Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival

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Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival
Genre music, dance, visual arts, literary arts, healing arts
Dates Last two weeks of July
Location(s) United States Fairbanks, Alaska
Years active 1980-Present
Founded by Jo Ryman Scott, Edward J. Madden
Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival Homepage

The Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival is an annual arts festival held in Fairbanks, Alaska on the campus of University of Alaska Fairbanks. It most commonly occurs in the last two weeks of July. Participants can take part in workshops in classical music, gospel, jazz, bluegrass, World music, opera/musical theatre, dance, visual arts, literary arts, and healing arts. Workshops are geared towards adults of all ability levels.

There are dozens of performances throughout the two weeks of Festival, many of them free. Guest artists are featured on most of the evening concerts early in the Festival, and workshop participants are involved in performances towards the end of Festival. The free Lunch Bites concerts occur every day, and provide performance opportunities for both guest artists and registrants.

The Festival's core purpose is to provide a diverse program that results in personal growth of participants and allows people to become a part of something unique. Prices are affordable, and scholarships/work-study are available. About half of the Festival's budget is supplied by donations, corporate sponsorships, and government grants.


The Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival was founded in April 1980 by Jo Ryman Scott, and Edward J. Madden. The event was originally a Jazz festival. However following the first performance, classical musicians asked to be included. As a result, in 1981, Scott and Madden successfully produced Jazz to Classics, the first two-week summer Festival. In 1982, the name was officially changed to "Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival" due to the addition of dance, opera, theatre, musical theatre and visual arts. Since then, new areas of study have been incorporated into the Festival to meet community demand. Currently, approximately 100 guest artists teach over 100 workshops to approximately 1000 registrants each year.

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Coordinates: 64°51′26″N 147°49′13″W / 64.85722°N 147.82028°W / 64.85722; -147.82028