The Association of King County Historical Organizations – AKCHO – is a leading proponent of King County’s history and heritage activities.  We provide a meeting place of ideas and a forum for the issues that confront museums and heritage organizations. We appreciate your interest and welcome your participation!


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Charles Payton Award for Cultural Advocacy – Tom Ikeda
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Categories: News

Charles Payton Award recipient Tom Ikeda speaks to the crowd at the AKCHO Awards Program.

Ed.note: this is the final piece that spotlights the recipients of the 2017 AKCHO Awards. Special thanks to the Pat Filer, the AKCHO Awards Committee, Judie Romeo, the AKCHO Board, and all of the sponsors (highlighted earlier in Heritage Advisor) who made the Awards Program possible. And congratulations here to Charles Payton Award honoree Tom Ikeda, whose civil rights advocacy today is a reaction to the injustices suffered by his ancestors.

Tom Ikeda is a sansei (third generation Japanese American) who was born and raised in Seattle. Tom’s parents and grandparents were incarcerated during World War II at Minidoka, Idaho. 

Tom had always realized the importance of preserving the stories of the Japanese Americans, like his family members, who had been unjustly removed from their homes and businesses so in 1996 he helped start a new non-profit to digitally preserve and share the personal stories of Japanese Americans who were incarcerated during World War II. They named this project “Densho” which means “to Pass on to the next generation” or “to leave a legacy.” On Densho’s website, there are over 900 in-depth video interviews and 50,000 historic photographs, documents, and newspapers. (more…)


Long-Term Project Award – Friends of Mukai
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Categories: News

Ellen Kritzman accepted the Long-Term Project Award on behalf of Friends of Mukai.

Ed. note: For their work in ensuring the preservation of the Mukai Farmstead and Garden on Vashon Island, the Friends of Mukai were awarded AKCHO’s 2017 Long-Term Project Award.

Just beyond downtown Vashon is a garden and home of that tell the story of Denishiro (B.D.), Sato, and Kuni Mukai.  These young Japanese came to America at the end of the 19th century to build a better future. B.D. arrived in San Francisco in 1895 and moved north after the 1906 earthquake. He married Sato Nakanishi and together they successfully grew and processed strawberries.

Sato died in 1922 and B.D. married her sister Kuni Nakanishi. In 1926 the Mukai family purchased land in their son’s name and in 1930 constructed a house and garden on Vashon Island blending two cultures: a traditional Japanese stroll garden designed by Kuni and a typical suburban American home designed by B.D. (more…)


Technology Award – King County Archives
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Categories: News

Deb Kennedy accepted the 2017 Technology Award on behalf of the King County Archives

Ed. note: The King County Archives was accorded the 2017 AKCHO Technology Award for its online exhibit, “Responding to AIDS: The Seattle King County Department of Public Health, 1982-1996.”

The King County Archives collects, preserves, and provides access to historical records of King County government. Through online exhibits, the Archives seeks to foster appreciation and understanding of King County’s ongoing history and of King County government’s role in the community, as well as to promote public use of its collection for research.

By 1996, over 3,000 people in King County had died of AIDS. Today, in 2017, it may be hard to recall or imagine the level of fear and controversy that surrounded AIDS as it emerged as a major public health crisis. Responding to AIDS: The Seattle King County Department of Public Health, 1982-1996 is an online exhibit that presents the history of the Seattle King County Department of Public Health’s innovative and community-oriented response to the of AIDS epidemic using archival documents, photographs, and graphics, along with excerpts from video-recorded oral history interviews. (more…)


AKCHO Exhibit Award – Historical Society of Federal Way
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Categories: News

Diana Noble-Gulliford, Historical Society of Federal Way president, accepts the 2017 Exhibit Award

Ed. note: the Historical Society of Federal Way was honored with the 2017 AKCHO Exhibit Award for its exhibit, “Celebrate Jazz:  Jackson Street after Hours,” curated by Seattle Times music critic Paul de Barros. Here is the commendation for the exhibit.

“Celebrate Jazz: Jackson Street after Hours” showcased Seattle’s little-known jazz history and the legacy that remains today.  Posters, artwork and photographs by Seattle photographer Al Smith and others tell the story of dozens of jazz performers and the venues that hosted them.  Several local ‘Before they were Famous’ notables are featured, including Bumps Blackwell, Oscar Holden, Ernestine Anderson, Quincy Jones, a left-handed guitar player named Jimi and a keyboard player from Tampa named R.C. Robinson, later known as Ray Charles. (more…)


Oasis – Washington Museum Association annual conference
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Categories: Education

Washington Museum Association
Dates: 6/21-23/2017

The Washington Museum Association will be holding its annual conference in Moses Lake this year, which has inspired the title for this conference – “Oasis.”
For visitors, museums serve as an oasis filled with precious items and inspiring stories. Museums can transport visitors to places far from their everyday surroundings. But for museum professionals, that place of respite can sometimes be a mirage. Hectic deadlines, limited funds, long hours, and public indifference can lead museum workers to search for well-traveled paths through the desert. Thankfully there are sources of support; like desert blooms, museum professionals are finding ways to tap deep into those sources to restore beauty. Click here to register. 




Heritage Advisor is published by the Association of King County Historical Organizations as a service to members and those who support its mission. We update our website continually throughout the month, and on the first of every month we e-mail a condensed version of Heritage Advisor to our mailing list – you can subscribe to this service by filling out the requested information in the right sidebar on this page.

AKCHO was established in 1977 to encourage cooperation among historical organizations; promote and encourage the study and preservation of the history and heritage of King County through member organizations, individual members, and the community they serve; and support such preservation efforts through public awareness and understanding of legislative issues.

The Heritage Advisor welcomes submissions of news items, calendar items, and opinion columns from AKCHO members, HA subscribers, and readers. Articles are limited to 300 words and they should have a strong relevance to historic preservation and heritage issues in King County, Washington. Submission of an article does not guarantee publication. AKCHO does not pay for published submissions. All articles are subject to review by AKCHO staff. Please send your article within the body of an email (no attachments, please) to

AKCHO welcomes new members year round. Individual memberships are $15. Organization memberships are $35. Join more than 150 individuals and organizations supporting heritage work and historic preservation in King County. For more information and an application form, visit


2017 Awards Program

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2017 Annual Awards
Program Invitation



Event Calendar

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AKCHO was established to encourage cooperation among historical organizations and to promote and encourage the study and preservation of the history and heritage of King County through member organizations, individual members, and the community they serve, and to support such preservation efforts through public awareness and understanding of legislative issues.

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Association of King County
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P.O. Box 3257
Seattle, WA 98114

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