Anchorage is one of the most diverse cities in the United States. People speaking more than one hundred different languages call it their home. But what does that mean? Living in a diverse city means that we may encounter thousands of stories that are very different from our own.
People might eat in different ways; they might have very different ideas of what is important or how to express love or concern. Each and every one of these differences might be embedded in a fascinating story. Listening to other people’s stories with open ears and open hearts helps us understand each other in depth.
To broaden the range of stories heard in our community, Keys to Life created Eyes Closed, a public art project focused on Anchorage’s children.
African-American artist Shirley Mae Springer Staten and Mexican writer Gabriela Olmos interviewed more than sixty Anchorage children from different ethnic origins and religions. Shirley and Gabriela asked the children about their heritage, dreams, and aspirations. The children’s answers were always inspiring.
Nineteen of these children’s stories were featured in large-format panels. They can be read outside of the Anchorage Museum, in front of the Loussac Library, in the parking lot of the Mountain View Library, and in Peratrovich Park.
The Eyes Closed exhibit will be in place for a year inviting people to understand Anchorage’s diversity through the power of its children’s stories.
This video was filmed on Dena'ina Land. Learn more about land acknowledgements at native-land.ca.