Sitka Fest Wrap-Up


Sitka Fest has been in full swing all summer and is now winding down. Over forty public events have passed in a blur of activity. Last week, when Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori toured campus, I described Sitka Fest as a remarkable collection of events created by a diverse range of campus partners. I pointed to various buildings to make my point. “The Sitka Summer Music Festival is there in Stevenson, Island Institute over by Yaw Chapel, Sitka Sound Science Center down in the Deco building, the octagon building there is the SJ museum, oldest building here, fine arts camp takes place all over…”  “It’s a Chautauqua,” she said. “Remember the 19th century tradition of folks getting together to make shift tent revival meetings to hear concerts, study literature and sing together?” Exactly right. She got the spirit of our collective endeavor exactly right.


Sitka Summer Music Festival musicians play a special concert for Elementary Fine Arts Campers.

It is always a bittersweet to finish up a festival, like the end of a ten-week party! So let’s look at the humorous side of things. Below is a shorthand guide to Sitka Fest lingo, so when you come to campus, you’ll what everyone’s talking about:

Bach’s Lunch—a free Sitka Summer Music Festival lunchtime concert.

Art Shares—Free, nightly performances by faculty and students held during Sitka Fine Arts Camp.

JOWF (jou-f)—Jazz on the Waterfront, a benefit dinner and concert featuring a 20-piece big band.

SFAC (ess-FAK)–Sitka Fine Arts Camp.

ZB Bach—Code for “Zuill Bailey is giving an impromptu recital of Bach cello suites, get seats quick.”

Island Resiliency—The Island Institute’s annual gathering of writers.

Native Jazz—Concerts and worships celebrating the “native” in all of us.

Dee Daniels—the greatest jazz singer of her generation is HERE.

TEDx—Brief talks on “ideas worth spreading.” Google TEDxSitka.

The Fellows—An immensely talented group of Sitka Fellows, all under-30, in residence on campus for two months.

Work Crew—Interns that arrive in July to work on restoring the campus.

Seafood Fest—The biggest party of the summer, fish head toss anyone?

Paths—Paths Across the Pacific, scientists and scholars coming together to debate if and how humans migrated across the world’s oceans

Seussical—The musical performed by the Musical Theater Camp. Last year it was “Birdie.”

See you next year.

-Paul Cox, Director of Sitka Fest


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