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Ryan Conarro, left, and Lillian Petershoare, right, with storyteller Rosa Miller in downtown Juneau. Courtesy Juneau Voices.

Most visitors to Juneau probably only scratch the surface of the area’s deep and diverse history. The Juneau Voices audio walk, which launched in March, is bringing some of that history closer to people exploring the capital city.

Ryan Conarro and Lillian Petershoare, two leaders who spearheaded the creative side of the Juneau Voices project, talked to people from all walks of life throughout Juneau in search of untold stories. The stories that arose from those talks were compiled and a few were selected to be featured in permanent displays throughout downtown. Anyone on a stroll can now hear about the history of commercial fishing in Juneau, what it was like growing up on Starr Hill, and how tidal flats were filled with mine tailings. 

The Juneau Voices audio walk includes 11 signs. One introduces the project, the other 10 feature stories that happened where the sign is placed or in an area that can be viewed from the sign. Visitors listen to the stories by scanning a QR code on each sign. Families can keep kids engaged by downloading a matching game that links the storyteller to their topic.

Lisa EaganLagerquist, the city’s point person for the program, says she hopes people who visit the signs delve deeper into the region’s history by stopping in one of the local museums. “I hope people leave with a greater understanding of everyone who has lived on this land since the beginning,” she says. “I would just love for people to feel like they learned and to pique their curiosities to want to learn even more about all the different communities and people who lived in Juneau.”

Learn more at Juneau.org/voices

Author

Alexander Deedy is the assistant editor and digital content manager for Alaska magazine.

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