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Playwright Spirit Trickey named new chief of interpretation at Seattle’s Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park

Post by Craig Hill / The News Tribune on Oct. 19, 2012 at 7:09 am with No Comments »
October 19, 2012 7:09 am

From a statement released this morning by the National Park Service:

Spirit Trickey has been selected as the new chief of interpretation for Klondike Gold Rush NHP’s Seattle Unit.

Spirit began working for the NPS as a park guide in 2002 and later was an interpretive ranger and then chief of interpretation at Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site in Little Rock, Arkansas. While there, she served as public information officer, media specialist, interpreter, volunteer and special events coordinator, community outreach lead, guest lecturer, author, and liaison for local, national and international media.

Spirit was awarded the Freeman Tilden award in 2010 for establishing the park’s Youth Leadership Academy (YLA). The purpose of the YLA is to train young leaders at the historic site and to promote volunteerism, nonviolence, youth empowerment and stewardship for the National Park Service.

Spirit is one of ten Americans who won the “Ticket to History” essay contest (with over 250,000 submissions) to witness the inauguration of President Barack Obama and attend the Inaugural Ball. She was recently named one of the “Top 100 History Makers in the Making” by and featured on NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams.

Spirit is the playwright of “One Ninth,” an exploration of human dignity and racial conflict as seen through the eyes of Minnijean Brown Trickey, one of the Little Rock Nine who desegregated Little Rock Central High School in 1957, who is Spirit’s mother. The Arkansas Repertory Theatre selected “One Ninth” for the playwright development program for emerging African American and Latino playwrights, “Voices at the River.” The theater also sponsored a statewide residency tour of “One Ninth” across the state of Arkansas. Over 15,000 students and members of the community were engaged with the play through interactive workshops, performances and community discussions.

Spirit was born Ontario, Canada. She lived in Washington D.C. and later moved to Little Rock, where she lived for about a decade before her move to Seattle to join the team at Klondike Gold Rush. Spirit received a B.A. in mass communications from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock and her master’s degree from the Clinton School of Public Service. Her international public service project at the Clinton School was with the South African education and environment project in Cape Town, South Africa.

The past ten years at Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site have been especially important to her because of her personal connection to the story.

“I have made meaningful friendships while learning about our interconnected American histories,” she said. “I will miss my park family, but I am enthusiastic about the next chapter in my National Park Service career, to have the opportunity to begin a new experience to learn about the people who struggled and triumphed during the gold rush.”

Spirit arrived in Seattle this week and is already hard at work — deeply immersed in the park’s history, projects, and partnerships.


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