Project: Construct a new Boat House facility to expand the exhibition space of the Bristol Bay Historical Society Museum.

Project Description: The Bristol Bay Historical Society is dedicated to preserving and sharing the history, culture, and values of Bristol Bay. The Bristol Bay Historical Society currently owns and operates a museum facility located in the historic A.R. Davey Mercantile Building in Naknek, AK. This museum space is utilized to host exhibits and education programs that demonstrate the diversity, traditions, resources and industries of the Bristol Bay region. Exhibits and programs offered in this space encourage cultural exchange by fostering collaboration among elders, youth, artists, scholars, and tradesmen. The current exhibition space available in the historic building is, however, limited and the surrounding property needs to be developed to include a warehouse facility large enough to house the societies extensive historic wooden boat collection. This unique collection is composed of several vessels that demonstrate the transition from sailboats to gas powered salmon fishing boats. This infrastructure expansion will significantly contribute to the Bristol Bay Historical Societies ability to maintain, manage, protect, conserve, and display the maritime cultural resources of the bay.

People/Organizations responsible for completing these steps:

The Bristol Bay Historical Society has a five-member Board of Directors, one seasonal staff member and recently posted a position to hire a Museum Administrator. This new administrator will oversee all operations, conduct day-to-day business, maintain collaborations with partners, write grants and interface with bookkeeping personnel.

Cost Estimates:

Costs: $480,000

Timeline: 5-year timeline — 2021-2026

Funding Partners: The Bristol Bay Historical Society, Rasmussen Foundation, National Endowment for the Humanities  

Funding partners may include Museums Alaska, Alaska Historic Canneries Initiative, Alaska Humanities Forum, Bristol Bay Native Corporation Education Foundation, Alaska Peninsula Corporation, Katmai Conservancy, Rasmuson Foundation, Bristol Bay Economic Development Corporation, National Endowment for the Arts, National Endowment for the Humanities, Wells Fargo, Bristol Bay Native Association, National Park Service, local tribes, and other private foundations. Notable donors that have supported museum activities are too many to mention but larger sponsors include the Bristol Bay Borough, Naknek Native Village Council, local businesses, and the seafood processing industry of Bristol Bay.

Evaluation Measures:

  • 25% increase in membership and donation revenue over a five-year period.
  • Increase in visitor understanding of industrial heritage, local fisheries, tribes, and culture.
  • Increase in access to visitor experiences, local interpretive capacity, and local merchandise.
  • Increase in local jobs that support visitor services, cultural resource management, historic construction, and interpretive exhibit development.

Key Project Contact:

Name: Fred Anderson

Title: President

Organization: Bristol Bay Historical Society

Questions about the CEDS?

Contact Kristina Andrew

Economic Development Program Manager

(907)-842-5257 ext. 6223

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