ALASKA ARTS SOUTHEAST INC

Rating: 4.89 stars   18 reviews

Issues: Arts & Culture

Location: PO Box 3086 Sitka AK 99835 USA

Mission: To provide Alaska youth with the opportunity to develop personal artistic interests and skills in an intensive artistic experience through stimulating, high quality, professional instruction in visual arts, music, dance, theater, writing and Alaska Native Arts

2011 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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Community Reviews

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Rating: 5 stars  

I moved to Sitka in the summer of 1975, about a week before the start of what I believe was the second year of the camp. For those two weeks, and for two weeks out of the next three years, I met friends that I would have for the rest of my life, and learned an incredible amount in an incredibly short amount of time. I can safely say that Fine Arts Camp changed my life. Without it, I could very well have gone in a different direction, and would've missed out on some precious memories. Thank you SFAC!!

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How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Life-changing

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

1997

Rating: 5 stars  

SFAC Changed my life. For the better. I'll have to look back and review, and I hope SFAC got on the list of top non-profits, cause they deserve it, but I think everyone must have had the same words. SFAC changed my life, and was life for so many of the people I met there. Many of my closest friends are still the people I met nine years ago at SFAC. I knew many middle and high school kids who survived isolation and alienation in their small communities for 50 weeks a year because they knew for 2 weeks a year they would be held up, supported, loved, and accepted. Young students with not much going for them would spend the year seeking out and writing grants, asking for the support of local businesses, and working every job they could find all year to send themselves to camp for those precious two weeks. SFAC is a place where young people thrive. My artistic inspiration and life inspiration still draws so strongly from my experiences at SFAC years ago - when I am feeling not-so-artistic or inspired, I think back to my time there and the words from my instructors and friends and feel a wave of inspiration, motivation, encouragement, and dreams. Those two weeks a year did more for my art than the years of classes I have taken since. Thank you so much to SFAC and all the people who make it up! I am so glad it is back at SJ campus where all my happiest memories thrive, and flourish. SFAC is a breath of fresh air in the stress of youth and life. I would not be who I am today without SFAC. If every week was like those two weeks, the world would be a radically different place and we could accomplish anything.

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I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I'm not sure what I'm supposed to put for this question. As I wrote above, I experience the results of this organization every day of my life as I see beauty and connect with friends.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

...not know what to say. It's back on it's own property and working hard to make that campus the best it can be. I wish I had a million dollars and a million hours to donate, but I know they have so much love. I wish everyone could feel what I felt and spend a couple weeks of their teen years being so filled. I wish I could keep going to camp and feeling that magic.

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Life-changing

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

How did you find this group?

Friend recommended. Friends parents went in youth and grew up to be involved as staff.

What, if any, change in your life has this group encouraged?

Every day. Read above. Friends, inspiration, and beauty. Surviving teen years.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2006

Rating: 5 stars  

My first experience with Sitka Fine Arts Camp was as a camper back in the '70's. Each summer I spent 2 weeks in intense training and exploration in my chosen art courses. I had small classes led by professional artists. I bonded with other kids who, like me, heard a different drummer. It was magical. My kids became campers during this past decade. They received the same kind of high quality, compassionate and just plain FUN arts experiences that I did. I know that they learned more about who they are, what they want and where they are going. They learned to take risks, to overcome challenges and to explore with passion. They learned through the examples of their teachers and counselors, to be respectful and supportive of other explorers. All three of my grown childeren are bettter people for having attended.
I believe that the arts are an integral part of education. The arts help to foster creative and indepent thought. They help teach communication and adaptability. In a world that is changing at an inconceivable rate, these are the traits are most sought after by businesses, the most capable leaders. Sitka Fine Arts Camp is growing artists, but more importantly, it is growing great people.

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Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of board members?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

Rating: 5 stars  

I attended SFAC as a camper from ages 12 to 17, as an intern at 18 and a councilor at age 19. Basically, I grew up in this wonderful artistic environment. Each year I attended I learned more and more about my art, my life and myself. The teachers are the best in their field and they have an invested interest in their students. I honestly would not be the person or artist I am today without this camp.

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I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

my everyday life

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

make the camp have longer sessions.

Rating: 5 stars  

It's hard to describe how great it feels to walk into a building that had been boarded up and left to rot and now see kids prepping for mask making class.
The abandoned campus in the middle of our town is now the home of The Sitka Fine Arts Camp, where kids from Alaska and all over the states come for 5 weeks of amazing arts.
I feel fortunate to be a board member of this organization, where daily I can see the positive changes that have taken place in our community. Thanks for allowing me to share my story!

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Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 4 stars  

I had the privilege of teaching keyboard classes and accompanying voice and choir classes for three summers at the SFAC High School Camp. The students come eager to learn and to interact with each other and the faculty and counselors.

One of the unique aspects of the camp is the opportunity for students to not only pursue their particular interest but to experience and try other disciplines in the arts and see how those compliment and enhance the training they've already received.

The evening Art Shares programs showcase faculty and student talent both individually and in groups. This develops a camaraderie amongst the camp participants that draws them back each year to continue learning in a postive supportive atmosphere. SFAC embraces students of any skill level and seeks to build them from where they are.

The beautiful setting in Sitka just adds to the asthetic experience.

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I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Since I lived in Sitka for over 4 years I had a chance to know families and students of all ages from the community and saw first hand how SFAC contributed towards their appreciation of the arts.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

If I would make changes to SFAC, I would hope to make more scholarship money available to gifted students who do not have the opportunity to attend because of finances.

Rating: 5 stars  

I attended Sitka Fine Arts Camp as a young adult and I think it was one of the most valuable experiences I have had to date. This camp helped me develop my artistic abilities and build confidence more in the two weeks I had the privilege of attending every summer than my whole year at school and in other programs. I owe so much of myseld to those who continually support and recognize this camp as the invaluable asset that it is.

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I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Successfully directing, writing, and acting in my own five minute solo theater piece, in the short time span of two weeks.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Make the camp longer.

Rating: 5 stars  

My daughter will be attending her fourth year of mini-camp in the spring of 2012. Because of the hard work and dedication of Alaska Arts Southeast (AASE) staff, board members, volunteers and financial donors, she will be attending camp on the historic Sheldon Jackson campus, the original home of Sitka Fine Arts Camp.

Since we live in Sitka, we are lucky enough to benefit directly not only from the presence of Sitka Fine Arts Camp, but from the Sheldon Jackson Campus rejuvenation project AASE has taken on. In the last 9 months, AASE has turned a boarded up eyesore back in to a welcoming, vibrant educational facility.

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I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

watching the Sheldon Jackson campus once again become a valuable asset the the community of Sitka. Observing SFAC provide youth with the opportunity to develop personal artistic interests and skills through high quality, professional instruction in the arts.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Have the money to hire more staff so AASE depended less on volunteer efforts.

Rating: 5 stars  

Both of my children attend Fine Arts Camp in Sitka and love every minute of camp. I have volunteered on the campus and am excited to see the changes being made in our community through Sitka Fine Arts camp taking over the historical Sheldon Jackson College Campus.

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Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

Rating: 5 stars  

I came to SFAC this year for the first time on a scholarship. I loved all the different instruments we could play and all the help from the pros who assisted us and helped us gain more knowledge.. the sky was the limit for us, the campus was my mom and aunties old college and we stayed in their dorms. It was great, the town and scenery is breathtaking... I am coming back next year with my brother.. tyvm SFAC I had a blast

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I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

learning more about my trumpet playing and now guitar

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

better food... allergic to most that was served.. thanks mom for mcdonalds.. lol

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