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Museum of Culture and Environment

College of the Sciences

Past Programs and Lectures

As of March 2020, this page is no longer being updated.


The Museum has hosted a variety of exciting programs and lectures. Click on a year to see a list of previous programs.






Saturday Oct. 19 from 12:00 PM – 2:00 PM

Portraits of the Inner Self: Expressive Arts with Nan Doolittle

This quarter the MCE features the powerful exhibition Telling Secrets, in which artist Jane Orleman tells the story of how, through therapy and art, she came to terms with her childhood experiences of sexual abuse and domestic violence by revisiting her memories and coming to understand her inner self. Lik­­­­e Jane, you are invited to engage in an artistic dialogue with your inner self in a workshop led by Nan Doolittle, Certified Expressive Arts practitioner. Perhaps you will be inspired to make a creative piece that tells a secret you want to express (even if you only express it to yourself). Or perhaps you will make a secret hideaway, a place of healing and safety. You may want to bring a memento, such as a photograph or an object for inspiration. Using the language of art—symbol, image, movement, balance, texture, light, color—you will consider your inner life. This is not a workshop for enhancing artistic techniques but rather for encouraging us to listen to ourselves.


Monday Oct. 28 at 5:30 PM (Ofrenda from Oct. 28 – Nov. 2)

Day of the Dead Procession and Celebration

Please join the MCE on Oct. 28 at 5:30 PM as we put together an ofrenda, an altar for Day of the Dead. You will be able to make papel picado (perforated paper) and calaveras (sugar skulls).  And you are welcome to bring photos of loved ones who have passed away, as well as small offerings. Following this, on the evening of Nov 2, a Day of the Dead procession will begin—moving from Dean Hall lobby to the larger ofrenda in the SURC, sponsored by the Diversity and Equity Center. Even if you cannot contribute to the ofrenda at the MCE, you are still welcome on the night of the procession, when we will continue to welcome photos of loved ones who have passed away, as well as small offerings.


Thursday November 7 at 5:30 PM

Museums Sites of Healing, Co-Curation, Restorative Placemaking

Mark Auslander, Ph.D., serves as director of the Michigan State University Museum (MSUM) and is an associate professor of Anthropology and History at Michigan State University (MSU, East Lansing, Michigan) . Dr. Auslander directed the CWU Museum of Culture and Environment from 2011-17. When he arrived at MSU in mid-2017, the community was shaken by the largest sexual abuse scandal in the history of American higher education, centered on crimes perpetrated by a university sports physician over a three-decade period. Over the past 18 months, Dr. Auslander and his museum colleagues have partnered with sister-survivors of this crisis, to create a collaboratively co-curated exhibition “Finding our Voice: Sister Survivors Speak.” In this presentation Dr. Auslander reflects on lessons learned about trauma-informed exhibition development, and how responsible community co-curation can help engage individuals and communities in vital healing journeys. How should museums responsibly partner in giving voice to survivors of gender-based and sexual violence in ways that are respectful and empowering for diverse survivors and their allies?


Thursday Nov. 14  at 5:30 PM

“Washington’s Undiscovered Feminists” featuring Mayumi Tsutakawa

Writer Mayumi Tsutakawa presents five “woman warriors” in the arts and journalism whose inspiring stories reach back to the early years of our region.   Meet the pioneering photographer Imogen Cunningham, Black American jazz musician Ruby Bishop, Chinese American artist Priscilla Chong Jue, Leftist journalist Anna Louise Strong, and Native American linguist Vi Hilbert. Drawing on her own experience as an activist and writer, she explores how these women inspired others and changed our state and our society.


Thursday Dec. 5 at 5:30 PM

“Animals at Play”: A Talk by Dr. Jessica Mayhew

Since 2003, CWU primatologists (including Dr. Sofia K. Blue, Dr. Jessica Mayhew, Dr. Lori Sheeran, Dr. Lixing Sun, and Dr. Steve Wagner) have been partnering with primatologists at Anhui University in China in order to expand scientific knowledge about some of our closest relatives, Tibetan macaques. One of these researchers, Dr. Jessica Mayhew, studied how young macaques play. Join the MCE on Thursday, Dec. 5 at 5:30 PM as Mayhew explores play in animals of all kinds (including humans!): Why do animals play? How do you know when an animal is “playing”? Do animals only play when they are young? And what kinds of play exist?      


Jan. 9 at 5:30 PM  Facing the Inferno Opening

Join us as we open Facing the Inferno: the Wildfire Photography of Kari Greer. This opening reception will feature a short talk from Greer, who specializes in wildland fire photography and editorial photojournalism.


Jan. 30 at 5:30 PM Facing Fire: A Roundtable Discussion about Wildland Fire

This roundtable will provide an opportunity for community members to understand how wildland fire crews see the world.  It will also showcase the diversity of experiences and perspectives that fire managers and others involved in wildland fire use to make sense of critical situations. 


CANCELED: March 12 at 5:30PM Preparing for Wildfire: Are you Ready?

 The Museum welcomes Department of Natural Resources Landowner Assistance Forester Jason Emsley, who will help us better understand the fire risks within our community.  You will learn about the dynamic nature of wildfire, and practical, everyday means for better preparing our spaces for fire. 



Thursday Oct. 3, 2019 at 5:30 PM

Opening Reception: Telling Secrets

Please join the MCE as we open three new exhibitions to the public on Oct. 3 at 5:30 PM. In the main gallery, viewers will see Telling Secrets, which features the paintings and stories of well-known Ellensburg artist Jane Orleman, who addresses her experiences of childhood sexual violence and other forms of domestic abuse. This exhibit is a form of therapy and medicine, wherein Orleman confronts the past, accepts her emotions, and imagines a healing future. We will also be recognizing the new Window on Central display, Monkeys Do . . . We Do Too?, which showcases the research of CWU primatologists who studied Tibetan Macaques at Mt. Huangshan, China. And finally, Shattering the Veil: A Reclamation of Female Indigenous Identity is a photography exhibit located in the MCE lobby, curated by CWU student Autumn Adams (Yakama Nation). Shattering the Veil invites viewers to examine how Indigenous women use culture to empower themselves in spaces of oppression. Thursday’s reception will include light refreshments and a few words of acknowledgment to honor the curators, artists, and researchers who made each exhibition possible.


Earth Day Family Festival

Date/time: Saturday, April 27, 2019 from 9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Cost: FREE!

Come learn about conservation efforts within our own backyard!  Throughout the day community organizations will help visitors learn about the important work they do, including The Nature Conservancy, Mid-Columbia Fisheries, Washington State Parks, OUR Environment, Chimpanzee Sanctuary Northwest, Mountain to Sound Greenway and many others!  Thanks to the Kittitas County Sheriff’s Department and RVSP, there will also be document shredding services and a drug take-back station in the O-5 parking lot across the street from Dean Hall, on Wildcat Way.


10:00 AM April 27 Salmon Run 5k/10k and kid's run


Peruvian Dance workshop with Fabiola Serra (TusuyPeru)
Date/Time: May 11, 10:00 a.m. - Noon
Cost: $10 Donation

Description: Learn about native Peruvian dance in this energetic workshop with Fabiola Serra, lifelong dancer and director of Ellensburg dance group TusuyPeru!  In Peru, diverse cultures have produced many rich dancing traditions.  Try out Peruvian dance techniques while also exploring the cultural roots of these dances. This is a great opportunity for showing off your dancing skills, learning something new, or just spending time with family and friends!


Triunfar: Moving Forward
Date/Time: May 15 at 5: 00 PM
Cost: Free

This event will conclude the MCE’s Window on Central series for 2018 – 2019, Being the First: Latinx Pioneers in Public Service. Throughout the year, student researchers involved in this project have interviewed a diverse group of Latinx leaders throughout the Pacific Northwest, including entrepreneurs, journalists, and public servants. Along the way, they have expanded their research into a new project, “Triunfar,”which means to not only succeed in an endeavor, but to triumph!  Join the MCE and the “Triunfar” students for food and good conversation, as we consider both the challenges and triumphs shared by interviewees. What is the future for Latinx communities at CWU and beyond? And how do the Triunfar students envision the legacy of their research for future generations at CWU?

Peruvian Guitar with John Paul Shields

Date/Time: May 23 at 5:30 PM

Cost: Free

John Paul Shields spent 2 1/2 years in Peru studying guitar, including a year's study with the late virtuoso Raúl García Zárate, who was listed as one of the top 15 cultural contributors to Latin America. Join in a musical expedition of the Peruvian guitar as he plays and gives background to the music he learned and the experiences that went with it.


Spin-in @ the Museum!
Date/Time: June 1 10AM – 3PM
Cost: Free

Make yarn at the museum! Spinners and non-spinners are invited to drop in between noon and 3 p.m. Want to learn how to make yarn? We'll provide materials and teach you the basics. Already know how to spin? Bring your own spindles, spinning wheels, and join us for an afternoon of fibery fun.


Curator’s Talk: Enemies of the State Soviet Punk 1975 – 1991

Date/Time: April 11 at 5: 30 PM
Cost: Free

Come learn about the emergence of Soviet Punk with the curator of the MCE’s new Spring 2019 exhibit Enemies of the State: Soviet Punk 1975 – 1991.


Opening Celebration Spring 2019!

Date/Time: April 4 at 5:30 PM
Cost: Free

Join the Museum of Culture & Environment as we celebrate the opening of spring 2019 exhibitions! The MCE’s main gallery features Peruvian Textile Traditions: A Living Heritage, which explores handmade textiles and their importance to different ethnic groups in Peru and Enemies of the State: Soviet Punk 1975 – 1991, which traces the development of distinctive Russian punk traditions—despite attempts to censor and criminalize punk musicians and their fans.  Shattering the Veil: A Reclamation of Indigenous Women’s Identity, showcased in the MCE’s lobby, includes powerful images of North American Indigenous women declaring their identity by wearing their traditional clothing in colonial spaces. At this opening celebration, visitors will be able to hear from exhibition curators and enjoy food and camaraderie!


5:00 p.m. Feb. 7, 3:00 p.m., Feb. 14, 11:00 a.m., Feb. 21 “Walking in Our Shoes: Tours of For All the World to See with CWU’s Black Student Leaders”

For All the World to See invites visitors to explore potent images and objects from the Civil Rights era that influenced how Americans perceived race and the struggle for equality. Visitors will have the opportunity to view the exhibit through the eyes of CWU’s Black student leaders, who will provide guided tours on the following Thursdays: Feb. 7 (5:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.), Feb 14 (3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.), and Feb. 21 (11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.)

5:00 PM Tuesday Feb. 19 “Being Black in Ellensburg: A Safe Space for Black Students, faculty, Staff, and Community Members to Share Their Stories”
This event is an opportunity for Black students, faculty, staff, and community members to share their stories and feelings about living in Ellensburg and on the CWU campus. What would effective networks of support, enrichment, and belonging for Black community members—and all people of color—look like in Ellensburg? At the Wellington Event Center

5:00 PM Thursday Feb. 21 “Un/Belonging: Can People of Color Call Ellensburg ‘Home’?”
What are the experiences of people of color in Ellensburg? This panel features the voices of people of color within our community as they reflect on life in a small, eastern Washington town. This is an opportunity to listen, understand, and grow as we imagine more effective networks of support, enrichment, and belonging for people of color in Ellensburg. 

5:00 PM Feb. 28 “Intersectionality and Solidarity: A Roundtable Discussion with Dr. Masonya Bennett”
“Intersectionality” describes the ways in which identities—race, class, gender, and sexuality—interact and connect within society. Dr. Masonya Bennett’s research explores intersections between Black, Latin American, and Caribbean identities in Charlotte, North Carolina.  But how do these identities intersect within Ellensburg? Join Dr. Bennett along with a diverse group of students, faculty, staff, and community members as they discuss the important issues faced by communities of color and consider new forms of solidarity going forward.

5:00 PM  March 7 Media Matters: Latinx Media and Social Change
Join the MCE and members of the Latinx media as we consider the importance of Spanish-language television and radio within our region.

5:00 p.m. Jan. 31 Opening For All the World to See: Visual Culture and the Struggle for Civil Rights

Join the MCE staff along with CWU students, faculty, and staff as we celebrate the opening of For All the World to See: Visual Culture and the Struggle for Civil Rights. Sponsored by the National Endowment for the Humanities, this exhibition features compelling and persuasive images and objects from Civil Rights history that changed how Americans viewed race, racism, and the struggle for equality. Join us for music and refreshments as we celebrate this exhibition, which will run from Jan. 30 – March 16, 2019

5:30 p.m. January 4, “[Game] Night at the Museum”
Create new memories in Dean Hall to celebrate the opening of “Thanks for the Memories”, a new exhibit curated by the Museum Club of CWU. Get nostalgic and play your favorite games from childhood to adulthood while snacking on free food!


When: Oct. 18 at 5:30 PM

What: Lecture featuring Ellen Avitts, “(Re)Defining the Living Room, The Rhetoric and Reality of the Spaces in Which We Live”

In trendy home décor magazines and “staged homes,” images of living rooms reflect popular social and cultural ideals.  But how do these images relate to our everyday use of the living room? Join the Museum of Culture & Environment (MCE) on Oct. 18 at 5:30 pm as we welcome Dr. Ellen Avitts, architectural historian and CWU Associate Prof. of Art + Design.  Dr. Avitts will explore the hidden meaning of popular living room design in “(Re)Defining the Living Room, the Rhetoric and Reality of the Spaces in Which We Live.”  Dr. Avitt’s research on staged homes—and how consumers use these living spaces once they move in—will help us see living rooms in a different light.

When: Oct. 25 at 5:30 PM
What: Being the “First”—A Roundtable Discussion

In 2004, Chief Justice Ricardo Martinez became the first Latino judge in the U.S. District Court for Western Washington. Ten years later, Justice Mary Yu became the first Latina (and first openly LGBTQ person) appointed to the Washington State Supreme Court. Twelve CWU students spent spring 2018 interviewing these and other Latinx individuals, each of whom overcame racism and other forms of discrimination in order to become pioneers in public service.  On Oct. 25 at 5:30 PM these students will join the MCE in a roundtable discussion about their sacrifices, challenges, triumphs, as well as their advice for a new generation of Latinx “firsts.” This event is hosted in conjunction with the 2018 – 2019 Window on Central exhibition, Latinx Firsts in Public Service.


When: Sept. 26, 2018 at 5:30 PM

What: MCE After Hours, Fall 2018 Edition

Help the MCE kick-off Fall 2018 on Wednesday Sept. 26 at 5:30 p.m. with an evening of food and music! Did you know that there are new exhibits at the Museum of Culture & Environment (MCE) almost every quarter? Fall 2018 brings three new exhibits to the MCE: The Classroom: Learning by Doing at Central delves into CWU’s history as the Washington State Normal School through a close examination of the work of Amanda Hebeler.  Latinx First!, the new Window on Central exhibition, celebrates recent Latinx “firsts” in governmental leadership and public service throughout the Pacific Northwest. Finally, find out what our everyday living spaces look like through the eyes of a dust mite in Diary of a Dust Mite, and exhibit that follows the journey of Margaret Mite, an adventuresome dust-mite who travels to Ellensburg on the search for a new home.


When: Thursday April 5 at 5:30 p.m.

What: Welcome to The Living Room: A New MCE Exhibit!
How much? FREE!

What can the living room—a supposedly mundane space—tell us about the human condition? On April 5, the MCE celebrates The Living Room, a new exhibition featuring photographs (by local artist, Rob Fraser) of living rooms within our community. Please join the MCE staff, students, and faculty as we open the exhibit with a celebration, including live music and refreshments!

When: Thursday April 19 at 5:30 p.m.
What: Humanities Washington Presents Rachel Cardone: H2OMG! Making Sense of Water Scarcity in an Insecure World
How much? FREE!

It feels like not a day goes by without a story in the news that relates to some water issue. Whether it’s lead in schools, drought in California, or dwindling snowpack in Washington, water scarcity is a challenge that needs our attention—now. In this talk, participants learn about water scarcity and its effects both globally and at local levels here in Washington State. Participants are challenged to consider how they value water in its different uses, and explore whether taking an ethical approach to water issues changes how we manage and govern water on our increasingly thirsty and crowded planet.

When: Saturday, April 21 from 9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
What: Earth Day Family Festival
Where: Museum of Culture & Environment, CWU
How much? FREE!

Join us to celebrate Earth Day at this free family event with music, dance performances, fun environmental education activities, and the “Salmon Run” 5K/10K.


April 21, 2018: Salmon Run 5k/10k and kids run

A fun run for the whole family! Celebrating Earth Day and our favorite anadromous fish - the salmon. Register before April 4th to guarantee a t-shirt!


When: Thursday, May 17 at 5:30 p.m.
What: Fire and Ice Part III: Collaborating to Address Climate Change in the Pacific Northwest
How much? FREE!

The MCE concludes its year-long series “Fire and Ice” by reflecting upon the collaborations that will help community members prepare for living in a climate-changed Pacific Northwest.  Emily Washines, Yakama Nation Fisheries, will discuss the role of cultural knowledge in developing creative answers to the problems posed by climate change.  Urban Eberhart, Kittitas Reclamation District, will help us understand the current work being done to address water scarcity as a result of climate change.


January 18, 2018: Pecha Kucha Ellensburg 20X20, “Art is for Everyone”
Time: 6:30 PM

Description: Ellensburg’s Pecha Kucha is coming to CWU! The Pecha Kucha is an engaging format for engaging with the stories of fellow community members.  This Pecha Kucha theme is “Art is for Everyone.” Sometimes people think about “art” as only for the elite, but everyday people—our Ellensburg neighbors—are making and sharing important works of art.

February 1, 2018: Our Changing Pacific Northwest Part II
Time: 5:30 PM

Description:  The MCE continues its conversation on the impacts of climate change in the Pacific Northwest by looking at biology.  The exhibition Our Changing Pacific Northwest explains how rising temperatures and 20th century fire suppression cause larger wildfires, and that soot from wildfires speeds up melting of glaciers.  But what does the bigger picture look like for the ecosystem we are part of?

February 15, 2018: “Property Of . . .”
Time: 5:30 PM

Description: The exhibition Rewriting the Streets: The International Language of Stickers raises important questions about street art, the boundaries between public/private property, and the larger public sphere. Join the MCE staff, CWU faculty members and students, and Ellensburg community members as we respectfully engage in a conversation about the issues surrounding property rights and free speech.  Given recent controversies surrounding free speech and the right to access public spaces, it is more important than ever to be part of discussions that bridge political and cultural divides.


March 1, 2018: Humanities Washington and the MCE feature Daudi Abe, “Emerald Street: Race, Class, Culture, and the History of Hip Hop in the Northwest”

Time 5:30 PM

Description: From its beginnings in 1979, to Sir Mix-a-lot’s “Posse on Broadway,” to Macklemore, Northwest hip hop has been informed by local history as well as the diversity that defined the scene. Discover the history behind not only the Northwest’s Grammy-winning rappers, but its world champion break dance crew, its internationally read hip-hop magazine, the producers who collaborated with some of the biggest names in music, its world-renowned clothing designers, and the grassroots organizations dedicated to community service and education. Led by author and professor Daudi Abe, discover how Northwest hip hop is a living document of our region’s social and political movements, styles, energies, and ideologies, and how it embodies a unique sense of community.


March 2 and 3.  5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Escape! At the Museum!

March 4.   3 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Do you want to test your problem-solving skills in real life? Come to the MCE and see if you can solve the mystery by using clues and tools to escape from a MONSTER in Dean Hall!

What is an escape room? An escape room is a room where players have to solve puzzles to find the clues and tools to escape the room, usually in a limited amount of time. Escape! at the Museum is based on an escape room, but instead of just one room, players will have to escape from the first floor of Dean Hall.


Fire and Ice in the PNW

5:30 p.m., Tuesday, November 14, 2017

CWU professors Susan Kaspari (Geological Sciences) and Megan Walsh (Geography) help us envision the future of climate change in the Pacific Northwest by looking into the past! Susan’s research examines the impact of black carbon (commonly referred to as soot) on the melting rates of glaciers and seasonal snowpack.  Megan’s research explores how ancient charcoal deposits can help us understand past fire activity.  Taken together, their work can help us understand the complicated relationship between humans, fire, ice/snow, and climate change.


Workshop: Caring for Your Treasures

5:00 p.m., Tuesday, December 5, 2017

No matter whether it’s a quilt, a photograph, or a cheap plastic toy, everyone has a treasure they hold dear! This workshop is intended for people who want to safeguard family heirlooms or other precious, but fragile objects.  Participants will learn about ways to extend the life of historic and important artifacts, and to keep them in good condition for years to come. This will include valuable lessons in object care from the MCE’s collections manager, Lynn Bethke, and the opportunity to ask questions about your own special treasures.

Opening reception: New Exhibits at the MCE! Pulling Back the Curtain and Our Changing PNW!

5:30 p.m.Thursday, September 28, 2017

Come celebrate with the Museum of Culture & Environment staff, and faculty and students from Museum Studies as we open two fabulous new exhibits for Fall 2017! Pulling Back the Curtain is an interactive exhibit that creatively explores the mysterious rituals that take place behind-the-scenes at museums. Why can’t you touch the artifacts in museum exhibits? And why do museums hide most of the objects they own? Our Changing Pacific Northwest brings into focus a central concern: anthropogenic climate change by asking, “How will climate change impact our region?” To answer this, the exhibit features the work of two CWU scientists, Susan Kaspari and Megan Walsh, whose research into the past helps us understand what the future may hold.


Revealing the Hidden Stories of Museum Objects Through Chemistry

5: 30 p.m. Thursday, October 12, 2017

CWU chemistry professor JoAnn Peters works at the intersection between chemistry, art, and museums. She has worked on conservation issues at the Royal British Columbia Museum as well as the Yakima Valley Museum.  Come and learn about JoAnn’s discoveries in these museum collections as she explains how chemistry can help us see artworks and historical artifacts in a new light!


Workshop: Caring for Your Treasures

10:30 a.m., Saturday October 14, 2017

No matter whether it’s a quilt, a photograph, or a cheap plastic toy, everyone has a treasure they hold dear! This Saturday workshop is intended for people who want to safeguard family heirlooms or other precious, but fragile objects.  Participants will learn about ways to extend the life of historic and important artifacts, and to keep them in good condition for years to come. This will include valuable lessons in object care from the MCE’s collections manager, Lynn Bethke, and the opportunity to ask questions about your own special treasures.


The Alchemous Beasts Tour: poet and CWU professor Maya Jewell Zeller and Spokane folk musician Liz Rognes

6:30 p.m., Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Prof. Maya Jewell Zeller will read from her new collaborative collection Alchemy for Cells & Other Beasts, teaming up with Spokane musician Liz Rognes to present an evening of poetry and original folk tunes. The pair will share work that thoughtfully interrogates the politicization of women's bodies, with connections to the environments in which they live.

Maya Jewell Zeller is the author of Alchemy for Cells & Other Beasts (collaboration with visual artist Carrie DeBacker, Entre Rios Books, fall 2017), Yesterday, the Bees (Floating Bridge Press, 2015), and Rust Fish (Lost Horse Press, 2011). She teaches poetry and poetics for Central Washington University and edits poetry for Spokane Press Scablands Books. She lives in the Inland Northwest.

Liz Rognes is a writer, musician, and teacher in Spokane, Washington. She is a singer/songwriter, composer, and multi-instrumentalist whose classical and pop musical influences range from folk to baroque to jazz. Her essays and poems have been featured in various publications, including Brain, Child: The Magazine for Thinking Mothers and Railtown Almanac. She teaches at Eastern Washington University and lives in Spokane with her rock ‘n’ roll librarian and their son.

Thursday, Februrary 2, 2017 at 5:30 pm.

Rose's Gift: New Discoveries about Ashley's Sack.  Black History Month lecture by Dr. Mark Auslander (Department of Anthropology and Museum Studies)


Tuesday, February 14, 2017 at 5:30 pm.

Hobo Sapiens: History of our Peripatetic Species.  Darwin Week lecture by Dr. Joseph Lorenz (Department of Anthropology and Museum Studies)


Saturday, April 22 from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Earth Day Family Festival - Free Family Fun for the whole Family. Click to the event page for more information.

Salmon Run 5k/10k and kids run - 10 a.m for the 5k/10k, 11:15 a.m. for the Small Fry Kids Run. Click to the event page for more information.


Thursday, June 2nd, 2016 at 5:30 p.m.

Beyond Aztlan: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives on Latinos in the Tri-Cities and the Northwest

Mexican Americans and Chicanos have historically resided and been concentrated in the U.S. Southwest, an area that some refer to as Aztlan--the mythical homeland of the Aztecs. However, even though Latinos have not resided in large numbers in Washington and the Pacific Northwest, people of Hispanic origin have been present here for several centuries.

This presentation by Martin Valadez will present a brief overview of Latinos in Washington state and the challenges that people of Hispanic heritage continue to face here in the Pacific Northwest.

This event is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be provided.

Martin Valadez has been conducting research and teaching about Latin America and Latinos in the U.S. for over 20 years. He has taught at various universities and colleges, including Columbia Basin College, in California, New York, New Jersey and Washington. Martin holds a B.A. in Economics from UCLA and an MA in history from Stanford University where is also completing his Ph.D. Currently serves as Director for Business Development and Public Relations at Tri-Cities Community Health but continues his research as an independent scholar. Martin was born in Mexico, grew up in South Central L.A. and has been living in Pasco, WA since 2006.



Thursday, May 26 at 5:30 pm

Images of the Sacred:  Paradoxes of Presence and Distance

A Museum Roundtable

Images of the sacred pose fascinating paradoxes.  They are manifestly human-made representations of alternate orders of existence, but they also may be experienced as themselves endowed with sacred or divine qualities.  Even when they are spoken of as mere reflections, traces, or reminders of a distant power, they may in fact be understood or treated as living beings, ancestors, or divinities. Our discussion—inspired by the exhibition, “Miracles of Mexican Folk: Retablos and Ex-Votos”—considers visual and aural sacred images from around the world, including Bali, Japan, Mexico, ancient Meso-America, Native America, and the contemporary United States.



Thursday May, 12

5:30 p.m.

Curator Lecture - A Journey Among the Miraculous: Developing a Teaching Collection of Mexican Retablos and Ex-votos

Dr. Antonio Sanchez, curator of the exhibit "Miracles of Mexican Folk Art" will speak on the process of collecting Mexican folk art and creating the exhibit. "Miracles of Mexican Folk Art" will be on view at the Museum through June 11, 2016.

5:30 p.m. - Reception with light refreshments sponsored by the CWU Hispanic & Latinx Alumni Association

6:15 p.m. - Talk by Dr. Sanchez.

Dr. Sanchez is currently Assistant Director of Government Relations and Special Assistant to the President of Central Washington University. Dr. Sanchez publishes, teaches and advocates for a greater understanding of the history and heritage of Latinos in Washington State and for the development of programs, activities and academic programs that will advance Latino/a academic success. He is the co-author of a teachers Latino/a history training guide and curriculum for K-12 called Fruits of Our Labor and for the book, Hispanics of Oregon. He established an organization called Americas Institute of Art, History and Culture to tour teaching collections of Latino/a art and artifacts. In 2007 he was knighted by King Juan Carlos of Spain for his efforts to advance the knowledge of Hispanic History in Washington State.

This event is free and open to the public.


January 13 (Wednesday) at 5:30 pm. Opening of Winter 2016 exhibition,  Changing Arctic Landscape.  Music and refreshments!

Lecture by Marna Carroll on Mask Symbolism

January 20 (Wednesday) at 5:30 pm. (tentative) Reception celebrating Kwame Mason, director of documentary "Soul on Ice," on African Americans in ice hockey.

January 26 (Tuesday) Time TBD.  John Treat reading from his new novel, The Rise and Fall of the Yellow House (set in Seattle during the early years of the AIDS pandemic)

February 8 (Monday) at 5:30 pm.  Prophesizing the Global. A Conversation with Fabrice Monteiro. Artist Fabrice Monteiro critically reimagines global pasts, presents, and futures--from the transatlantic slave trade to contemporary environmental crisis. Recently recognized by Foreign Policy as one of the Top 100 Global Thinkers of 2015, his virtuosic photographic images are beautiful, arresting and haunting.  (Fabrice Monteiro will be joined in conversation with MCE director Mark Auslander)

Fabrice Monteiro is represented by Mariane Ibrahim Gallery, 608 2nd Avenue, Seattle. His installation "Maroons," is on display at the gallery February 4-March 12, 2016.

This event is part of the university's year-long series on Mass Incarceration and Racial Justice: Black and Brown Lives Do Matter.

February 17 (Wedneday).  Lecture on Slavery and an Object of Memory. Ashley’s Sack: Slavery, Kinship, and the Fabric of Memory

Mark Auslander
Wednesday, Feb, 17 at 5:30 pm.
Museum of Culture and Environment, Dean Hall

Abstract:    One of the most evocative objects to be exhibited in the forthcoming Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture is an embroidered cloth bag that has come to be known as “Ashley’s Sack.”  Stitchwork on the bag, signed “Ruth Middleton," recounts the bag’s painful history, as a gift presented by an enslaved woman, Rose,  to her daughter Ashley, when Ashley was sold at age nine in South Carolina. This presentation explores “Ashley’s sack” as an object of history, memory, and aesthetic creativity. We begin by trying to unpack Rose’s gift during the time of slavery,and then examine the literary and visual aesthetics of Ruth’s 1921 needlework composition. We next turn to the challenge of identifying the historical personages referenced in the text, Rose, her daughter Ashley, and Ashley’s grand-daughter "Ruth Middleton,” the apparent embroiderer. We conclude with some reflections on the exhibitionary challenges faced by the new Smithsonian museum as curators prepare to display this emotionally resonant artifact.

February 18 (Thursday)  Pluto Day. 5:30 pm.   To mark the 86th anniversary of the discovery of Pluto, CWU astronomy and physics faculty will discuss the history of scientific exploration of Pluto and report on the latest scientific discoveries about the dwarf planet and the Kuiper belt.

February 23 (Thursday) 5:30 p.m. Sven Haakanson Arctic Life Lecture.  Sven Haakanson, curator of North American Anthropology at the Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture in Seattle, joins us to discuss Arctic Culture in Alaska.

February 25 (Thursday) 5:30 pm. Dr. Audrey Huerta on Shifting Ice Sheets.



FALL 2015

Thursday, October 1.  Fall Opening Reception.  6:15 pm.  (Following opening of "Notes from Suburbia" exhibition at Sarah Spurgeon Hal at 5:00 pml).   Opening of "Elhwa: A River Rebon"; "The Penitent: Images from Eastern State Penitentiary";   "Pluto and New Horizons" and our new campus-wide model of the Solar System.


Join the Museum-Art parade on Thursday, October 1 at 6:00 pm. to celebrate the opening of our new campus-wide scale model of the solar system. We will start in the CWU Art Department in Randall Hall, where “Pluto” can be seen, and travel to the inner planets at the Museum of Culture and Environment in Dean Hall, where the “sun” is the size of a baseball.  Children, students, and all others are invited to help make "comets" in the Art Department at 5;00 pm, to carry during our parade “across the solar system” to the sun.

October 13 at 12:00 noon pm.   “Ultimate Questions: Artists Confront Mass Incarceration and the Death Penalty.” A roundtable with Rene Denfield (Lion Rock Writers Series novelist.) Museum of Culture and Environment, Dean Hall Lobby

This roundtable brings together novelist, poets, and visual artists whose work engages with the death penalty and current penal regimes. How do artists evoke the experiences of Death Row and imprisonment; under what circumstances can and should writers and artists seek to transform their audience’s understandings of those who have so often been demonized or forgotten by mainstream society?  (Facilitated by Mark Auslander)

November 12 at 5:30 pm. Film screening: Return of the River" (Elhwa)

December 2 at 5:30 pm.  100th "Birthday Celebration" for the General Theory of Relativity.









Saturday, May 9. Basket Making Workshop .11:00 am-2:00 pm.


Saturday, May 9. 4:00 pm.   Downton Abbey Tea at the Museum. Students in costume serve tea in Downton Abbey-style to guests. Free, but by reservation only


Tuesday, May 26.  at 5:30 pm.  Lecture by Dr. Vincente Rafael (University of Washington)  Colonial Contractions: the Philippines Under Spain, the United States and Japan, 1565-1946

This talk will give a brief history of the emergence of the Philippines from a collection of largely autonomous islands with extensive linkages to the rest of Southeast and East Asia to a loosely bounded colonial entity under three global empires: Spain, the United States and Japan. It will show how the nation-state continues to be an imperial artifact even as it seeks to come to terms with its post-colonial condition which includes globalization and an ever-growing overseas population. Finally, it will ask how an understanding of the Philippines nation-state as the site of multiple empires allows us to situate it in comparative perspective to the rest of the world.

Vicente L. Rafael is Professor of History and Southeast Asian Studies at the University of Washington in Seattle. He is the author of several works on the cultural and political history of the Philippines, including  Contracting Colonialism, White Love and Other Events in Filipino History,, Discrepant Histories, and he Promise of the Foreign_ He is currently finishing a book, Motherless Tongues: The Insurgency of Language Amid Wars of Translation.  He was born and raised in Manila, educated at the Ateneo de Manila University and subsequently at Cornell University. He has been with UW since 2003.


Thursday, May 28. 5:00 pm.  Lecture and Book Signing by Jack Nisbet, reading from his latest book.

Monday, March 9.  NEW FILM: “Yakama War: Ayat"  (Woman)   Ms. Emily Washines (Public Outreach Specialist, Yakama Nation Fisheries) will screen and lead  discussion of her new film on the role of women in the 1855-59 Yakama War.  (Dean 113 at 3:00 pm)

Friday, March 13 at 12 noon.  Jasen Emmons. Directorial of Curatorial Affairs, Experience Music Project Museum. Lecture:  "Pop Culture, Creativity, and Fandom: Building the 21st Century Museum."  

Friday, March 13 at 6:00 pm.  In Search of Mel's Hole.  Play reading. The students of Professor Jay Ball (Theater Arts) in Theater Arts 495  share late-breaking scientific discoveries about Kittitas County's most enigmatic quantum anomaly.

Thursday, March 5, at 5:30 p.m.  Kris Nyrop, Program Director, Racial Disparity Project.  Drug Wars: Incarceration and Racial Justice. This talk examines racial disparities in drug-related sentencing in the United States and discusses potential models for sentencing reform. Made possible by the Office of the President and the Center for Diversity and Social Justice.


Thursday, April 9 at 5:30 p.m  Opening reception for the exhibition,“BINDING CULTURE: LIVING LANDSCAPES AND MATERIAL LIFE IN NORTHERN LUZON, PHILIPPINES”     An exhibition co-organized by Ellen Schattschneider and Lynn Bethke, featuring indigenous textiles and basketry from the Cordillera region of northern Luzon.  Opening reception, Thursday, April 9 at 5:30 pm. CWU Museum of Culture and Environment,  Dean Hall.   Dean Hall. (Opening lecture by Prof. Ellen Schattschneider, Department of Anthropology, Brandeis University)  Remarks by Mr. Rey Pescua, president, Filippino American Community of the Yakima Valley.

Wednesday, Feb. 18 at 3:00 pm. in Dean 113. "Three Worlds Meet."  Learn about Living History with author and independent scholar Jim Auld

The Three Worlds Meet project explores encounters between Native Americans and EuroAmericans during the Rocky Mountain Fur Trade.  Co-sponsored by the Museum of the Mountain Man, the project offers public presentations and interpretation of selected "living pictures" from the portfolio of celebrated artist Alfred Jacob Miller who in 1837 was the first to depict the annual Green River Fur Trade Rendezvous held near present-day Pinedale, Wyoming.

For more information, please see:

Thursday, February 19 at 5:30 pm.   Addiction and Recovery in our Neighborhoods: A Community Conversation.  A roundtable with specialists on addiction and recovery, as well as students and community people, on local challenges and avenues for progress on issues of addiction and homelessness in Central Washington.  Includes: Melissa Denner, Central Washington Comprehensive Mental Health;  Julia Karns, Kittias County Public Health.


Why the Rush?  Evolutionary Perspectives on Addiction.Thursday -- February 12 -- 5:30pm -- Lobby of Dean Hall

To celebrate Charles Darwin's 206th birthday, the Museum will explore evolutionary perspectives on addiction, including the emergence of opiate and dopamine pathways. Why wasn't addiction, which seems so destructive, lost long ago from human populations via natural selection?  Is a propensity to addiction a by-product of neurobiological processes that offer significant adaptive advantages to our species? Featuring CWU faculty members, Drs. Kara Gabriel (Psychology), Lucinda Carnell (Biological Sciences), and Joe Lorenz (Anthropology and Museum Studies),  moderated by Dr. David Darda (Biological Sciences) , followed by a question and answer period for the audience.

The round-table complements the Museum of Culture and Environment's current exhibit, Righteous Dopefiend: Homelessness, Addiction and Poverty in Urban America.

Saturday, Feb. 7.  11:00 am-2:00 pm. Expressive Arts Workshop: Book of Life.  Community members and students collaborate in making art book that reflect on personal and family stories of homelessness, addiction and recovery.  We will reuse old hard cover books using glue, photos, collage, pens, fabric, fabric, buttons, and found objects. Musicians are invited to jam. Led by expressive arts therapist Nan Dooliittle and CWU student Maggie Bauermeister.  Sponsored by the Center for Diversity and Social Justice.

Friday, Jan. 30 at 10:00 am.  Laurie Kain Hart presentation, "Ethnographic Perspectives on Structural Violence and the Making of Meaning: From the Balkans to North Philadelphia." Dr. Laurie Hart (Haverford College) discusses the extent to which  ethnographic "toolkits" may travel across borders, drawing on her fieldwork in Greece and in Mid-Atlantic urban communities in the US. Co-sponsored by the Culture and Power Writing Group and the Department of Anthropology and Museum Studies.   Dean 208.

Laurie Kain Hart is Stinnes Professor of Global Studies and Professor of Anthropology at Haverford College. She holds a Master of Architecture from the University of California at Berkeley and a Ph.D. in Social Anthropology from Harvard University. Her research focuses on the circum-Mediterranean area and the urban U.S., and, topically, on religious practice; gender; ethnonationalism and border history; sectarian and urban violence; pluralism, spatial segregation and population displacement; architecture and housing; photography and visual anthropology. Her recent publications are grounded in field research in Northern Greece (on former political refugees of the Greek Civil War) and Philadelphia (on urban poverty, segregation, and risk).

Thursday, January 29 at 12.00 noon.  Poverty and the Politics of Representation: A Roundtable featuring Jeff Schonberg.   Jeff Schonberg, co-author of Righteous Dopefiend and photographer-ethnographer, joins in a conversation about the politics and ethics of representing poverty and structural violence.  With  Jay Ball (Theater Arts), Saeed Mohamed (REM),   J. Hope Amason (Anthropology)

Thursday, Jan 29, at 5:30 pm.   Philippe Bourgois lectures on ""Public Anthropology, Photo-Ethnography, and Homelessness in America:"   Philippe Bourgois, (University of Pennsylvania), celebrated author of In Search of Respect: Selling Crack in El Bario, and co-author of Righteous Dopefiend, presents on his recent research , in collaboration with Jeff Schonberg and Laurie Kain Hart, on drug use and impoverishment in America.

Saturday, January 10 from 11:00 am-2:00 pm. Expressive Arts Workshop: "Homeplace." Community members and students collaborate in making art that reflects on the nature of home and homelessness.  Led by expressive arts therapist Nan Doolittle and CWU student Maggie Bauermeister.   Sponsored by the CWU Museum Club.

Wednesday January 14 at 5:30 pm. Opening reception for the exhibition, "Righteous Dopefiend: Homelessness, Addiction and Poverty in Urban America" (from the Penn Museum)  Featuring slam poetry by Xavier Cavazos (English) and an address by Julia Karns (Kittitas County Public Health) on heroin and treatment in the county.

Monday, Jan. 26 at 5:30 pm. Lecture by Dr. Kris Morrissey, director, Master's program in Museology, University of Washington.  "Museums as Social Conversations"

Thursday, November 20 at 5:30 p.m. Dean Hall, Room 104

Voices through Walls: A Toxic Tour.  Lecture by Dr. Steven Gilbert, Director and Founder of the Institute of Neurotoxicology and Neurological Disorders (INND),

Walls come in many shapes and forms with a variety of intended and unintended consequences on human and environmental health.  We consent to and depend upon walls to create separation and privacy but what are consequences when walls are used to isolate and block interaction?  We will discuss some the historical examples of walls and examine more modern uses of walls along with their unintended consequences. Case studies will include the use of separation walls in Israel/Palestine and along the U.S-Mexico border.

In conjunction with the exhibition, "Migration, Now" at the Museum through December 6.


Thursday, November 6 at 5:30 pm.   Come join us as we celebrate diverse voices, exploring experiences of migration, struggle and success in Central Washington. Noted Chicano leader Ricardo Garcia discusses early Chicano activist history in the region and recounts the rise of Radio KDNA.  Historian Martin Valadez Torres (Columbia Basin College) discusses Mexican American migration history.   Featured writers include Xavier Cavasos and Phil Garrisson as well as student writers. Introduced by Prof. Gilberto Garcia. (Political Science).

Co-sponsored by the Center for Latino and Latin American Studies and the "Scratching Post" student writing group. In conjunction with the exhibition, "Migration, Now" at the Museum of Culture and Environment, on view through December 6.




Thursday. October 30 at 5:30 pm.  "Burning the Hearts of the Dead:  Migration and New England Vampire Belief in the Early Republic" ( Brian D. Carroll, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of History and American Indian Studies.

In conjunction with the exhibition, "Migration, Now," through December 6.  Co-sponsored by the Museum Club and the History Club. Please feel free to come dressed for a pre-Halloween celebration!


Tuesday, October 21 at 4: 30 pm. Early Learning "Stemfest".    Early learning educators and children are invited to explore the exhibition "How did the cougar cross the road?"


Thursday, October 23 at 5:00 pm    Lecture :   "Making Migration Visible"

Susan Noyes Platt, Ph.D.
Randall 117  (Department of Art)

This lecture will present the work of artists who address immigration into the United States from countries south of the Mexican border. The art addresses the economic and political conditions that force people to leave, the journey itself, work at the border, the process of crossing the border, the conditions for those detained, the community and family disruptions caused by Immigration and Customs (ICE) raids (so-called “Secure Community” raids) all over the country, and above all, the violation of the most basic human rights throughout.

Susan Noyes Platt is an art historian, art critic and activist based in Seattle. She writes on art that engages urgent social issues. The lecture is based on material for her new book on art about  immigration and detention.

This lecture, co-sponsored by the Department of Art, the Center for Latino and Latin American Studies, and the Museum of Culture and Environment,  is presented in conjunction with the exhibition, "Migration, Now", on view at the Museum of Culture and Environment (Dean Hall) through December 5.

Thursday, October 9. 5;30 pm.  Opening of "Migration, Now" and Museum Fifth Anniversary. Remarks by President James Gaudino. Music by the YVCC Salsa Band.


Thursday, Oct. 16. 7:00 pm.  Kris Ernest (Biology) lectures  on small mammals

Please join the Museum of Culture and Environment for a talk by Dr. Kris Ernest, Dept of Biology:  “Small Mammals, Big Road: Studying and Enabling Biodiversity Along I-90 in the Snoqualmie Pass Area.” Thursday, October 16. at 7:00 p.m. in the Dean Hall Lobby.

CWU wildlife biologist Kris Ernest and her research team have been studying the many species of small mammals living near I-90 in the Snoqualmie Pass region. These populations have been separated since the 1960s by the Interstate. Dr. Ernest will explain what scientists have been discovering about these animal groups and discuss the impact of the new wildlife passages being constructed under I-90.

Dr. Ernest's talk is presented in conjunction with the exhibition "How Did the Cougar Cross the Road: Restoring Wildlife Passages Across Snoqualmie Pass" at the Museum of Culture and Environment.


Thursday, October 9. 5:30 pm.  Museum fifth anniversary celebration and opening of the “Migration, Now” exhibition, in the Dean Hall Lobby.

Where there's Smoke... Living with Fire opening reception

October 10 at 5:00 p.m., Dean Hall Lobby

Opening Reception featuring fire-making demonstrations by local expert Jim Baugh and light refreshments/

Climatic and Human Influences on the Fire History of the Pacific Northwest, a talk by Dr. Megan Walsh

November 7 at 5:30 p.m.

Dr. Walsh’s talk will discuss how climate events and Native American land management practices have affected the frequency of fire and its impact on the landscape of the Pacific Northwest. 

Lion's Rock Visiting Writer Series: Scott Olsen

November 8 at 7:30 p.m.

Olsen will be reading from a selection of his books, the newest being, “Prairie Sky: A Pilot’s Reflections on Flying and the Grace of Altitude,” a collection of essays demonstrating and exploring the change of perspective that comes with altitude.

Museum-Library book club discussion

December 5 at  7:00 p.m. at the Ellensburg Public Library 

Inaugural book: Richard Wrangham's book, Catching Fire: How Cooking Made Us Human

January 21, 5:30 pm - "Hands of a Goze (blind female musician): The Tactile Culture of Visually-impaired People in Modern Japan" A talk by Kojiro Hirose, PhD., (National Museum of Ethnology, Osaka, Japan).  Dean Hall Classroom TBD.

January 30, 5-6:00 pm - Covering Fire: The Journalists and the Taylor Bridge Fire.  Print- and photojournalists share how they tracked and reported on the fast moving blaze that destroyed 61 homes and burned more than 23,000 acres.

January 30, 6-8:00 pm -  Winter Reception.  Join the museum as we celebrate the opening of Wolves in Washington State.

February 13, 5:30 pm - Love in the Time of the Pleistocene,  a talk by Dr. Joe Lorenz, biological anthropologist, on the complicated and intimate relations between Neanderthals and early modern humans.

February 27, 5:30 pm - Weighing in on Wolves: A Discussion  Wolves and the return of wolf packs to central Washington is a complicated issue.  This panel will feature speakers with diverse viewpoints, and opportunity for audience discussion.

March 6 at 7:00 at the Ellensburg Public Library  – Book Club Meeting -  Rebecca Solnit's  A Paradise Built in Hell: The Extraordinary Communities That Arise in Disaster

March 13, 5:30 pm - Ani-Wa'ya: Stories of the Wolf People. Crit Callebs, a Cherokee traditional storyteller, will share ancient stories involving wolves.

April 17, 5:30 a.m. - Opening Reception for How did the Cougar Cross the Road? Restoring wildlife passages at Snoqualmie Pass.  Refreshments will be served as visitors explore the brand new exhibit that tells the story of wildlife connectivity corridors linking animal populations formerly divided by Interstate 90. Follow in the footsteps of native fauna over a recreated wildlife overpass and discover how the cougar crosses the road, and how humans are helping.

A series of speakers including Yvonne Prater, author of Snoqualmie Pass: From Indian Trail to Interstate; Al Aronica (Kittitas Band of the Yakama Nation), Brian White (WSDOT), Jason Smith (WSDOT) and Patti Davis-Darda (USFS) will discuss their knowledge and research concerning the history of Snoqualmie Pass and its wildlife passages.

April 19, 10:00 am - Salmon Run 5K and 10K, with Small Fry kids race.  Registration now open!  Click through to the event page for more information.

April 19, 9:00 am - 2:00 pm - Earth Day Family Festival. Join the Museum and local community groups for a day of educational activities for the entire family.  Click through to the event page for more information.

May 28, 7:30 p.m., at the Ellensburg Public Library. Museum-Library Book Club. Join us to discuss Yvonne Prater's Snoqualmie Pass: From Indian Trail to Interstate.



Particles on the Wall Opening Reception
September 27, 2012 from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., Dean Hall lobby.

Featured contributing artists and writers, as well as co-curators, Steven Gilbert, an environmental health and nuclear disarmament advocate, Nancy Dickeman, a writer and peace advocate, and Dianne Dickeman, a Seattle visual artist.

Dedication of the John Hoover sculpture, "Man who Married an Eagle" (1971).                                                                                                           October 5, 2012 at  4:00 p.m., Dean Hall Lobby.

"Gifts of the Earth: Nature and Tradition in Native American Art."                October 5, 2012.  5:00-7:00 pm. University Reception Center. 211 East 10th Avenue

Arid Lands: Film and discussion
October 11, 2012 Dean Hall, room 104. 7:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m.

This award-winning 2007 documentary film, Arid Lands, chronicles life along the Columbia River and the way the construction of Hanford impacted the land. To be followed by a discussion session (discussant tba).

Homecoming at the Museum                                                                              October 13, 2012. 10:00 am-12 noon. Dean Hall Lobby

Reception and museum tours for CWU Alumni and veterans, Dean Hall lobby.  Special display of the student-curated exhibition No Place Untouched by War: The Second World War and Central Washington College of Education developed by Kevin Sodano '12.

Poet Kathleen Flenniken
October 17, 2012 from 7:30 p.m. until 9:30 p.m.

As part of the Lion Rock Visiting Writer’s Series, we welcome Kathleen Flenniken, current Washington State Poet Laureate and former civil engineer at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation.

Workshop: Teaching Hanford Across the Curriculum
November 1, 2012 from 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m.

On Thursday, Nov. 1, at noon, in Dean Hall room 104, Washington Physicians for Social Responsibility (WPSR) will provide a hands-on curriculum workshop for CWU faculty in order to encourage professors to incorporate the history and science of Hanford Nuclear Site into their coursework. Enjoy pizza and listen to curriculum opportunities that engage students in critical thinking about the impact of Hanford on human health and the environment.

Hibakusha: Film and discussion feat. Norma M. Field
November 8, 2012 from 7:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

A showing of Hibakusha - At the End of the World. Hibakusha (translated from Japanese explosion-affected people”) tells the story of the survivors of atomic bomb attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan. Afterwards there will be a discussion featuring University of Chicago faculty member in East Asian Languages and Civilizations Norma M. Field

Hanford Story Circle
December 1, 2012 at 1:00p.m. to 3:00 p.m.

No matter your relationship to the Hanford Nuclear Site, it has become a fundamental part of shaping the identity of central Washington.

The Museum of Culture & Environment (MCE) at Central Washington University invites you to participate in the Hanford Story Circle, on December 1, from 1:00 p.m.–3:00 p.m. Share your stories, memories and ideas about Hanford and the nuclear age. This event is open to all, whether you have been directly impacted by Hanford or simply share an interest in its history. Refreshments will be served. The event is free and open to the public.

Opening Celebration

January 10 at 5:30 p.m.

Join us for a reception to celebrate the opening of two new exhibits: Voices of the River: Life Along the Yakima and the traveling exhibit, fashion STATEMENT: Native Artists Against Pebble Mine

The Story of Pebble Mine: A Talk with Anna Hoover, Native Alaskan Fisherwoman and Artist
January 24 at 5:30 p.m.


Veronica Tawhai - “Aotearoa is Not for Sale: The Politics of Indigenous Environmental Law Recognition in Aotearoa New Zealand ”

March 6 at 12:00 p.m. in Dean Hall 103.

Veronica Makere Hupane Tawhai, from the Ngati Porou, Ngati Uepohatu people in Aotearoa New Zealand, is a current Fulbright-Ngā Pae o Te Maramatanga exchange scholar based in Olympia, Washington. At home in Aotearoa she is a lecturer in Māori Development at Massey University, an Education Sub-Commissioner for UNESCO New Zealand, a member of the Māori national Independent Working Group on Constitutional Transformation, and a member of Te Ata Kura (Society for Conscientisation). She has co-edited two books, Weeping Waters: The Treaty of Waitangi and Constitutional Change and Always Speaking: The Treaty of Waitangi and Public Policy. In Olympia she is being hosted by The Evergreen State College Longhouse Education and Cultural Centre where she is a current Resource Faculty member, and the Centre for World Indigenous Studies where she is an Associate Scholar.


Jim Huckabay - "The Hidden World of the Yakima River Canyon: A “Lifeline” for All"

March 7 at 5:30 p.m.

The Yakima River Canyon is a lifeline, linking the snow-capped Cascades to the Pacific Ocean.  This tremendous energy source for animals and plants also benefits humans, who use river water to irrigate homes and businesses, and enjoy the Canyon’s many recreational opportunities.  According to Jim Huckabay—writer, outdoor enthusiast, and emeritus Professor of Geography at CWU—the Yakima River Canyon is “the heart of our outdoor heritage.”

Learn more about the hidden world of the Yakima River Canyon on March 7, at 5:30 p.m. at the Museum of Culture & Environment, where Huckabay will present “The Yakima River Canyon; A Lifeline for All.” This short presentation will be followed by a discussion about the canyon and its importance our lives.



A Better Night with Better DayApril 4 at 6:30 p.m.


featuring Keith Champagne as emcee

Join the Museum for an evening of music, dancing, drinks, and food!  Dance the night away to local band Better Day. Enjoy hors d’oeuvres with beer, wine, and non-alcoholic beverages served by WineWorks. Bid on items in a silent auction. And don't forget to check out the new exhibits in the Museum!

First Annual Salmon Run 5K/10K

April 20 at 9:45 a.m.

This 5K/10K celebrates the life cycle of our favorite anadromous fish! It takes place on the CWU campus and runners are encouraged the wear their favorite salmon-themed costume—the best costume wins a prize! Snazzy race shirts and finishers mementos are included, along with post-race snacks.

Click for 5k results.  Click for 10k results.

Earth Day Family Festival

April 20 at 10:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Join us for an Earth Day Family Festival at the Museum. We'll have activities and fun for all ages! Make art, meet animals, and learn about environmental and sustainability issues in the region and globally.

Take the Next Step to Becoming a Wildcat.