The Sitka Fellows Program combines the space and focus of intense independent work with the collaborative potential of community engagement and communal living. Here we share some of the feedback from alumni about their experiences and the impact of their time in Sitka.
"We are all so different but still it has been one of the most harmonious groups of people I’ve ever found myself being a part of. Each one of them was able to inspire me in some way. "
- Ramona Ring, SPF '15
"It is so generous the investment you have put into this program and, therefore, also into each of us and I promise that the effects of this seven weeks will be felt in my life, art, and career for years to come. Thank you from the bottom of my heart."
- Bessie Young, SFP '13
"This has been a vital turning point in my writing and the most impactful 6 weeks of my life that will undoubtedly stay with me for many more. In the beginning of the program I struggled with my writing, still bogged down by professional pressures, but it was my fellow Felloweses, their work, and the Sitka community that kept me searching. I leave with a full heart, refreshed, and ready to create.”
- Lauren Wimmer, SFP '17
"I was most productive on nights following days where really great, surprising things happened -- like doing a long hike on a whim, or going swimming... There is nothing better that I could have done with my time."
- Ben Seretan, SFP '13
"Had I not done the program, I would've continued working in New York while preparing for grad school. No comparison in terms of the creative growth and experimentation the Sitka Fellows Program allowed."
- Jarrett Moran, SFP '13
"The community was welcoming, and the place was so beautiful. I personally feel like this is a foundational seed of my music career."
- Nate Barnett, SFP '15
"Honestly I don't know what really could be better…"
- Marcus Gruber, SFP '13
"Perhaps most importantly, I also worked amongst a cohort of some of the most inspiring and talented individuals I have ever come across. I learned so much from their unique approaches to their work, their thoughtfulness and openness to my ideas and each other’s."
- Christian Ervin, SFP '13
"Over 400 pages of writing, one finished rough draft of a full-length play, one finished short play, and one delicious tome-length mess of a play, many more pages of ideas for further projects across multiple mediums (novel, screenplay, sitcom, etc.), the reinvigoration of my writing muscle... In terms of professional development, I could not have chosen a more perfect way to spend the summer. And I will be recommending this to everyone I know. Thank you, thank you, thank you for this."
- Sarah DeLappe, SFP '13
"In a greater sense, I confirmed that writing--something that I've never had a chance to pursue full-time--is what I want to continue doing. And it was so helpful to be continually immersed in my project. Outside of Sitka l feel like writing is equivalent to spotty radio reception. I'll have days when I'm totally tuned in and days of total static and failure. I had days of failure here, but instead of feeling like it was a break in the creative chain, I felt like it was part of a larger creative process."
- Zoe Ballering, SFP '13
"I learned a bit about my art-making practice and a lot about the power of being kind, outgoing, and open to all sorts of people in my immediate and extended communities. It leads to adventure!"
- MJ Robinson, SFP '14
"I was most productive in the hours when I got up early in the morning before everyone else and was able to get to work fast. Many things really came together for me at the end of the fellowship--that last week was huge. Problems that I had been wrestling with for weeks suddenly started to resolve themselves, and new writing came from places I was not expecting."
- Cathryn Klusmeier, SFP '14
"In the form of concrete work I completed all the necessary calculations that form the basis of a new theory of the gravitational dynamics of compact objects. In physical terms, I probably completed roughly 40-50 pages of calculations (after editing)... Best thing I could have done. Don't doubt that for a second. Probably the most productive, the most interesting, and the most fulfilling. I had an incredible time and have fallen deeply in love with Sitka. Who doesn't?."
- Solomon Endlich, SFP '14
"In my time as a resident at the Sitka Fellows Program, I wrote an entire album worth of songs, over 200 poems, the first act of a play, deepened my study of the tarot immensely, and was able to gain a far greater understanding of my artistic process in action than I ever had before."
- Richard Aufrichtig, SFP '14
"During the Sitka Fellows program I was able to experiment with and shift my normal artistic practice, which resulted in much different work that I had been making previously. It granted me the time and space to feel free to follow different curiosities brought on by my new surroundings and a fantastic landscape. My work shifted from more studio based practice, to creating and working within the landscape. In doing so I accomplished a goal set for myself to break down my old habits in order to discover new potentials in my work... I found Sitka to be filled with so many open, warm and willing people that wanted to help in any way they could... I thought it was truly amazing how varied all of our backgrounds / disciplines were and how amazingly well we all hit it off. It truly felt like a family. I don’t know how it could be improved!”
- Rachel Baxter, SFP '14