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MUG UP: The Language of Cannery Work Closing Weekend Events October 7 & 8 at the Alaska State Museum

by LAM Webmaster on 2022-09-16T13:43:00-08:00 in Alaska State Museum, Events | Comments

Oscar Peñaranda, San Francisco, 1975. Photograph by Nancy Wong.

Juneau – To celebrate the final weekend of the exhibition Mug Up:The Language of Cannery Work, the museum is hosting events on Friday, October 7 and Saturday, October 8. Come help us celebrate the history and people involved in Alaska’s canned salmon industry!

Friday, October 7

Filipino Community, Inc. Juneau, Alaska 1929Filipino American History Month celebrated in partnership with Filipino Community, Inc. – Filipino educator, poet, activist, and former <NN> Cannery worker Oscar Peñaranda will give a lecture in the APK lecture hall at 6:00 pm. The museum will be open 4:30­–7:00 pm for First Friday (free admission). Oscar worked in Alaska canneries for fifteen seasons, and his stories, poems, and essays have been published nationally and internationally. Oscar founded the San Francisco chapter of the Filipino American National Historical Society and advocated to establish an Ethnic Studies program at San Francisco State University, where he later taught. He is a recipient of the prestigious award Gawad ng Alagad ni Balagtas, by the Writers Guild of the Philippines, for his lifetime achievements in promoting and pioneering the institutionalization of Philippine Studies, Philippine-America­n Studies, and Philippine Languages Studies in the United States. This program is organized in partnership with Filipino Community, Inc. and sponsored by the Friends of the Alaska State Library, Archives and Museum.

Saturday, October 8

This is the last day to see the exhibit. At 2:00 pm, Mug Up project leader and Alaska’s state historian Katie Ringsmuth will give a lecture titled “How to Eat Canned Salmon,” on the history of marketing salmon. The lecture will be moderated by Bob King and held in the APK lecture hall. Alaska Historical Society attendees can watch virtually via Crowdcast. At 6:00 pm, Katie will give a second lecture, “<NN> Cannery and the Influenza Pandemic of 1919.” The museum will be open 4:00-6:00 pm for Bristol Bay Night (free admission).  

About the Exhibition

Entitled “Mug Up” after the cannery term for a coffee break, the exhibition shares stories of Alaska’s cannery crews and showcases artifacts from the canned salmon industry through the lens of the Alaska Packers Association’s <NN> (Diamond NN) Cannery, located on the Naknek River in Bristol Bay, Alaska.  

Underpinning the Mug Up exhibition is the larger theme that Alaska canneries’ 15-minute ‘mug ups’ brought together a diverse mix of cannery workers who provided essential labor and created a unique social milieu within the cannery workscape.

Mug Up is a journey through a typical salmon cannery, building-by-building, using each space to spotlight the labor and social history behind one of Alaska’s most significant industries. Rather than machines, Mug Up is about people whose stories, until now, were sheltered in the shadows of history.

The Mug Up exhibition is presented in three sections: Storied Salmon, Working Waterfront, and Cannery Community. From the slime-liners (slimers) to the superintendent, these stories collectively represent the workforce that brought the Industrial Revolution to the North.

Matthew Burtner composed the soundscape. Filmmakers include Jensen Hall Creative, Anna Hoover, and Sharon Thompson. Both the soundscape and exhibit films were produced by the NN Cannery History Project.

The Alaska State Museum hosts a spectacular permanent collection as well as temporary exhibitions.  

For museum hours, rates, and more information, visit The museum phone number is (907) 465-2901.

A person experiencing a disability who needs accommodation for events hosted by the Alaska State Library, Archives, and Museum can contact the Division’s ADA coordinator at (907) 465-2912. Please contact us a week in advance so we can make any necessary arrangements.

Media Contact:

Patience Frederiksen
Director, Division of Libraries, Archives and Museums

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