Sitka Arts & Science Festival


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about THe festival

JULY 28 - AUGUST 2, 2019 - Registration begins January 1

The arts and sciences come together where human expression and understanding meet. Immerse yourself in an intensive workshop in the mornings and experience our wilderness through guided excursions in the afternoons. Be inspired and provoked by nightly concerts and  lectures.

Perched at the edge of a wilderness, nestled in one of the most exquisite and vibrant small communities in the world, the Sitka Arts & Science Festival explores what it means to be human against the immensity of forest, ocean, and mountains in Sitka, Alaska.

We describe our experience of the world in myriad ways— through story, song, dance, music, painting, 

sculpture in the arts; through mathematics, physics, chemistry, biology, astronomy, natural history in the sciences.

These artistic and scientific forms of expression use creativity, observation, and experimentation to help us tell one another about what we see and know and feel. 

This is what lies at the heart of the Sitka Arts and Science Festival. lt offers opportunities for reflection and engagement that reawaken our sense of ourselves in relationship to the world around us and refresh our thinking about how to live our lives.

Join us. Reclaim your capacity for wonder and imagination.


2019 Workshops — Coming Soon

Choose 1 workshop for the week. Workshops run Monday, July 29 - Friday, August 2, 2019




Workshop details for 2019 coming soon


2019 Excursions — Coming Soon



Sitka Sound is home to the greatest variety of wildlife in Southeast Alaska from sea otters to whales, sea lions, porpoises, harbor seals, brown bears, blacktail deer, puffins, bald eagles and more! Scattered with over 200 islands, Sitka Sound is full of history and culture as well as wildlife. View the geology of the islands, scout for humpback whales, and laugh at the antics of a sea otter. Dress warmly and bring a rainproof jacket to wear on the observation deck. Binoculars, coffee, tea, and hot chocolate are provided on this 2 hour tour of the waters and islands of Sitka Sound. Captained by Allen Marine Tours of Alaska, a multi-year winner of Shore Excursion of the Year, the waterjet-driven tour vessel is designed to navigate Southeast Alaska’s narrow island passages, allowing for wildlife viewing at close range. The vessel features a warm cabin with comfortable seating, large windows, galley and restrooms.  There is an expansive topside observation deck for unparalleled photo opportunities and to fully experience your quest with all your senses. Experienced Naturalist, Mary Boose has a deep understanding and enthusiasm for the wildlife and people who call the land and waters around Sitka home. Sharing both natural history and local lore, Mary will guide guests on an adventure packed with species identification, creature anecdotes, and stories of the people who have carved a life out of this wild place. She loves sharing the richness of Sitka with passengers.

More excursion details coming soon.



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The Uncommon Music Festival is dedicated to breaking the boundaries of standard concert repertoire with performances of early music, contemporary music, and under-performed repertoire from any age, bringing together young artists and curious audiences in an intimate setting. Each night, musicians will present solo and chamber pieces featuring vocalists, guitar and piano. Afternoon open rehearsals are a great time to listen and learn more about the music-making process as well as ask questions. In keeping with their dedication to new music, musicians will perform the work by the winner of their composition competition, as well as a new commission by Alaskan composer Conrad Winslow.  More information can be found at


“I’m deeply grateful for the Sitka Fine Arts Camp’s wonderfully meaty Arts and Science Festival. I participated both of the first two years, drawn by the conjunction of arts and science. Year one, I never imagined being able to create a salmon skin basket in the five short days, with Athabaskan elder Audrey Armstrong’s careful guidance in her fish skin sewing workshop. Year two I was in more familiar territory with a writing workshop, but under the direction of thúy lë, a particularly insightful teacher, I found myself creating work that had been out of reach and now was not. And while the workshops were the heart of the Festival for me, the evening faculty talks offered more fresh perspectives that broadened and deepened the whole experience. Not to mention the stunningly beautiful setting that Sitka, Alaska offers and the opportunities to surround myself with that wild country. I came away feeling vibrantly alive and awake and curious, refreshed and grateful. I would attend again in a heartbeat.”

-Carolyn Servid



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Frequently Asked Questions

Who should attend the workshops?

You! This program is for people who want an authentic experience of southeast Alaska and are interested in the creative arts and natural world. You do not need a background in science or art to attend, just an open mind and a willingness to try new things or hone your skills in a particular area. Some of the workshops in the festival require walking and light hiking. If you have limited mobility, please contact us to discuss which workshop will be a good fit for you.

What should I bring?

  • Layered clothing for cool days and chilly nights

  • Warm clothes for sleeping (our dormitories are unheated)

  • Good rain gear (waterproof jacket and rain or hiking boots)

  • Hats (for sun and cold)

  • Sturdy shoes or hiking boots

  • Refillable water bottle or thermos

  • Sunscreen

  • Personal items: alarm clock, soap, shampoo and other toiletries, etc.

  • Small backpack or bag

  • Journal, personal art supplies, camera, and/or binoculars depending on how you would like to get the most out of festival experience and your free time

What will the weather be like?

Sitka can have rain for days on end or the sun can shine for an entire month straight, so be prepared for both extremes. Summer temperatures range from 40-80 degrees, with the average in the 50s.

Will I need to bring my own supplies?

Most supplies will be provided. Please see the supply list for your specific course. 

Is Sitka the wilderness? Will I be safe?

Sitka is a town of 9,000 situated on the outer coast of Baranof Island. While we are close to wilderness, Sitka is very safe. The campus sits next to Crescent Harbor,  and is a 5-10 minute walk from the center of town and the nearest grocery store.

Can I get a refund?

Registration cancelled by June 1, will be refunded the full amount, less the deposit. Refunds will be not be granted after June 1

What is included in the price?

Festival pricing is a menu of options based on the experiences that work best for you. Workshop tuition includes all scheduled workshop time, access to the evening lecture series and receptions, and lunch on Sunday. The Excursion package includes all 3 excursions. Housing and meal packages offer economical options for a stay on our campus. Meals can also be purchased independently at the door of the dining hall or as a week package, depending on which meals you'd like to attend. Legally Blond is a ticketed event. All other evening events are open to the public with a $5 suggested donation.

Can I come for just part of the week?

No. Workshop curriculum is based on full participation so classes are designed to be attended all 5 days. 

What about dietary restrictions?

Meals at the festival are served buffet style in the dining hall. Vegetarian and vegan options are available and there is a salad bar. Cooks are happy to accommodate most dietary restrictions. If you have extensive dietary needs, please reach out to us in advance.  

Can someone stay with me who is not participating in the festival?

Yes. Guests may be added to your room package and eat in the dining hall for an additional fee. Contact our office to make arrangements for your guest.

More questions? Call the Sitka Fine Arts Camp office: 907-747-3085 or email


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Our Campus

The Sitka Arts and Science Festival is located on the historic Sheldon Jackson Campus in the picturesque coastal community of Sitka, Alaska. Spectacular views of the surrounding ocean and mountains, as well as easy access to the nearby trails, provide an ideal setting for a relaxing and engaging experience. Dormitories, dining hall, classrooms, art studios, and the Hames Center, a gym and wellness center, are all located on site. Throughout the year, dozens of events and programs are hosted on campus. In addition to the Sitka Fine Arts Camp, the campus is home to the Hames Center, Sitka Sound Science Center, Sheldon Jackson Museum, and Sitka Summer Music Festival. Sitka National Historical Park is our next door neighbor.


Sitka Fine Arts Camp provides clean and modest lodging options for an economical stay in Sitka. Lodging is available on a first-come, first-served beginning the night of Friday, July 26, 2019 and ending the morning of Monday, August 5th, 2019. Smoking and pets are not permitted in any Sitka Fine Arts Camp housing. The campus is a smoking & drug-free campus.

Complimentary airport shuttles are provided for all guests staying on campus who arrive and depart on official program arrival and departure days.

If you prefer luxury accommodations, see for lodging options or call (907) 747-8604.

Sweetland Hall Dormitory

Sweetland Hall is our largest co-ed dormitory that was originally home to students at Sheldon Jackson College. The rooms and bathrooms have been recently renovated. Bedrooms are equipped with 2 twin beds or 1 king size bed. There are 2 shared, single-sex bathrooms on each floor along with coin-operated washers and dryers. Food is not allowed in the dormitory. Bedding and towels are provided for guests. Guest should plan on bringing their own toiletries and hairdryers. Phones are not available in the dormitory or rooms. Most cell phone providers have service in Sitka.

Housing Options (dining hall meals included)

  • Two-person room:  2019 pricing coming soon for a 2-­person shared room, 2 twin beds or 1 king bed, shared bathroom on hall + 2 meal plans

  • One-person room:  2019 pricing coming soon for a 1-­person private room, 1 king bed, shared bathroom on hall + 1 meal plan

Please Note: Prices include 6% sales tax and 6% bed tax.

Guests should indicate twin or king bed preference and roommate requests at the time of registration.


Freshly prepared meals are served in our campus dining hall. Both vegetarian and meat-­based options are available at each meal. We do our best to offer a variety of vegan, gluten free, and vegetarian options at meals, though we are unable to guarantee that all options will be present at all meals. We encourage those with specific dietary needs to call our office for more information (907-747-3085) or book off­-campus accommodations that have facilities where you can prepare your own meals. Meals are included with the housing reservation. Meals can also be purchased at the dining hall if a meal plan is not included as part of your registration package. Meals are non-refundable.

Individual Meal prices

  • Breakfast – $13

  • Lunch – $13

  • Dinner – $17

Please note that the dining hall menu items may contain allergens such as milk (dairy), eggs, fish, shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, wheat (gluten) and soybeans, and there may be a risk of contamination or cross-contact.


Standard Arrival is on Sunday, July 28 by 3pm; Standard departure is anytime on Saturday, August 3. Lodging is available for early arrivals beginning Friday July 26 through extended departures on Monday, August 5.

Alaska Airlines, Delta Airlines, and the Alaska Marine Highway are the primary modes of travel to and from Sitka. We recommend making airline or ferry reservations early as flights do fill up. Alaska Airlines offers a 5% discount using a discount code. The 2019 discount code is coming soon.

Sitka Fine Arts Camp offers complimentary shuttle service to and from the Sitka airport or ferry terminal on all program arrival and departure dates for students who are booked for campus lodging. Shuttle service for additional guests on program arrival and departure days is $15. 



  • Two-person room:  2019 pricing coming soon for a 2-­person shared room, 2 twin beds or 1 king bed, shared bathroom on hall + 2 meal plans

  • One-person room:  2019 pricing coming soon for a 1-­person private room, 1 king bed, shared bathroom on hall + 1 meal plan

Extend your stay through Sunday August 4th to explore Sitka on your own by day and experience world-class music by night. Depart Monday, August 5th. The weekend features multiple performances by musicians of the Uncommon Music Festival. 2019 activities coming soon.

The extension package includes lodging on Saturday and Sunday nights, meal service in the dining hall, and shuttle service to the Sitka airport or ferry terminal on Monday, August 5th. All Uncommon Music Festival Events are provided to the public free of charge.

Prices include 6% sales tax and 6% bed tax.

Special Requests

Our goal is to meet your needs. Let us know if you have physical limitations for walking, stairs, vision, etc. or if we can help make your stay more comfortable.

Pets and service animals

Pets are not allowed at Sitka Fine Arts Camp. If you must bring your pet, please ask us about alternative lodging options. Sitka Fine Arts Camp complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Any student who plans to bring a service animal must notify the Sitka Fine Arts Camp Office (907-747-3085) at the time of registration, at which time we may ask if the service animal is required because of a disability and what work or task the service animal has been trained to do. A service animal must be under the handler’s control at all times, and the handler is expected to clean up after the service animal. If dorm housing is requested, a fee will be charged should there be any damage to the room. For more information, click here.









2019 Schedule — details coming soon 

(Subject to change)

Friday July 26

  • Early Participant Arrivals

Saturday July 27

  • Early Participant Arrivals

Sunday july 28

  • Participant Arrival

  • 4:30pm Reception

  • 7pm Festival Welcome

monday july 29

  • 8:30-Noon Workshops for registered participants

Tuesday July 30

  • 8:30-Noon Workshops for registered participants

Wednesday July 31

  • 8:30-Noon Workshops for registered participants

Thursday August 1

  • 8:30-Noon Workshops for registered participants

Friday August 2

  • 8:30-Noon Workshops for registered participants

  • 7-8:30 pm Festival Reception with participant work

Saturday August 3

  • Participant Departure

  • Uncommon Music Festival Weekend Extension Package. Visit Your Stay for details.

Sunday August 4

  • Uncommon Music Festival Weekend Extension Package. Visit Your Stay for details.

Monday August 5

  • Extension package departure day

Campus Map





T: 907-747-3085 (Sitka Fine Arts Camp office)

E: office(at)

M: P.O. Box 3086, Sitka, AK 99835

Please contact Festival Director Kenley Jackson with any questions. 


Build a festival package that fits your interests:

  • Workshop Tuition: 2019 pricing coming soon

  • Campus Housing Options (Includes meals):

    • Two-person room:  2019 pricing coming soon for a 2-­person shared room, 2 twin beds or 1 king bed, shared bathroom on hall + 2 meal plans

    • One-person room:  2019 pricing coming soon for a 1-­person private room, 1 king bed, shared bathroom on hall + 1 meal plan

  • Excursion Package (includes 3 excursions): 2019 pricing coming soon

  • Musical tickets: $20

  • The public is invited to evening lectures and there is a $5 suggested donation.

  • Meals can be purchased individually at the dining hall or as a package by calling the office.

  • Uncommon Music Festival Weekend Extension Package (Includes full meal plan):

    • Two-person room: 2019 pricing coming soon for a 2-­person shared room, 2 twin beds or 1 king bed, shared bathroom on hall + 2 meal plans

    • One-person room:  2019 pricing coming soon for a 1-­person private room, 1 king bed, shared bathroom on hall + 1 meal plan

    • Visit Your Stay for more details.

Please Note: The Campus Housing & Extension Package prices include 6% sales tax and 6% bed tax. 


  1. REGISTER for workshops, excursions, housing & meals, beginning January 1, 2019. A non-refundable deposit required.

  2. Pay your tuition balance by May 1, 2019

  3. Complete your travel form by June 1, 2019 (only required for guests staying in campus housing.) 

Refund Policy: Registration cancelled by June 1 will be refunded the full amount, less the non-refundable deposit. Refunds will be not be granted after June 1.