Sitka Fine Arts Camp

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Sitka Fine Arts Camp
Richard Allen Memorial Hall.jpg
Sheldon Jackson College's Richard Allen Memorial Hall
Location Sitka, Alaska, United States
Coordinates 57°03′07″N 135°21′06″W / 57.0519°N 135.3517°W / 57.0519; -135.3517Coordinates: 57°03′07″N 135°21′06″W / 57.0519°N 135.3517°W / 57.0519; -135.3517
Type Drive In

Sitka Fine Arts Camp is a nationally-recognized fine arts summer camp located in Sitka, Alaska. The camp was established in 1973 at Sheldon Jackson College. It used other locations in the years that followed before acquiring the historic Sheldon Jackson College buildings and campus in 2011.[1][2] It took almost four years for a USDA Rural Development loan to be transferred from the college to the camp because of a "maze of paperwork," but it was done in 2013.[3]

Sheldon Jackson College in the summer of 1991 in a Historic American Buildings Survey photograph[4]

The college was established in 1878 and was the oldest institution of higher learning in Alaska. The camp enrolled approximately 700 in 2013 and offerings have expanded to include a circus program. Adult programs such as a Native Jazz Workshop and the Sitka Arts and Science Institute are also offered and have included artists such as Jason Marsalis.[5]


Founded in 1973, Sitka Fine Arts Camp is a multi-disciplinary arts camp featuring the dramatic arts, music, literary arts, visual arts (ceramics, painting, drawing, sculpture, mask making, photography, video production, Alaska Native arts), and dance. The camp features four separate sessions: "mini camp" (fifth grade and below), middle school camp, high school camp, and a musical theatre camp for high school and college students. Each session culminates in final performances and visual art exhibits. The camp was founded at the Sheldon Jackson College campus, moved to the University of Alaska Southeast/Mt. Edgecumbe High School campus in the 1980s, switched back to Sheldon Jackson College in the 1990s, returned to the Mt. Edgecumbe High School campus in 2006, and in 2011, after the bankruptcy of Sheldon Jackson College and the transfer of its campus to the Fine Arts Camp's parent organization, Alaska Arts Southeast, Inc., the camp returned to the SJ campus.[2][6] In 2013 the United States Department of Agriculture approved the transfer of two USDA-funded buildings on the campus to Alaska Arts Southeast,[3][7] and the campus is undergoing continuing renovation activities.[8][9][10]


  • In 2004, was selected by the National Endowment for the Arts as one of ten exceptional summer arts programs in the country.[11]
  • In 2004, camp executive director Roger Schmidt was awarded the 2004 Alaska Governor's Award for Arts Education.[12]
  • In 2005, was selected by the National Endowment for the Arts as one of 25 exceptional summer arts programs in the country.[12]
  • In 2007 received the Coming Up Taller Award from the President's Committee on Arts and Humanities at a ceremony with First Lady, Laura Bush at the White House.

Notable faculty[edit]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ Will Swagel, "Alaska Arts Southeast: thriving Sitka cultural community." Alaska Business Monthly, July 1, 2011  – via HighBeam Research (subscription required)
  2. ^ a b College gives campus to Sitka Fine Arts Camp by Shannon Haugland December 26, 2012 Daily Sitka Sentinel (article hosted on newsminer)
  3. ^ a b "Sitka Fine Arts Camp Sorts Out USDA Loan", Daily Sitka Sentinel, June 14, 2013.
  4. ^ "Sheldon Jackson College, Lincoln Street, Sitka, Sitka Borough, AK". Historic American Buildings Survey. Library of Congress. Retrieved 2011-07-08. 
  5. ^ New summer programs boost Sitka Fine Arts Camp enrollment by Robert Woolsey, KCAW, January 22, 2014.
  6. ^ Katie Moritz, "Sheldon Jackson College given new life: Sitka campus is being restored by arts organization", Juneau Empire, December 4, 2013.
  7. ^ "Administrator Approves Alaska College Student Center Transfer to Fine Arts Group", USDA, July 25, 2013,
  8. ^ Mike Dunham, "Alaska arts groups celebrate more than $1 million in grants", Anchorage Daily News, June 12, 2012.
  9. ^ Ed Ronco, "Sitka campus gets $500K from Alabama donor", KCAW, September 21, 2012.
  10. ^ "Donation made to finish Allen Hall in Sitka", Associated Press in The Gadsden Times, May 10, 2014.
  11. ^ Archived from the original on June 15, 2006. Retrieved August 3, 2006.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  12. ^ a b Archived from the original on June 24, 2006. Retrieved August 3, 2006.  Missing or empty |title= (help)