UA College Savings Plan Hosts MOLLY OF DENALI World Premiere

On Saturday, June 22, more than 600 people attended world premiere of MOLLY OF DENALI, in Fairbanks, hosted by the UA College Savings Plan.

“The premiere was an incredible success and the series is such a big deal for Alaska,” said Lael Oldmixon, director of the UA College Savings Plan. “We appreciate Molly’s love of learning and are proud to sponsor this amazing series.” “I know that families with small children will love this show. These are the same families that need to be saving for their childrens’ futures. This makes MOLLY OF DENALI an ideal partner in sharing our message.”

The event included the first public showing of the new PBS children’s animated series based on the life of an Athabascan child living near Denali National Park,and activities for children ages 3-9 and their families.

The UA College Savings Plan worked tirelessly on the red carpet event that gave children a taste of Molly’s life in fictional village of Qyah, Alaska. The lobby of UAF’s Charles W. Davis Concert Hall was filled with multiple kids activity areas and demonstrations. Children decorated a drum, learned an Alaska Native dance taught by the Pavva Iñupiaq Dancers, and shot hoops at a basketball station. The UA Museum of the North hosted a station where children created a plant press and animal tracks poster. There were wood carving and beading demonstrations. A MOLLY OF DENALI themed photo booth was set up. Each child received a MOLLY OF DENALI backpack and a Suki (Molly’s dog) plush dog. 

The UAF Troth Yeddha’ dancers led the audience into the Davis Concert Hall with dancing and drumming. The dancers performed several dances and invited the audience to participate. Before the screening began, the audience heard from the creator of the series, Dorothea Gillim and the creative producer, Princess Daazhraii Johnson.

“It was so much fun to see everyone’s reaction to the two episodes we played. The producers have done a wonderful job of making the show educational in a way that’s both highly entertaining and funny. There were a lot of laughs in the theater during the premiere,” said Oldmixon. “It’s wonderful that so many children commented that they can relate to Molly, and can even see themselves in her, or in her friends. ‘Molly looks like me,’ is something I’ve heard over and over.”

The groundbreaking new PBS KIDS series, MOLLY OF DENALI, will premiere nationwide July 15, 2019 on PBS stations, the 24/7 PBS KIDS channel and locally on KUAC. The UA College Savings Plan is proud to sponsor the new series and its educational mission in Alaska.

MOLLY OF DENALI is the first nationally distributed children’s series to feature a Native American lead character, Molly Mabray, a feisty and resourceful 10-year-old Gwich’in/Koyukon/Dena’ina Athabascan girl. The episodes weave together literacy skills with Alaska Native values, such as respecting others, sharing, and honoring your elders. It showcases contemporary aspects of rural life, including strong female role models and how technology aids in communication.

The series includes Alaska Native voice talent in all aspects of the production, both on camera and behind the scenes. Every Indigenoeus character is voiced by an Indigenous actor, including the lead character of Molly, who is voiced by Alaska Native, Sovereign Bill (Tlingit and Muckleshoot).

WGBH Boston developed
MOLLY OF DENALI with a working group of Alaska Native advisors, including Elders, who advise on many aspects of the show, including culture and languages. Working group members residing in Fairbanks include Adeline Peter Raboff, Dewey Kk’ołeyo Hoffman and Luke Titus.

The UA College Savings Plan is an affordable and tax advantaged savings method that helps families save for future education expenses. For more information visit