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Sitka Center for Art and Ecology e-Newsletter

September 2008 - Vol 3, Issue 10


  • Notes from the Director
  • "Hello," from Jalene Case, New Program Manager
  • When was the last time you had a talk with Mother Nature?
  • A Perfect Marriage of Science and Art
  • Enchanted Evening

Notes from the Director


What a summer this has been! We have had our busiest and most financially successful workshop season in Sitka's History with 723 people attending 69 classes so far. And we still have 8 terrific classes in September (and Mushroom Hunting in October) so the season isn't over yet.

We hired a remarkable new program manager (Jalene Case) who brings a high level of organizational expertise to pick up where Laura Young left off - adding strength and diversity to the workshop and residency program. Jalene has jumped in and is already a valuable part of Sitka's team.

Rebecca Welti, our workshop coordinator has won a legion of fans with her graceful care of the workshops. In her spare moments she has cleaned, polished, and painted the studios, bringing back a shine that reflects well on the gem that is Sitka. We will miss her severely when she leaves at the end of September to return to her home in Meyer's Chuck, Alaska.

Mindy Chaffin, our summer office assistant, not only provides deft assistance in running our tiny office, but she has been spending much of her personal time crafting plates for our Harvest Dinner. She is also making stylish new coffee mugs for our future workshop participants. Mindy will be leaving in October, but will come back to help out with the Art Invitational in November.

When I consider the masterful coordination that Molly Sue Champion provides every day in handling workshop registrations, processing our financial transactions, and answering the wide variety of questions that come through our doors, I have to marvel at how she gets it all done. For many, Molly is the voice and face of Sitka (although she declined have her photo in this article:-) and her contributions led us to have "Molly Day" on Friday August 29th.

Laura Young has now transitioned from being our full- time program manager to contracting with Sitka as we pursue a variety of grant opportunities. Laura's understanding of Sitka and her concise writing style strengthen our grant requests as we talk to foundations and donors about building Sitka's future. We are excited to continue to use her skills even after her move to Toledo, Oregon.

We have had an amazing team these past four months.

To celebrate our summer successes, we are hosting a harvest dinner and raffle on September 20. This is our chance to savor the end of summer and anticipate the arrival of our new Sitka residents whom you will find profiled later this month. We invite you to come and dine with us on the Sitka Campus and take a shot at winning some delicious art from our art collection. The proceeds from this dinner and the art raffle go directly to support our workshop and residency programs.

I am excited to announce that Sitka received several significant contributions in the last month. The Siletz Tribal Charitable Contribution Fund awarded us $5300 to purchase new computers for the office staff. You should have seen the smile when Molly started using her shiny new iMac. "It's so fast!" she exclaimed. We also received $5000 from the Oregon Arts Commission and the National Endowment for the Arts. Their contribution supported Sitka's general operations, a very hard area for fundraising, but critical for our ongoing success. And we received contributions from individuals that varied in size from $20 to $100,000. We are tremendously grateful for your support at every level. Many people volunteer their time; some have provided thousands of dollars in in-kind support; others have given financially. Together we create the environment to nurture Sitka's future success.

As the daylight grows shorter, the mornings crisper, and the workshops begin to wind down, we look forward to the fall. Residents will arrive in October, the Art Invitational is gearing up for November and we begin planning for next year. Please send us a note to tell us about your Sitka experience. Good or bad, we want to know about your experiences, your impressions, and your hopes for what Sitka can become. Send your thoughts to mindychaffin@sitkacenter.org and we will post them online.


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Sitka Center for Art and Ecology, PO Box 65, Otis, OR 97368 PH: (541) 994–5485. FX: (541) 994-8024 Web: www.sitkacenter.org; Email: info@sitkacenter.org