The public affairs cable channel C-SPAN will bring a nationwide roadshow to Juneau next week with a two-day stay Monday and Tuesday in the capital city. The trip kicks off a weeklong Alaska stay coinciding with the summer solstice.
The centerpiece of the visit is C-SPAN’s 45-foot traveling education bus, which has been visiting all 50 state capitals since 2017. Juneau will be its 38th capital; after Alaska, the bus will go to Hawaii.
Heath Neiderer, a spokesman for C-SPAN, said this trip is the first visit by the bus — and by extension C-SPAN — to Alaska in 22 years.
“For us, it’s for (Alaskans) to have a better understanding of how they can use C-SPAN to follow their elected officials in Washington, D.C.” Neiderer said.
C-SPAN, funded as a public service by the nation’s cable TV providers, broadcasts the activities of Congress, the U.S. judiciary, and longform discussions with authors and public figures. (Alaska has its own version, Gavel to Gavel, which is unconnected to C-SPAN but broadcasts the Alaska Legislature and Alaska Supreme Court, among other programs.)
In addition to using its bus as a platform to explain what C-SPAN does, the channel will be using it as a mobile studio for interviews. Neiderer said the schedule is still being finalized, but Gov. Bill Walker will be interviewed at 1:30 p.m. Monday, and other interviewees will include Rosita Worl, president of Sealaska Heritage Institute, architect Wayne Jensen (who will lead viewers on a tour of the Alaska State Capitol), and Sara Crawford Isto, author of a book about Alaska’s historic fur farms.
“We’ve been partnering with them to kind of plan out these events,” said Josh Edge, a spokesman for GCI.
Neiderer said the bus will arrive in Juneau by ferry early Monday morning and will be in front of the Capitol from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. At noon, it will be at GCI’s Mendenhall Valley store on Airport Boulevard as the company holds Customer Appreciation Day. At 3:30 p.m., the bus will be at the University of Alaska Southeast.
Walker and Mayor Ken Koelsch will be present at the GCI event, and Edge said there will be a barbecue for those who attend.
On Tuesday, the bus will be at the approach ramp to the cruise ship terminal (behind the Goldbelt Mount Roberts Tramway building) from 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 am. At noon, it moves over to Seward Street, in front of the Soboleff Center (Sealaska Heritage Institute). At 3 p.m., it will be at the Father Andrew P. Kashevaroff State Library, Archives and Museum (SLAM).
After leaving Juneau, the bus will take the ferry to Haines, where it will hold a 90-minute opening for that town’s residents. From there, the bus will cross through the Yukon to Fairbanks for events starting June 22. A three-day stay in Anchorage will begin June 25.
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