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
Results: In February 2011, we were given the Sheldon Jackson Campus, a campus whose doors had been shut in 2007. This year we spent more than 15,000 volunteer hours and raised over $250,000 to begin revitalizing the 20 buildings and 20 acres. Our dream is to make a campus thriving in the arts, sciences and culture of Sitka.
Target demographics: Students, from kindergarten through 12th grade, from Alaska and throughout the country.
Direct beneficiaries per year: almost 600 students
Programs: Aase runs the only fine arts camp in alaska, the camp just completed its 40th year. It offered over 70 different multidisciplinary arts classes taught by faculty drawn from prestigious venues across the country. The 2013 camp served over 700 students in three age-divided sessions. Students came from a number of alaskan communities and around the world. In addition, aase manages and staffs the sitka performing arts center. Out- of-town artists and art educators give performances and instruction in the center and in the sitka schools.
hames recreation center is the largest of 20 buildings gifted to aase in 2011. The building allows aase to further its mission of providing arts and recreation to sitka. The facility houses the only community gymnasium in sitka along with workout and training rooms. The fee structure for the use of the facility includes both drop-in and membership rates. There are currently approximately 600 active memberships. Hames recreation center offers a number of programs which emphasis community wellness through physical activity. The center is administered by one paid position and a large number of volunteers including those serving on the administrative comittee.
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.