The new museum will have five permanent exhibits reflecting the important eras in Sitka’s history, and a sixth, temporary exhibit for the seldom-seen objects in the collection. (Image/HealyKohler Design)

Downloadable audio.

The Sitka Historical Society holds a grand opening for the new Sitka History Museum tonight, 6:30 p.m. Thursday, July 26 in Harrigan Centennial Hall. Participants can view the exhibits and enjoy light refreshments. The museum houses a research room, a curator’s office, and a collection room, as well as ample space for both a permanent and rotating temporary exhibit. The first temporary exhibit is devoted to Sitka’s involvement with WWII.

KCAW’s Peter Apathy interviewed Sitka Historical Society Director Hal Spackman, Board President Pat Alexander, and curator Jenya Anichenko about the museum’s evolution and community-focus. “The deep planning started about six years ago,” Alexander said, adding, “[We wanted] to create a model of excellence for community-driven celebration. It’s a living thing. It’s not just artifacts in the museum, but our members bring a lot of history.”