Diana served at the Morris Thompson Cultural & Visitors Center until mid-February, 2022. In her VISTA role, she combined her anthropological training with her willingness to be patient and exhibit grit and grace as she brought together a diverse coalition of local community members. Her love of the outdoors as well as handmade crochet accessories will not only stay with us, but will aid her as she takes on a future role with the National Park system. We wish you all good things, Diana!
Thank you for your work with the Morris Thompson Cultural and Visitors Center and Denakkanaaga. In our year together with you we saw you apply your experience in interpretive programs, cross cultural communication, and food culture. You shared a valuable fresh perspective as we planned and developed modalities to work together. You also learned, sink or swim style, about grant writing, project management, marketing, coalition building, negotiation, videography, and exhibit creation. I'm sure I'm leaving things out, the list is long. You made beautiful bead work, ran productive meetings, and won the hearts of our staff and Elders.
You have contributed to a wonderful new momentum in our cultural programming partnerships. Where we had a shuttered program, we now have an active coalition of most of Fairbanks’ Native cultural programming organizations and a reliable slate of programs happening several times a month. Where we had uncertainty about the future of Cultural Programs at the Morris Thompson Center, we now have optimism. With your help, we are better filling an important need in this community.
Thanks, Diana. You have accomplished a lot here!
Morris Thompson Cultural and Visitors Center
We at Denakkanaaga are so thankful you decided to venture to Alaska from Tennessee and work on cultural programming with the MTCVC, Denakkanaaga, and TCC. Our organization's collaborative efforts are now benefiting all, thanks to the work you have accomplished in the year you were with VISTA.
It still amazes me how you came on board, got a good, knowledgeable grasp of the tribes and leaders, current cultural programs within our region, and went to work.
Your work ethic and willingness to listen to and learn from our elders is to be commended.
Here's to future endeavors!
All next week we will be celebrating AmeriCorp's National Volunteer Week! (And, fyi - April is National Volunteer Month; next Friday is also Earth Day.) Look for long overdue thank you posts for the VISTAs who departed in late winter, as well as what we are doing as a VISTA crew to celebrate Earth Day sustainably.