2014 AKCHO Awards – April 22

From AKCHO (Association of King County Historical Organizations):

Supporters of local history and members of heritage organizations around King County will gather at the Museum of History & Industry on Tuesday, April 22, to celebrate their peers at the AKCHO Annual Awards program. Festivities begin at MOHAI at 5:30 PM.

This year for the first time, AKCHO has announced its slate of award recipients in advance, and newly-elected King County Councilmember Dave Upthegrove will be on hand to emcee the event.

Among the 2014 honorees will be Phil and Vivian Williams, the guitar and fiddle-playing duo who were instrumental in founding the Northwest Folklife Festival, and who last year were inducted into the North American Old Time Fiddlers Hall of Fame. On April 22, they will receive the Charles Payton Award for Cultural Advocacy. As a special treat that evening, the Williams, who have been researching and performing historical music traditions for over 50 years, will perform some of the tunes that were played at the 1862 Maple/Van Asselt wedding on the banks of the Duwamish River.

The AKCHO Board will be bestowing two Board Awards this year.  The Board Legacy Award will be given to Historic Seattle, for its four decades of hard work and significant achievement. Recognized nationally as a uniquely successful local historic preservation organization, Historic Seattle works on education, preservation and advocacy issues. The organization’s involvement with Washington Hall, The Good Shepherd Center, Egan House, the Cadillac Hotel (aka Klondike Gold Rush Museum) and Queen Anne High School point to the exceptional impact Historic Seattle has had on the preservation of Seattle’s historic built environment. The AKCHO Board felt this award was a good way to help celebrate Historic Seattle’s 40th anniversary.

The other Board Award will be presented to the Washington State Jewish Historical Society for its production of In the Land of Rain and Salmon – Jewish  Voices in the Northwest.  The play was based on the WSJHS’s book, Family of Strangers, as well as on oral histories from the Jewish Archives and other source materials. With the help of 4Culture, the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle, Book-It Repertory Theatre, Living Voices, the WSJHS oral history committee, and the authors of Family of Strangers, the production not only premiered to a sold-out audience last June, but has been performed a dozen times throughout King County and the Greater Puget Sound region.

The Education Award will go to a collaborative effort between MOHAI and The Center for Wooden Boats, which created “The Significance of Salmon,” a curriculum that teaches social studies and environmental stewardship principles for students in grades 4-8.

The Highline Historical Society will receive the Exhibit Award for its creation of a pop-up museum, numerous locally-sourced displays, a wide range of programming and extensive community outreach when it hosted the Hope in Hard Times traveling exhibit in Burien.

The Redmond Historical Society will receive the Single Impact Award for the walking tours campaign – which includes specialized theme tours throughout the community and historical displays along the way.

The Long Term Project Award is going to the Japanese Culture and Community Center, which has been preserving, promoting and sharing Japanese and Japanese American history, heritage and culture, since 2003.

For its pioneering work in making modern recording technologies accessible to history and heritage organizations since 1962, Jack Straw Productions will be receiving the Technology Award.

The Virginia Marie Folkins Award will be presented to the Mercer Island Historical Society for the publication of its book, Mercer Island History: From Haunted Wilderness to Coveted Community.

The Willard Jue Paid Staff Award will go to Marie McCaffrey, who has been involved with HistoryLink from its inception, and who has kept it growing and thriving after Walt Crowley, her husband and HistoryLink founding director, passed away.

And the Willard Jue Volunteer Award will be presented to Jim Gass and Clayton Naset of Discovery Modeler’s Education Center who spent fifteen years building three exceptional models of three ships that were significant to our region’s history — the Discovery, the Beaver and the Exact.

Finally, the Youth Award will be presented to the local students who made us all proud when they achieved national recognition at last year’s 2013 History Day – they include Ariand Nambakam, Kevin Nakahara, and Ethan Perrin from STEM High School in Redmond; Samhita Karnati, Adarsh Karnati and Eric Burlingame from Redmond High School; Sophia Michaels and Alicia Lee from International Community School in Kirkland, and Anael Kuperwajs from Timbercrest Junior High in Woodinville. This also allows us to acknowledge Washington History Day Director Mark Vessey and all of the volunteers who make the regional History Day competitions go so smoothly.