “Paint the Town” which ran from June 6th until June 14th. In addition to the name unveiling, NeighborWorks Alaska brought together multiple local partners to facilitate the creation of an inspiring community mural themed, “Deep Roots, Strong Community”. The colorful mural is displayed in the “Edible Park” in downtown Palmer located at 209 Evergreen Avenue. Wolf Architecture and local artists designed the mural and assisted with the painting of the tree trunk. The leaves were created with the help of individuals and families living within the Mat-Su Valley. As part of the “Paint the Town” program, NeighborWorks Alaska also facilitated the building of several raised planter boxes which were strategically located in downtown Palmer and with the help of volunteers, filled with vibrant flowers for all to enjoy. NeighborWorks Alaska extends special thanks to the project sponsors, The Home Depot Foundation, Matanuska Telephone Association (MTA), NeighborWorks America and Job Corps. Community partners participating in the projects included, Valley Arts Alliance, GROW Palmer, HOPE Community Resources, Job Corp, Salvation Army, United Way /THRIVE Mat-Su and Wolf Architecture.

> NeighborWorks® Alaska is a 501(c)3 non-profit dedicated to improving the quality of life for families and individuals by preserving homes,

creating new housing opportunities and strengthening neighborhoods and has been in existence for 34 years.



> Contributed by Bonnye


Some of my writer friends have thought that DVDs would be helpful but their publishers

I’m in the process now of removing all the Introductions from the novels and replacing them with DVDs. I’m also writing the fifth novel in the series, The SealEaters, 22,000 BC. Each novel will have at least one accompanying DVD. July 27, 2015, I’ll be at the UAA Bookstore from 4pm to 6pm with a presentation on Mixing DVD Media with Novels for Enhanced Communication. There’s more value to the mixing than just significantly enhanced communication for novels. It’s extraordinarily fun to navigate this electronic age. If you’re interested in viewing the DVD to see how the Cook Inlet area in Alaska might have looked in 35,000 BC and how it got like it is now, learning the additional values I see from DVD use with novels, finding out how easy it is to do a DVD associated with novels or something else, and/or just asking questions or listening, please join me at the UAA Bookstore July 27, 2015 at 4pm. I’ll have a similar presentation at the National Federation of Press Women’s National Conference September 11, 2015, in Anchorage, but there’s a hefty charge. At the UAA Bookstore, there’s no charge (and the UAA Bookstore serves cookies). The UAA Bookstore is located at 2901 Spirit Drive in Anchorage.

> If this sounds like something you’d like to have adapted to a group meeting so members can share an overview of the Cook Inlet area in 35,000 BC as I see it for my novels, feel free to contact me at bonnye@ I’m in the greater Anchorage area.

JUNE 2015

I write the Winds of Change novel series about the peopling of the Americas before the Ice Age. Books currently in the series are: Ki’ti’s Story, 75,000 BC, Manak-na’s Story, 75,000 BC, Zamimolo’s Story, 50,000 BC, and Tuksook’s Story, 35,000 BC. I felt the reader might not have some of the background that five years of intense study gave me, so I put Introductions in the books. I hated the idea of having Introductions in my novels. Why slow down a story with nonfiction? Because it’s possible in the electronic age, I occasionally changed an Introduction. My information is current on the latest research on early man, and it’s coming very fast these days. Neanderthals weren’t dark skinned, bent over brutes who couldn’t speak. They had all the equipment to speak that we have—and bigger brains. They also cared

I gathered the equipment and learned the software for making DVDs. Oddly, it wasn’t as difficult as I supposed. I made a DVD on how I became a writer. That was an effective way to communicate, I found. Then, I created Cook Inlet, Alaska: The Setting of Tuksook’s Story, 35,000 BC. That was different! People in Alaska who’ve seen it enjoyed it, because they generally learn something new about the area. In a matter of seconds, I can show a mini-movie of how a subduction zone works. Ink-on-paper telling just doesn’t cut it in comparison. From children in grades three to five to retired adults, age is irrelevant to one’s enjoyment of the 22 minute DVD. Well, the kids do really love the part working up to 35,000 BC when the DVD looks at the dinosaurs in the area. I shared mixing DVD media with novels at the Young Writers’ Conference in the Mat-Su Borough recently. Imagine the DVD’s keeping the eyes of three groups of third to fifth graders glued to a screen—a screen not attached to a cell phone or game device—for 22 minutes. Observing their intensity amazed me! Not to mention that they definitely wanted to talk about what they’d seen afterwards. Essentially, what I learned is that I enhanced communication exponentially by the use of multimedia, something educators have known for years.

refused even to consider it. I took my DVD to my publisher and sat down with him to watch it. He agreed to publish it, insisting I add a music bed. I agreed.


Writing novels in the digital age presents an electronic ocean in which the writer navigates with varying levels of success, an ocean different from anything imagined twenty-five years ago. Today’s electronic age enables writers to compete with publishers; participate in pricing decisions, art, organization and other decisions normally reserved for publishers; do their own marketing blitz through book signings and social media; use electronic devices, primarily power point, for speaking engagements; create and try out different genres. Possibilities are endless. I’d like to share one of these: mixing DVD media with novels. Creating the accompanying DVDs is tremendously exciting, partly because of the new learning, but more because of the response of viewers to them.

for their injured, created art, arranged their caves by design, probably had an expectation of an afterlife, and many other advanced activities such as fishing for dolphins for food, something that can’t be done from shore. The Introductions and their changes helped the reader, but they failed to do what I wanted them to do. I wanted to share my vision, but with Introductions, I found I was using the wrong medium.


Darkness creeps across the floor, evil enters through the door, what once was happy is no more And time goes slowly by Remembered are the kisses warm, the song of love, and laughter borne sweetly through the sun and storm Now time goes slowly by Through this lonely maze I roam, this was once our happy home, but now it is just me alone And time goes slowly by

BOOkS ArE frEE By Josh Fryfogle

I have loaned a lot of books And one thing I have learned One should never loan a book That one would like a returned In the Latin it is Liber As a Library freely loans A bulky book of wood and fiber And words to make your own

And Liberty to take those words And make of them this art Where words are pondered in the mind And written in the heart These words will to go wherever They are really meant to be As all the sages' written pages Tell us, books are free

The fault indeed is mine alone, the jealous rage the murder done. Forgiveness now will not be known The time goes slowly by The evil deed I did complete on one so warm, so pure, so sweet I took your life now I must pay there’s nothing left to do or say As time goes slowly by And now at last I must contend with this long journey’s tortuous end.

ThE TIckInG Of TIME By Yvonne Moss

Time to cry Time for rejoicing. Time to hate Time for loving Time to despair Time for hope Time to distrust Time for believing Time to repose Time for action Time to be still Time for listening Time to advance Time for retreating Time to reap Time for sowing Time to hurt Time for reforming Time to mull Time for revolving Time to destroy Time for creating Time today Time for tomorrow Time is eternal Time for changing Time is passed Time for future Time is present Time for leaving Time is elusive Time for confronting Time is trivial Time for pregnancy Time is unstable Time for strengthening Time is forever . . . and can be turned around.

Photo & Prose By Hanna Thimsen "They say it is impossible, that a girl like you will never make it. You are stained. You are damaged. You are forever marked. But you know, sweet girl. You know that you are beauty buried in bruises. You look at yourself in the mirror, through the dirt, through the tears. You touch your face and hair. You are afraid to smile. You are afraid to believe in what you see welling up in your own big, brown eyes: hope. You dream that your life might one day be different, that the glass box around you will break open, that you will escape. Little girl, with the fiery hair, so small, undiscovered; little girl, so alone: you are not alone. Keep your dream in your pocket. And when the voices get so loud, when the air is thin and cold, when all around you is darkness, pull it out, press it into your heart and never let go. One day you will rise. You will grow on knobby knees. You will run as fast and as hard as you can toward the light, your lungs burning inside you. You will scale mountains, you will sail the sea and you will arrive at hope’s shore, the salt in your hair, the sun in your eyes."


ThAnk YOU fOr BEInG SO STUBBOrn! What I have realized is we do have a tremendous arts scene here; it simply takes a while to establish your roots and push the doors open on this somewhat reserved and protective scene.

There is one thing about Alaskan’s that simply can’t be denied; we are unique. Whether describing the unbelievable beauty of our landscapes, or the quirky individuality of those who choose to make her home, outsiders are left with the impression that what we have is something special, desirable, and often times lacking in their own lives down in the lower 48. For a long time, where I felt the lower 48 had us beat was in the tremendous arts community that I was used to being fully immersed in, accepted, and even celebrated down in the Olympia and Seattle areas of Washington. When I arrived up here, my reception was anything but warm and open where my artistic vision was concerned. I had a great deal of “you do what” and “what in the world is that” reaction which left me

feeling I was definitely going to have to prove that not only was I serious, but also staying put and standing my artistic ground, if people were ever going to take us seriously. What I have realized is we do have a tremendous arts scene here; it simply takes a while to establish your roots and push the doors open on this somewhat reserved and protective scene. Some of the most wonderful musicians, photographers, writers, painters, and performing artists can be found in even the farthest reaches of our diverse artistic community, you simply have to know where to look, and it’s all about who you know. Admittedly, my art is a little outside the box, blending classical dance styles, cabaret and burlesque performance arts, with classic side show circus performance skills

of days gone by. My performance troupe is a little Cirque, a little Moulin, and a whole lot of Modern Fusion Dance. With a constantly developing cast of characters, my vision is brought to life through the performers of Sahara Storm Productions. We are happy to be celebrating the opening of our eighth performance season this September and are ramping up to celebrate with huge specials so that the community can experience a little of the joy the circus has to offer. Our home studio in Palmer, Alaska is open to the public and provides a variety of unique performance arts class opportunities. Whether you want to get fit, dance your heart out, or learn how to fly, we can give you an experience you will never forget. Our performers are available to come to your event, or you can come have your celebration at our

studio. Kids and adults alike find extreme joy in play and expression. If you are curious about us, feel free to stop by the studio, e-mail me at saharastormstudio@yahoo. com, or check out our web site: I want to thank Alaska for making me work so hard to become a part of your rich artistic community. The challenge pushes us ever onward to create something both unique and classic that leaves an impression and inspires confidence, creativity, and a love of the arts in others. I am blessed to be a part of the arts community family here and would not change a single moment of this journey.

Krista Fee (Sahara Storm)







To have your non-profit organization included in this free community resource list, please email your info to:



Palmer Senior citizens center, Inc.

The primary mission of the Palmer Senior Citizens Center, Inc. is to assist individuals age sixty or older, individuals of any age with Alzheimer’s Disease or Related Disorders, individuals of any age on the Medicaid Waiver program and other eligible individuals in the Matanuska-Susitna Borough remain as independent as possible in the least restrictive environment possible and out of expensive nursing homes for as long as possible. Services include: congregate and home delivered meals, transportation, adult day services, care coordination, senior employment, family caregivers support, information / referral, chore services, senior housing, chore services, Better Choices Better Health classes, HELP program, activities and volunteer opportunities. 745-5454,

Alzheimer’s resource Agency of Alaska

As Alaska’s resource on Alzheimer’s disease, the Alzheimer’s Disease Resource Agency of Alaska (ADRAA) is committed to providing information, education and services for individuals with Alzheimer’s disease and related disorders (ADRD) and their caregivers. We have served Alaskans since 1984, and today we help more than 5,000 people annually. As a non-profit statewide organization, we provide family consultations, care coordination, in-home services for frail elders & individuals with Alzheimer’s disease and education programs to family caregivers and health care professionals. We are your resource for information and can refer you to services in Alaska or the contiguous U.S. Sam Meneses, 746-3432,

Valley charities, Inc; Turn-A-Leaf Thrift Store Provides medical equipment to all income brackets in the Valley; provides clothing and household goods to Valley residents that are economically disadvantaged. John Rozzi , 376-5740

Wasilla Area Seniors, Inc. (WASI)

A Health and Wellness Campus for Seniors on the Go! The goal at WASI is to assist and refer services for Seniors 60 and older so they can live as independently as possible for as long as possible. Some of the services provided are: Meals: Family Style Meals Monday through Friday 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Center. Meals on Wheels home delivered meals. Housing: Independent Housing for low income and Aprket rate individuals. Optional Assisted Living Services Transportation: Partnership with MASCOT Bus $.60 per one way ride. Dr. visits by appointment Other Activities: Cards, Wii, and Painting at the Center Blood Pressure Checks Club50 Fitness Center, Strong Seniors Program ($5/8 weeks) Shopping Trips and other outings Valley Performing Arts Theater Visits And much more… call 376-3104 opt.2 for more information. Dennie Jaques , 376-3104

JUNE 2015

Mat-Su Area Partnership (MAP)

An organization of non-profit agencies in the Mat-Su Valley. MAP holds a monthly meeting on a Thursday at the Menard Sports Complex in Wasilla.

Mid-Valley Seniors Inc

Mid-Valley Seniors, Inc. Mid-Valley Seniors has 3 senior housing units-18 apartments and serves a congregate meal MonFri at 12:00pm. Home delivered meals served

daily fresh Mon-Fri, weekend meals are frozen. Transportation to Adult Day Services is available Mon-Fri 8:00am-3:00pm Come up to the Center for activities or lunch. Lisa Byrd, 892-6114


DivorceCare is a weekly seminar/support group for men and women that will help you heal from the hurt of separation or divorce. It’s a warm, caring environment led by people who understand what you are going through. Learn practical information and gain hope for your future at DivorceCare Palmer AK.

March of Dimes Alaska chapter

The March of Dimes is inspired by all babies – those born healthy and those who need our help to survive and thrive. Working together for stronger, healthier babies, in the Valley we work directly with the Mat-Su Regional Medical Center. We also provide clinics and organizations with resources and information. We host a March for Babies walk in the Spring and High Heels for High Hopes Runway Show in OCTust. For more information contact our office 276-4111 or email

week at a time...moving to new host church on Sundays. Applications are available on our website. 357-6160,

The children’s Place

The Children’s Place child advocacy center is a child-friendly, neutral facility where professionals from many agencies involved in the evaluation, investigation and treatment of child abuse meet to coordinate and bring their services to the child and their family. We provide child forensic interviews, medical exams, linkage to mental health providers, follow-up support and referrals throughout the investigation process.

The ARTs

Strengthens our communities by providing mentors to all children who need and want a caring adult role model – special friends who can help them expand their horizons, realize their potential and enrich their futures – changing their lives.

Alaska center for resource families

Pillows for kids foundation

MYhouse homeless Teen Shelter in the Matsu

is a non-profit that exists to provide services to unaccompanied youth, ages 14-24, in the Matanuska-Susitna Borough. The services we provide include, but are not limited to, hot meals, shelf stable foods, gas cards, transport to shelter, clothing, tents, sleeping bags, laundry, shower, hygiene products, street outreach, access to medical, dental and mental health care, vocational services and employment opportunities, educational advocacy and life coaching. Our youth center, The Gathering Place, is located at 300 N. Willow St in central Wasilla. Also on campus is the MYHouse Café, Gathering Grounds, which exists to provide employment for homeless and at risk youth, as well as our partnering agencies and businesses, Nine Star, Mat-Su Public Health Center and Car Deets (an automotive detailing business which hires homeless youth). To learn more, visit our website at or call 373-4357.

family Promise Mat-Su

Provides a shelter for families without housing. We mobilize community resources and local congregations to provide compassionate care through shelter, meals, and case management to families without housing. Guest families are housed in area church buildings at night for a

Financial donation could also be mailed to the Big Lake Community Clothing Closet, PO Box 527069, Big Lake, AK 99652.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Alaska

LInkS Mat-Su Parent resource center.

Regan Building 3161 E Palmer Wasilla Hwy. Suite #2 Linda Kupers, Administrative Assistant - 907-373-3632

Clothing and footwear for people of all ages is available. Also, assorted household items as they are available. This unique program helps people locally. Donations are accepted, to further the program. Any money donated helps pay the rent for our location at 2955 Big Lake Rd., Big Lake, Alaska.

Open Wednesday’s from 11am-3pm All donations of quality clothing in good condition can be donated at the above address during regular hours of operation. Check us out on Facebook

Alaska Family Services is a multi-dimensional non-profit that has over 20 programs serving the Mat-Su Valley. Major areas are: domestic violence, behavioral health, WIC, family support, and residential for youth with emotional issues. Donn A. Bennice, Ph.D. 746-4080 - We provide support and assistance to families with disabilities. LINKS provides support and trainings, parent to parent connections to mentor, information and referral, and access to library materials. These services are provided through one-on-one assistance and individualized workshops for small or large groups. Our vision is to ensure that every parent and family who has a child with a special need has access to information, education, outreach, and support in a culturally competent environment and to empower then to be advocates for themselves, their children, and their families.

Donated by local Alaskans, Big Lake Community Clothing Closet provides quality clothing to people in need, at no charge.

Referrals to The Children’s Place are made through law enforcement and Office of Children’s Services. The Children’s Place, 357-5157

Provides support, training and education for foster, relative and adoptive families caring for children that have been abused and neglected. ACRF also helps support the Mat-Su Grandparents Support Group in collaboration with Links and Volunteers of America. For more information about foster care and adopting children that are in the OCS child protection system visit our website or call 376-4678 -

Alaska family Services

Big Lake community clothing closet

We provide little pillows of support and small scholarships that make a significant difference for local children to participate in brain-training activities such as gymnastics, snowboarding, skiing, skating, horsemanship, leadership, art, music, dance, martial arts, and robotics. Mentors and community members contact us when there is an identified need to keep kids, preschool through college, connected with good activities in our community. We plan to publish a book and CD/DVD of Evan’s “Little Pillow” song soon. Currently, we are selling washable, decorator pillows of all shapes, sizes and colors for kids and adults as a way of creating funding for the scholarships.

The Moose Boosters Wrestling club

A youth development organization that provides aid and funding to low income recreational facilitates and athletes at the high school level. Funding supports athletes who participate in wrestling programs while meeting academic standards. Michelle Heun - 355-7099

Set free Alaska

Brief description about non-profit: Our children, friends, co-workers; there is someone we know who is struggling with addiction and destructive behaviors. It is the goal of Set Free Alaska to provide excellent, individualized services to our clients. Set Free Alaska is a Christian outpatient substance abuse treatment center that uses a mind-body-spirit approach to recovery. Our programs are designed to assist people in gaining freedom from the bondage of addiction and destructive behaviors. Set Free Alaska realizes that cost can be a huge deterrent to people seeking and receiving the help they need as well as a huge relapse trigger. Our assessments are based on a sliding fee scale. It is the goal of Set Free Alaska that no person be denied the services they need due to lack of financial resources. Our offices are open MonFri 10-6 and we are located on the Palmer-Wasilla Highway across from the AT&T Sports Center. Philip Licht, Executive Director 373-4732,

Alaska celtic Pipes & Drums

Those interested in lessons, or in playing pipes or drums with Alaska Celtic Pipes & Drums, please contact the Band by email at craigag@ or by telephone at (907) 688-4196. The band’s website can be found at http://www. , plus, we’re on Facebook! “The Pipes, the Pipes are calling...”

radio free Palmer

Radio Free Palmer is community radio serving the Sutton and Palmer communities as KVRF 89.5 FM and online at On air since 2011, KVRF’s mission is to foster community involvement. Currently we produce great local shows on topics from health to mushing - and the list of programs is growing. Online we add important community events such as the Borough Assembly and School Board Meetings. Listen to Radio Free Palmer KVRF 89.5 for more community-centric news, music, sports, music or come volunteer to to help bring great radio programming to the valley. 745-8951, and on Facebook and Twitter

Valley fine Arts Association

VFAA was formed to teach techniques, and encourage fellowship among visual artists in the Matanuska-Susitna Valley. we strive to promote a supportive attitude toward visual arts in our Alaskan community. We welcome beginners, students, part-time and professional artists who focus mainly on twodimensional art mediums and want to connect with other creative people and gain more exposure locally. Throughout the year, we inform our members about opportunities to show their work, participate in group events, view other local artists, and enroll in workshops. During the school year, we organize regular sessions for painting together and host monthly artist demonstrations. Membership in the Valley Fine Arts Association provides many diverse opportunities for artists. Check our website calendar at www. for upcoming events.

Mat-Su community chorus, Inc.

As Musical Ambassadors of The Valley, The Mat-Su Community Chorus has provided quality vocal music, in its various forms, for the benefit, education and enjoyment of its members and the surrounding communities since 1970. Our membership is open to the public, inviting all who wish to add their voice in song. We offer complimentary performances at public celebrations and deliver formal concerts twice a year. We are a 501(c)3, non-profit organization, currently with twenty-two members and we are looking towards expanding the organization to better serve the community. With the support from individuals, businesses and other civic

organizations we are able to grow our group by bringing the community together through music and to continue our standard of excellence. We meet Octember through Nov. on Thursday evenings at 7-9pm in the Choir Room at Wasilla High School. Nan Potts 745-8788

Alaska celtic Pipes & Drums of Eagle river

Alaska Celtic Pipes & Drums of Eagle River, under the leadership of Pipe Major Aja Stewart and Drum Sergeant Bryan Gonzales, are actively recruiting pipers and drummers, as well as those interested in learning Great Highland Bagpipes and Highland Drumming (snare, tenor, bass.) We would like to extend a cordial invitation to anyone who would like to learn to play bagpipes or drums, to FREE lessons with our Band. We are a grade IV competing, family-oriented pipe band established in 2005, and beginners of any age are welcome. Alaska Celtic Pipes & Drums are very active in supporting the community in which we live. Our purpose is to advance the rich cultural heritage of Great Highland Bagpipe music, and to have FUN doing it! ACPD provides free instruction in piping and drumming, with Band practice to follow, every Friday evening at 5:00 and 5:45 pm at Eagle River Presbyterian Church, 12836 Old Glenn Highway, in Eagle River. Those interested in lessons, or in becoming members of ACPD, please contact the Band by email at or by telephone at (907) 376-5060. The band’s website can be found at

Mat-Su concert Band, Inc.

Our mission is to promote, plan, support and conduct educational and cultural activities and opportunities for the benefit of the citizens and residents of Alaska. We do this by providing an outlet for the many talented musicians in and around our area to perform and a venue for the public to come and enjoy with us our music. Rehearsals are every Mon. from 7 to 9 p.m. at Teeland Middle School. For more information, contact Gleo Huyck at 746-0628.

The Whirling rainbow foundation

Grandmother Drum International Peace Project The Whirling Rainbow Foundation is an international spiritual and educational non- profit organization which honors and celebrates the diverse cultural and spiritual paths of the human family. The foundation cultivates the universal teachings of inner peace, loving compassion, wisdom and understanding at the core of every culture and spiritual tradition. We are starting a Global Peace Sanctuary and Sustainable Community in Palmer. The GrandMother Drum International Peace Project travels the world as the international voice of the Whirling Rainbow Foundation. As a symbol of the heartbeat of love that connects all nations and all races, the seven foot, crystal inlaid GrandMother Drum holds local and global events promoting peace and unity through the universal language of music, dance, cultural and healings arts. White Eagle Medicine Woman (Suraj Holzwarth) Executive Director

Valley Performing Arts

We will be celebrating 40 years of Quality Live Theatre this season! VPA performs seven plays per season, beginning September and ending in May. We welcome actors, volunteers, program advertisers and play sponsors to join in supporting VPA, one of the oldest continuing operating community theatres in the State of Alaska. The VPA Summer Theatre Arts Program takes place June through August and are for youth, ages ranging from 7 to 17. The VPA Annual Meeting & Awards Ceremony is held each June and our FUN-Raiser is in October. Purchase your tickets online or from our office. Check out audition dates and show times on our website. or (907) 373-0195.

The Valley Arts Alliance is a group of likeminded individuals who have joined together to encourage, sponsor, facilitate and support artistic expression. We are a place for both new and established artists of all types—painters, sculptors, musicians, and those involved in the performing arts—to network and to experiment with new ideas and media. We work with local libraries, schools, museums, art councils, and music and art groups to create more venues for the arts, and to help promote art related events.

Responsible adult volunteers are always needed. 907-357-6437,

Alaska Animal Advocates

Make a difference. Save a life! Alaska Animal Advocates is reaching out to the community. We provide everything that is needed to meet a dog’s needs. We ask YOU to provide the love. Contact Angie at 841-3173 or email at Check out our website at



The mission of the Alaska WildBird Rehabilitation Center is to care for injured, orphaned and sick wild birds with the goal of releasing them back into the wild; and to educate the public about these birds and their habitats.

United Way of Mat Su was formed in 1987 to serve as a single, borough wide, fundraising agency, but we have grown to be so much more.

Alaska WildBird rehabilitation center

AWBRC, a 501(c)(3) non-profit, is always looking for volunteers and donations. Volunteers are always needed for care of our resident birds, office and web assistance, fundraising and advertising. We will be undergoing a building project this summer, and can use carpentry assistance or donations of materials. Please visit our web site at for further information about us, to volunteer or

Ak cat kitty rescue

is a local small kitty rescue. We specialize in litters of kittens, and our facility is designed that way. We will take in litters from the community, and will assist in getting their mom cat spayed. ALL of our kittens are up to date on vaccines, and have been spayed/ or neutered prior to adoptions. We are a 501c3, so any donations are tax deductible. If you are looking to adopt, or need help placing a litter, please call us! We are currently looking for help with computer type tasks, updating website, or updating our adoptions and monthly expences. AK CAT 907-232-4444

Alaska Dog & Puppy rescue (ADPr)

Alaska Dog & Puppy Rescue is an all volunteer, non-profit organization formed for the purpose of rescuing homeless dogs and puppies. We have rescued dogs throughout Alaska, including various Bush communities. These rescued dogs are placed in foster homes, where they are socialized, vaccinated, dewormed, and taken to the vet to be microchipped and spayed or neutered. It is our goal to have an animal sanctuary, so that all adoptable dogs are given an opportunity to find their forever homes. We encourage individuals to volunteer for this very worthy cause. 745-7030

Alaska Assistance Dogs (AAD)

AAD provides service dogs to Alaskans with special needs (physical, physiological & mental health), and incorporates therapeutic programs into service dog training. AAD works with special education students at school, provides teen mentoring in community training venues, offers domestic violence/PTSD support groups, FASD/ Autism programs, and provides service dogs and support groups for veterans with PTSD and their families. Therapist on staff, and all trainers are certified by the founder of the service dog concept, Dr. Bonnie Bergin. Carole J. Shay, Lpc. Meadow Gates Farm Sanctuary has provided shelter and care for unwanted pet rabbits since 2001. We are a 501(c)3 non-profit charitable corporation. Rabbits are taken in when space is available. They are evaluated for behavior and personality, spayed/neutered, then adopted to new pet homes. Bunnies not able to be adopted are maintained permanently at the sanctuary.

United Way provides information on available services through the 211 hotline and website and keep current and distribute the Mat-Sui Resource Guide. Our goal is to bring together individuals, companies and agencies to achieve measurable, positive, lasting results. We ask the community to LIVE UNITED which means all of us coming together to volunteer, advocate and give to create a brighter future for all. To find out more visit or call 373-5807. The United Way of Matanuska Susitna Borough is physically located at 550 S Alaska Street Suite 205 Palmer, AK 99645.

The Valley Quilters Guild

was formed in 1985 to promote quilting in the Matanuska Valley. We currently have a membership of about 180. Our main objectives are service to our community and the education of Quilters. We serve the community by donating quilts to organizations and groups that approach us with their needs. We also give quilts to the victims of fires, child abuse, homeless families, and Law Enforcement agencies for comforting victims of domestic violence. The Guild meets the first Thursday of each month at the Palmer Train Depot at 7 p.m.

Mat Su Sertoma club

The Mat Su Sertoma Club focuses on hearing health. They are part of a national organization with more than 600 clubs throughout the U.S., Canada and Mexico. The club provides free hearing screens to the public the first Saturday of every month from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Wasilla Physical Therapy, 3750 E. Country Field Circle, Wasilla from September until May. During the summer we’re fishing, camping and gardening like most Alaskans! The Mat Su Sertoma Club is the host to the Annual Mat Su Polar Plunge, the original valley dip each February. They have been responsible for providing funding to non profits in the Mat Su Borough for more than 5 years, along with scholarship funding for two students who are pursuing an education in the hearing health field. The website is to stay abreast of activities. Meetings are held the second and fourth Thursday at 5:30 p.m. at Tailgaters Restaurant in Wasilla.

Mat-Su Special Santa

The Mat-Su Special Santa program is the largest Christmas gift giving program in the Valley. Mat-Su Special Santa teams with Toys for Tots, Salvation Army, Food Banks, state and local

Go to for more information or e-mail us at matsu_santa@yahoo. com.

The Last frontier honor flight

Our mission is to transport WWII, Alaska Territorial Guard and Korean War veterans to Washington D.C. to visit those memorials dedicated to honor their service and sacrifices AT NO COST TO THE VETERANS. All Donations are tax deductible, according to state and federal laws. You can make a donation to The Last Frontier Honor Flight PO Box 520116 Big Lake, Alaska 99652, or pay with a credit card on our website at If you would like to volunteer you can contact our President Ron Travis at (907) 892-6097 for meeting times and places.

The Sertoma club - Wasilla

We host the Mat Su Polar Plunge raising funds for non-profits in the Matanuska Susitna Valley, Alaska. February 2011 we saw 85 jumpers raise almost $20,000 which was then given to the Food Pantry of Wasilla and Turn A Leaf Thrift Stores. The Food Pantry provides emergency food supplies to families in need. Turn A Leaf has a medical lending equipment program which is now organized with software purchased with funds received. Both were grant recipients from the Mat Su Sertoma Club. Grant applications for the 2012 Mat Su Polar Plunge are located on our website:

Mat-Su community chorus

Do you love to sing? The Mat-Su Community Chorus welcomes new adult members in all vocal ranges each September and January. We are a well-established, male-female, SATB community singing group conducted by Anna Crowther. Group singing benefits your emotional and physical health and enriches our community, so bring your talents and join the Chorus! No audition required although previous experience is helpful. We offer complimentary performances at public celebrations and deliver formal concerts several times a year. Rehearsals are on Thursdays at the WHS choir room from 7 - 9 pm. Contact us at or call Sandy at 907-355-5836 for membership details. Like us on Facebook for concert reminders. We have a wonderful club of volunteers! On a weekly basis you’ll find a Mat Su Sertoman at the Food Pantry, Wasilla Senior Campus, Valley Charities, helping Special Olympics and the list goes on and on! Our goal for 2011/2012 year is to raise more than, $25,000 in polar plunge funds. You can pledge or sign up to jump! Just visit our website for more information. Join us every other Thursday at 5:00pm at the Tailgaters Sports Bar and Grill. Our next meeting is Nov. 25th. We always have new speakers and a great time. See you there!

Valley residential Services

VRS provides housing to people with special needs. We define people with special needs


Take off Pounds Sensibly Non-Profit Weight Loss Support Group Three (3) Chapters meet weekly in the Valley. Kathy Miller - 376-9571 or write to

Valley community for recycling Solutions (VcrS)

Our mission is to educate and provide opportunities in our community to reduce, reuse, and recycle for the long-term good of all. Our vision is to establish the Mat-Su Borough as a model recycling community for Alaska. We are open for residential recycling Tuesday thru Friday 10:30am to 6:00pm and Saturday 10:30am to 3:30pm. Businesses can call ahead for hours. Your permanent community recycling center is located in our new green building at 9465 E Chanlyut Circle, next to the animal shelter at the Central Landfill. Volunteer opportunities available. - 745-5544

Valley residential Services (VrS)

VRS provides special needs housing to individuals who experience behavioral or developmental disabilities, low-income levels or those who are homeless. VRS currently has 168 properties in the Mat-Su Valley with special programs to assist with rental assistance and we can assist with linking individuals to social service agencies who can assist with life skills programs. (907) 357-0256 ,

Alaska Attachment & Bonding Associates (AABA)

Educates and supports foster, adoptive, kinship care, step, grand and guardianship parents and professionals who care for children with emotional mental health issues, such as Attachment Disorder. AABA provides workshops, e-mail/telephone support, resource/ referral information, self-advocacy, AABA website, RAVEN Respite, newsletters, brochures, lending library, and Mom2Mom/Dad2Dad parent support group. For more information: Laura Wagner 907-376-0366

The homeless Actors of Mat-Su

HAMS, the Homeless Actors of Mat-Su, is a valley non-profit community theater group created to further theatrical opportunities for actors and technical personnel of all ages, be experienced or beginner and the audiences who have not been fully represented in the valley. With local support we intend to produce a broad range of the atypical classical, modern, comic, dramatic and musical one act and full length plays and improvisational theater that are both educational and entertaining in the traditional and dinner theater format as fundraisers for various local causes and to continue to encourage development of the theater arts in the Mat-Su Valley. Contact Elizabeth Clausen, General Manager, 841-4119;

Mat-Su food Bank

At the Matsu Food Bank we provide emergency supplemental food to residents of the Matanuska Susitna Valley. The Matsu Food Bank distributes thru the Food Pantry of Wasilla directly to clients in need. The Pantry hours of distribution are Monday through Friday from 10:00AM to 1:00PM. The Pantry is located at 501 E. Bogard Rd. in Wasilla. We have three programs operating under the

Matsu Food Bank. The community supplied Food Pantry of Wasilla accepts donations of food or funds to help feed our neighbors. We distribute to clients on an emergency monthly basis. We also distribute TEFAP (The Emergency Food Assistance Program). This is a program is supplied by the USDA and is also once a month. Our third program is Food4Kids. We prepare and deliver, in safe community locations, nutritious meals and snacks for hungry kids 18 and under. We provide meals during the school year. We have a summer program at various locations around the Valley from Willow to Sutton and provide nutritious lunches for all kids in the valley for free. Our website is: If you have any questions please go to the website or call us at 907-357-3769.


north America Outdoor Institute

The North America Outdoor Institute (NAOI) is a not-for-profit community outreach organization providing outdoor safety and environmental awareness education programs for the general public in an effort to save lives from preventable outdoor injuries and deaths. Debra McGhan, 376-2898 ,

Alaskans for Palmer hay flats

Dedicated to conserving the natural and cultural resources of Palmer Hay Flats State Game Refuge through public awareness, year-round recreation and events, education and enhancement projects. Healthy, outdoor recreation in a safe, beautiful setting is what APH helps provide to all users. 357-8711,

Alaska frontier Trappers Association

The Alaska Frontier Trappers Association is a non-profit organization dedicated to the ethical and lawful practice of trapping Alaska’s fur bearers. We work to educate fellow trappers, children and the public in general about trapping as a necessary wildlife management and research tool. Our monthly meetings usually include a guest speaker and/or a demonstration and fur handling information. Meetings which are held at 7 p.m. on the first Tuesday of each month at the Palmer Library. Everyone is welcome to attend.


Alaska WildBird rehabilitation center

The mission of the Alaska WildBird Rehabilitation Center is to care for injured, orphaned and sick wild birds with the goal of releasing them back into the wild; and to educate the public about these birds and their habitats. AWBRC, a 501(c)(3) non-profit, is always looking for volunteers and donations. We are undergoing a building project this summer, and can use carpentry assistance. In addition, regular volunteers are always needed for care of our resident birds. Please visit our web site at for further information about us, to volunteer or to request a live bird program.

Wasilla Soil & Water conservation District (WSWcD) The WSWCD is a non-profit formed in 1948 to assist landowners & land managers with conservation & development on land through technical assistance, projects & education programs & services.

JUNE 2015

Meadow Gates farm Sanctuary

We are dedicated to working in our community on education, stable income and health. These are the building blocks for a quality life. We provide grants to programs with these areas of focus and administer programs that improve early childhood education, reduce substance abuse and improve senior citizen nutrition. We supply Familywize prescription drug discount cards, which have saved people in the Mat-Su over $500,000 since its beginning.

The Special Santa Program’s goal is to help children receive the magic of Christmas and know that people care. In reaching this goal the program: 1. Coordinates with agencies and programs to provide for families, 2. Provides the citizens in the Community an opportunity to give, 3. Assists families in need at a stressful time of year, 4. Spreads the joy of Christmas throughout the Mat-Su Valley.

as those individuals who are experiencing behavioral or developmental disabilities, lowincome levels or who are seniors. VRS currently manages 198 residential units distributed in the Mat-Su Valley and participates in special programs to assist with rental assistance. We can also assist with linking individuals to social service agencies who can assist with life skills programs. (907) 357-0256,


to request a live bird program.

United Way of Mat-Su

agencies, churches and schools to help families in need. Last year over 3400 children completed a wish list with requests for Christmas presents. The program provided at least two toys/ gifts, winter wear when possible, a new book, personal items and stocking stuffers. All of this is possible through the generous donations of our community with over 1000 community members, organizations, clubs and schools either volunteering or donating to the program. This is an all volunteer program. We are also in need of volunteers.


Valley Arts Alliance


theatre Valley Performing Arts’ Season 40 starts September 11th, 2015 and runs through May 29, 2016 with...

JUNE 2015

JANE EYRE; BELL, BOOK AND CANDLE; FRUITCAKES; THE HALLELUJAH GIRLS; ANNE OF AVONLEA; ON GOLDEN POND & THE FANTASKTICKS. For season tickets please give our office a call at 373-0195; individual tickets to each play go on sale in August.




Contributed by Laura Derungs & TC Fireweed Arts Council Trapper Creek Fireweed Festival is celebrating its 10th year of Community Involvement.

Gratefully, it all started because Michele asked Debbie, “Why don’t we have music in the park?” Shortly there after, Vicky joined forces and with the instrumental support of each of their husbands, as well as, numerous volunteers, the first festival came together. Around that same time, music & art in our schools where being cut back, so the focus expanded when Vicky suggested that

JUNE 2015

There are 3 Fireweed Ladies in particular that not only had a fantastic idea; they also had the gumption to make it a reality! True success is when something reaches that point, in which it no longer belongs just to those that had the idea, but to all that are touched by the experience. Our community would like to thank and acknowledge

Debbie Filter, Michele Poole & Vicky Watson for the ongoing gift of the Trapper Creek Fireweed Festival!



Supporters, volunteers and patrons of Valley Performing Arts gathered on June 10th to celebrate VPA’s 39th season of providing quality live theatre at the Annual Meeting and Awards Ceremony at the Machetanz Theatre in Wasilla. Master of Ceremonies, Paul Beer, kept guests entertained as he introduced the presenters.

JUNE 2015

VPA Members (Season Ticket Holders) elected Paul Beer, Kevin Cochran, Mark Lee, and Dave Nufer to the VPA Board of Directors during the meeting. BEST SET DESIGN - Sheri Hamming, South Pacific BEST LIGHTING DESIGN - Donald Forrester, South Pacific BEST SOUND EFFECTS - Larry Bottjen, South Pacific BEST COSTUME DESIGN - Claire German, South Pacific BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS - Patsy Tuisaula as “Bloody Mary”, South Pacific BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR - Todd Broste as “Luther Billis”, South Pacific BEST ACTOR - Ed Ford as “Emile de Becque”, South Pacific BEST ACTRESS - Tanya Hegg as “Nellie Forbush”, South Pacific BEST DIRECTOR - Larry Bottjen - South Pacific BEST PRODUCTION - South Pacific

Volunteer of the Year: Grant Olson Best Newcomer of the Year: Hyrum Neilson Board Appreciation: Cherie LeBlanc-Shue VPA’s newly retired Artistic Director, Larry Bottjen presented the Artistic Director’s Award to Frank Lombardo for his years of dedicated service and The Milking Stool Award went to Nate Nicholls for his performance as “Todd” in UNNECESSARY FARCE. Thank you to Alaska Center for Dentistry, Allen & Peterson, Appraisal Company of Mat-Su, LLC, Edward Jones Investments, Evangelo’s Restaurant, MTA, MudBusters Car Wash and Wells Fargo for their generous donations for great door prizes.

Valley Performing Arts’ Season 40 starts September 11th, 2015 and runs through May 29, 2016.

A brilliant collaboration with Jim Kloss & Ester Golton created a compilation CD called, Fireweed Steppin’ Out, which showcases many local musicians such as: Chelsea Berry, Nellie Clay, Steve Durr, Debbie Filter with Trapper Creek’s own Guitar Class, Doug Geeting, Esther Golton, Melanie Gould, Robin & Grady Hopper, John Neil, Deb Wessler, & Larry Zarella. Much gratitude is felt for all of these & other fine musicians who share their talents at our festivals. Over the years there were many spectacular activities including multi media art events, elegant wine tasting fundraisers, music filled Oktober Fest, and elaborate haunted houses. Complete with silent auctions supported by local businesses & individuals. These fun events have brought our Upper Susitna Valley communities together to honor & support our local children, artists & musicians! The festival expanded into 2 days and almost 50 vendors with tour buses being met by lil’ Fireweed Fairies. As these things go, sometimes those who carry the torch need to pass it along. There are more than 20 generous, dedicated volunteers, who have taken over and chosen to keep a good thing going. For the past few years, it has returned to a one day grassroots community event, which is what you will experience again this year.

> Come join us... This will be a relaxed family fun event, with live music, local vendors with hands on arts & crafts, great food, plus wilderness skills. Come celebrate a fun filled day in the park... Rain or Shine! > Gathering: Saturday, July 18, 11am–7pm at Trapper Creek Community Park, Mile 115.2 Parks Hwy. (907)733-7869 or (907)733-3773

JUNE 2015


they make it about the kids and with great efforts, the Trapper Creek Fireweed Arts Council was formed. Funds were raised to buy guitars & Debbie along with Lynn Turner volunteered to teach the local 3rd through 6th grades for several years. Inspired by the idea, our Community Services also donated to the PTA, to double the number of guitars available for students. On occasion, we have been honored when these students grace our stage at the festivals or in the local recording studio.




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Entertainment 10th annual trapper creek fireweed festival


The People’s Paper



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Make A Scene Magazine June 2015  

June 18th - July 18th

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