Who We Are

 

The mission of Alaska Arts Southeast Inc., better known as the Sitka Fine Arts Camp, is to build community in Alaska by providing opportunities in arts, culture and recreation in an inclusive, educational and inspirational environment.

ROGER SCHMIDT, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
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Roger Schmidt has been the Executive Director of Sitka Fine Arts Camp (Alaska Arts Southeast, Inc.) since 2000. During this time, the summer program has grown from a two week camp serving 40 adolescent students to a ten week program serving 1,000 students ages five to adult. In 2010, Roger negotiated the donation of the historic Sheldon Jackson School which had closed its doors in 2007. Subsequently, he has overseen the restoration of the campus by harnessing the support of thousands of volunteers and donors. Under Roger’s leadership, the Camp has grown to include a year long arts advocacy program that offers a performing arts series, a statewide teacher training institute, after school arts classes for all ages, and a vibrant young performer’s theater program. In addition, the Campus has become an important part of the economic future of Sitka as a home for many conferences and conventions.

Roger grew up in Sitka and attended the Sitka Fine Arts Camp as a student from 1980-1984. The arts have been a central part of Roger’s life. He graduated from Oberlin College and Conservatory with degrees in philosophy and trombone performance with additional music studies at the Aspen Music Festival, Pierre Monteux School and internationally in London and at the Bruckner Conservatory in Austria. As a musician he has worked in the San Francisco Bay area as well as toured throughout Alaska and other parts of the United States.

Roger is also an avid traveler and adventurer. His trips have included a 3-month solo kayak trip from Vancouver B.C. to Sitka, Alaska, a kayak crossing of the Bering Strait, a Patagonia Ice-Cap ski crossing, and a year-long sailing trip from Siberia to Uruguay. He is the 2004 recipient of the Governor’s Award for Arts Education and in 2007, under his direction, the Camp received the Coming Up Taller Award at the White House. In 2012, he was inducted into the Alaska Hall of Fame and received the Sitka Arts Advocate of the Year award. Roger is also a fellow of the National Arts Strategies’ Chief Executive Program and a graduate of the Aspen Executive Seminar.

KENLEY JACKSON, PROGRAM DIRECTOR

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Kenley Jackson has been working at the Sitka Fine Arts Camp since the Fall of 2008. She grew up in West Virginia and earned a B.A. in Biology from Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota. She has dabbled in many visual art forms and especially enjoys printmaking. Her Art Book called “Once Upon a Time I Hated Birds” has been featured in special exhibits in Minnesota and Iowa. When not working for fine arts camp, she enjoys exploring the wilds of Sitka and cooking.

RHIANNON GUEVIN, OPERATIONS DIRECTOR

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Rhiannon Guevin graduated summa cum laude from University of Puget Sound’s School of Music, where she received a BM in Vocal Performance with Honors in Music. During her time at Puget Sound she performed in opera scenes and full-scale productions, including the roles of Sophie in Der Rosenkavalier, Miss Titmouse in Too Many Sopranos!, and Mabel in The Pirates of Penzance. She was the fall 2011 winner of the University of Puget Sound’s  Concerto/Aria Competition. In summer 2011, she traveled to Kunming, China, where she played The Queen of the Night in Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte for the China Yunnan Opera Festival. More recent roles include Zerlina in Juneau Lyric Opera’s production of Don Giovanni, Olive Ostrovsky in The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, and Cathy Hyatt in The Last Five Years. Rhiannon has studied voice with Dr. Dawn Padula and Joseph Evans. In addition to her administrative duties with the camp, Rhiannon teaches opera at SFAC’s High School Camp and provides vocal coaching for SFAC’s Musical Theater Camp. During the year, Rhiannon serves as the Musical Director for SFAC’s Young Performers Theater program and teaches private voice lessons. Rhiannon has served as an adjudicator for the classical voice sections at Alaska’s State Solo and Ensemble Music Festival.

Administrative Staff:

Roger Schmidt, Executive Director

Kenley Jackson, Program Director

Rhiannon Guevin, Operations Director

Zeke Blackwell, Theater Director

Mary Boose, Event and Rentals Manager

Jennifer Carter, Director of Teacher Training

Nathan Lafriniere, Maintenance & Facilities

Savannah Richmond, SPAC Production Manager

Andrew Sherman, Administrative Assistant

Victor Wong, Maintenance & Events

Bill Workman, Facilities Manager

WT McRae, Summer Theater Director

Board:

Sam Skaggs
President
Mollie Kabler
Vice President
Susan Litman
Treasurer
Mary Goddard
Secretary
Wendy Alderson
Member
Jerry Lewanski
Member
Martha Pearson
Member
Marya Pillifant
Member
James Poulson
Member

 

We thank the many wonderful photographers who have contributed the wonderful images on the website.  Thank you, Jayleen Beedle, Susan Bein, Lee Draper, Scott Fassett, Bobbi Jordan, Clark Mishler, Cassandra Olson, James Poulson, Caitlin Roseum, Margo Roseum, and Berett Wilbur.