Alpena native, Amanda Kucharek joins the museum after a five year stay in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Amanda recalls her fond experiences as a child attending museum programming: taking field trips with Besser Elementary School, dressing up for Harvest Festival with the Girl Scouts, and attending artist workshops in the community classrooms. Even long before her birth, her Grandmother, Evelyn (Chester) Kucharek and father, Jim, spent time showcasing old-fashioned butter churning for Log Cabin days.
Her interest in museum activities continued as a young adult taking courses at ACC, focusing on fine arts and anthropology. She graduated from Northern Michigan University in the spring of 2016 with an undergraduate degree and K-12 teaching certificate in Art Education, concentrating in Ceramic arts. Following graduation, she worked as both a shop associate and metalsmith for U.P. artisan Beth Millner, and an Educator with the Liberty Children’s Art Project. This small non-profit extended Art curriculum to students in underserved rural schools of the Marquette area. Returning to the Alpena area has been kismet for Amanda, as she feels that her positive hometown experience as a youth calls upon her to serve the community.
Amanda loves spending time exploring the abundant nature of the Lake Huron shoreline, and crafting artworks at home. She has a 2-year-old tortoiseshell cat named Daphne, who seems very excited about the opportunity to listen to stories and receive more treats. Amanda is proud to be joining this institution and is looking forward to learning more and engaging with the community in the years to come.