ANCHORAGE, ALASKA – Aug. 22, 2019 – The Anchorage Museum will develop a three-part documentary on the history and identity of Alaska with celebrated filmmaker Ric Burns and Steeplechase Films, thanks to a $75,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

“Although an abundance of reality television, wildlife documentaries and short subject films exists, this will be the first cohesive film based on scholarship, history and strong humanities content,” says Anchorage Museum Director/CEO Julie Decker. “This project will allow the public to explore the diversity of Alaska’s landscape and people, and the innovations and experiences of a pivotal North.”

The three-part documentary series, titled Alaska, will tell an authentic story of Alaska from its earliest Indigenous peoples to the present. Live cinematography in urban and remote locations across the state will be mixed with rare still and motion picture archival materials. Reflections and insights by historians, Indigenous representatives and elders, anthropologists, writers, journalists, artists, policy makers, scientists and adventurers will be incorporated throughout the series.

The documentary could potentially air nationally on public television in 2021-2022, and will be included in the Alaska exhibition at the Anchorage Museum.

The grant, which NEH announced late last week, was among $29 million awarded for 215 humanities projects nationwide, including research, education programs, cultural preservation, films, exhibitions and virtual reality projects.

About the National Endowment for the Humanities
Created in 1965 as an independent federal agency, the National Endowment for the Humanities supports research and learning in history, literature, philosophy, and other areas of the humanities by funding selected, peer-reviewed proposals from around the nation. Additional information about the National Endowment for the Humanities and its grant programs is available at

About the Anchorage Museum
The Anchorage Museum at Rasmuson Center is the largest museum in Alaska, and one of the top 10 most visited attractions in the state. The museum’s mission is to connect people, expand perspectives and encourage global dialogue about the North and its distinct environment. Learn more at