June 13, 2011
Contact: Dusty Kidd
Sitka National Historical Park, June 13, 2011 – Over the course of the next several months, the Park will engage community partners and cultural leaders in a dialogue about how a self-sustaining demonstration arts program could be established and operated at the Park’s Visitor Center.
The National Park Service’s cooperative agreement with the Southeast Alaska Indian Cultural Center will be coming to end on June 23, 2011, and will not be renewed.
As originally designed, the Cultural Center was to operate a self-sustaining demonstration arts program with space and other facilities provided by Sitka National Historical Park. In recent years the Cultural Center has struggled to generate funds sufficient to provide for its operations.
The decision not to sign a new agreement was taken after a deliberative review of administrative and operational issues. “We have had a wonderful partnership for many years,” said Randy Y. Larson, Park superintendent. “Over the past several months, Board President Gary Lang and his Cultural Center board, and artists Tommy Joseph and Charlie Skultka, have worked hard to keep a partnership intact, but in the end the current model is not organizationally or financially sustainable. We hope to be able to engage with them and other cultural leaders on new ideas in the coming months.”
Sitka National Historical Park is committed to perpetuating and preserving traditional Native arts and culture for the benefit of residents and visitors.