As a thoughtful, often-pensive kid, perhaps it was not odd to find me at evening presentations or concerts with my parents. I liked to find the meaningful in the ordinary, and there was something exciting about staying up late, listening to someone introduce me to a new idea or experience. Naturally, then, I jumped at the opportunity to hear National Geographic photographer Paul Nicklen last night as part of the Anchorage Museum’s Speaker Series.
Billed as “National Geographic Live!” Nicklen’s photojournalistic presentation was the first of four events in the Anchorage Speaker Series, held at the Anchorage Performing Arts Center. With only two tickets in hand, AK Dad and I found ourselves on an impromptu date, so AK Kid was left behind, this time. We won’t do that for November’s presentation.
Only an hour in length, the National Geographic Live events are meant to engage, inspire, and encourage; our new ‘tween fits this demographic of adventure-seeking, wow-wanting, mentor-shaping sort of demographic. Nicklen was cool in a way that appeals to kids, especially boys. His dangerous assignments were speckled with humor, and the photographs – let’s just say my jaw dropped to the concert hall floor more than once.
Nicklen grew up on Baffin Island in the far, far northern reaches of Cananda; he had no television, no radio, and no telephone, so he and his playmates spent their days outside; win one for this parent. Win two? Nicklen wants to do more than simply shoot photographs; he wants people to become aware of our planet, it’s changing environment and affected animals, now. Right now. He’s found his vehicle for change in the polar regions; what if a kid last night found his or hers as well?
The National Geographic Live series continues in November through March, 2015. All presentations are one hour, and begin at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are rather expensive for some families, but those with older kids will appreciate the candor of presenters and quality of information. Worth it? Absolutely. I’m sold.
If you go:
November 18, Atwood Concert Hall. Bryan Smith, extreme filmmaker, presents “The Lens of Adventure“.
January 13, Atwood Concert Hall, NASA engineer Kobie Boykins brings us “Exploring Mars: Rovers of the Red Planet.”
March 3, Discovery Theater, Annie Griffiths, photojournalist, tells us how to “Connect with Anybody, Anywhere.”
Who should go: Kids ages 8 and up will likely be enthralled by the photography and video; teens should be encouraged to attend and think about the amazing career choices these folks have often stumbled upon, and what they might like to do.