The Sitka Fine Arts Camp was founded in 1973 to provide isolated Alaskan communities with little or no youth arts programs exposure and training in the arts. For the majority of our students, SFAC continues to be the only opportunity they have in the State to work with professional artists. Building from its original mission, SFAC has become a nationally acclaimed program serving 1,000 students annually from Alaska and throughout the world.
SFAC has received state and national recognition including the 2008 presidential Coming Up Taller Award and the 2015 Alaska Governor’s Award for Arts Organization of the Year.
In 2011, SFAC was gifted the historic Sheldon Jackson College Campus, which had been closed for four years and was in a state of complete disrepair. SFAC has since overseen one of the most extraordinary grassroots volunteer stories: the revitalization of this National Historic Landmark. Between 2011 and 2015, 1,000 people logged over 45,000 volunteer hours on the campus, demonstrating unprecedented community support and giving SFAC a permanent home. Strong volunteerism and donor support continue, demonstrating the value that Sitka Fine Arts Camp holds for our state.
Having a permanent home has allowed SFAC to grow to serve more Alaskan youth. Since 2011 SFAC has expanded to a summer-long program. In addition, we have expanded to provide year-round arts programs. The campus has become a valuable community resource and a statewide location for arts and education.
How Pick.Click.Give. makes a difference
SFAC is the only multidisciplinary summer arts program in Alaska. We draw diverse and multiethnic students from throughout the State. Our students experience creativity and excellence that leads to self-esteem and lifelong resiliency. We believe all children have the right to experience the arts and we are dedicated to providing access and need-based financial assistance to those who can not attend without that help (27% of our students in summer 2022).
Our programs are taught by over 70 nationally recognized teaching artists from around the country and Alaska. Many of the faculty, staff, and counselors are from Alaska, allowing students to be exposed to and build ties with local artists from around the state and from their own community.
The camp has a huge impact on its students. In the words of one camper: “Before this camp I was unsure if I was serious about art or even good at it, but after this camp I feel like I have something to share with the world. The environment of the camp is reassuring and refreshing because you don’t find many places like this or people like this.”
During Summer 2022, the Sitka Fine Arts Camp welcomed students from 45 Alaskan communities and 22 states. 34% of our students identify as non-white or bi-racial. The Camp is proud of its role in developing community among Alaska’s youth by bringing together students from all over Alaska.
With funds from Pick-Click-Give, Sitka Fine Arts Camp will provide scholarships to make camp possible for all students regardless of their financial circumstances. We are committed to making attendance at the Camp an option for all families regardless of means. In the summer of 2022, we distributed over $140,000 of financial aid. Tuition covers approximately half the total costs associated with our summer programs. Donations, grants, and in-kind support help to subsidize the other half.