Arts & Culture

Stories about the arts and culture.

Jenny Suh stands outside of Video World days after the store closed. January 15, 2021 in Bethel, Alaska.
Katie Basile / KYUK

One of the last remaining video stores in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta closed up shop on Jan. 10 after holding on for a remarkably long time. Most video stores in the U.S. closed over a decade ago. In Bethel, the exorbitant cost of high-speed internet kept the business alive.

Gabby Salgado / KYUK

It was a cold Thursday morning when Erin Newkirk and Larry “Toby” Tobias decided to finally tie the knot after 12 years together. Together with three guests, a pastor, and 12 dogs, they set out into the tundra for the ceremony.

Katie Basile / KYUK

At times it felt like 2020 would never end, but now the year is finally coming to a close. Before we move into 2021, here’s a look back on KYUK’s top stories from the year we’ve just survived.

On Dec. 4, PBS aired a "Molly of Denali" segment shot and narrated by a young fan from Bethel. 


907Victor via YouTube

Bethel’s annual fireworks display is going to be bigger and better than ever. Casey Burke, with the Bethel Fire Department, said that the department raised enough funds to support a show much larger than normal to ring in 2021.

ADN archive 1978

Alaska lost former first lady Bella Hammond on February 29, 2020. Hammond is remembered as a gatherer, commercial fisherwoman, activist, and Yup'ik leader who made a good life on Lake Clark. Listen to these poems written in dedication to first lady Bella Hammond by Kuskokwim poet Alice Rose Crow-Maar'aq and artist Chuna McIntyre, both read by Crow.

Reyne Athanas inside her art classroom at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, Kuskokwim Campus. Athanas will be inducted into the Alaska Women's Hall of Fame on Oct. 20, 2020.
Greg Kim / KYUK

A well-known Bethelite will be inducted into the Alaska Women’s Hall of Fame on Oct. 20.

Taylor Malone is a jewlery artist with roots in Toksook Bay and Bethel, Alaska.
Courtesy of Selena Malone

Krysti Shallenberger talks with Taylor Malone, an artist with roots in Toksook Bay and Bethel, whose beaded earrings were promoted by one of the most popular supermodels on Twitter.

KYUK has been documenting life in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta for nearly 50 years. Going back to 1971, KYUK has been capturing everything from Yup'ik dance, to interviews with local Elders. Now KYUK is digitizing our history. With help from our funders, we are in the process of digitizing over 2,000 videos and making them available to the public.

Gabby Salgado / KYUK

When art camp was canceled, Margret Hannah took it upon herself to keep the tradition alive. She put a call out to the public asking for members of the community to come and paint the dumpsters. This year's collection of dumpsters were painted throughout the month of July, including during a midnight dumpster party, and delivered around the city in early August. 

To learn more about the dumpster paintings, listen to the following episode of Coffee@KYUK featuring Margret Hannah from LKSD, and Theresa Quiner from the Kuskokwim Consortium Library.