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Sitka started out in 1970 as a summer camp for kids. While Sitka's workshops evolved by the late 70's to focus on adult learning, Sitka has remained young at heart.
Today in our 50th anniversary year, a year filled with so many unprecedented challenges and in which so many arts organizations are struggling, it is heartening to be able to bring good news to the Sitka community.
After seven months of teamwork, Sitka and Community Arts Project (CAP) are collaborating to transition CAP's youth arts programs to Sitka's stewardship. For over thirty years, CAP has been nurturing the creative lives of kids and families right here in our coastal community. We are honored to be collaborating with CAP's leadership to continue these beloved and impactful school-based youth programs as part of Sitka beginning this fall.
The lead article in this newsletter shares more details about CAP and the transition. Here, I will introduce you, through their own words and insights, to some of the people working creatively to bring this positive solution into being.
"When Sitka reached out to us about the possibility of pooling resources and joining forces, we were thrilled," shares CAP Board President Carol Kearns. "An executive director vacancy and Covid-19 programming hiatus made this the perfect time for our Board to explore new leadership models. This transition will allow all of our good work in the community to continue, and in a more supported way, reducing annual risk and overhead, and opening up the possibility to serve more kids, families and schools in the future."
CAP Board Member and frequent Sitka workshop instructor Lynn Wintermute shares, "Together, these two organizations do so much for our coastal arts and culture ecosystem. The mission alignment runs deep. With CAP's youth programming experience and Sitka's reputation for high-quality adult-learning, it's a perfect fit."
"The melding of the Sitka Center and Community Arts Project is very exciting," shares Nestucca Valley School System Superintendent Misty Wharton. "As a lifetime resident of this community, I know how little exposure the youth of the area have to the arts, and I see this as the vehicle to enrich and diversify their education at a global level."
Superintendent, Misty Wharton of Nestucca Valley School District.
Chad Holloway, Principal of the Nestucca Valley Elementary School, shares, "Community Arts Project is an invaluable source of arts education for the students of Nestucca Valley School District. The addition of the world class resources of Sitka strengthens CAP and ensures its continued success in serving our students."
Former CAP Executive Director and former Sitka Associate Director Kim Cavatorta shares, "CAP's local community of loyal supporters and collaborators will no doubt be as excited as I am to hear that the CAP programs will continue under the solid leadership of Sitka. This new partnership feels like the most natural next step in fulfilling the missions of both groups. I love picturing the CAP weft being woven into Sitka's warp, bringing together two well-known and well-loved organizations to create a strong fabric of support for our community's young artists."
Former Executive director 0f CAP, Kim Cavatorta and her husband Mark.
"Everything our coastal community counts on CAP to do will continue-all of the open-ended learning, creativity and joy," shares Sitka General Manager and former CAP Executive Director, Nicola Harrison. "The next year will be dedicated to ensuring a smooth transition and to partnering closely with participating schools to resume art literacy programming as Covid-19 delivery models for the 2020-2021 school year evolve. I am so proud of the Community Arts Project. I have seen first-hand the creativity and self-esteem art access sparks, and I am overjoyed to see these programs thrive and grow through Sitka."
I hope this news is as uplifting for you as it is for all who have been working to bring this positive solution to fruition. No one has worked harder than Nicola Harrison. Nicola, I can't wait to work alongside you to help increase art education access in our community and nurture the Oregon coast's artists of tomorrow.
Watch for intergenerational opportunities to help launch Sitka's new youth programming in the months ahead.