• Sitka Farmers Market shoppers treated to a preview of Bye Bye Birdie

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Shoppers at the second Sitka Farmers Market of the season on Saturday, July 21, at Alaska Native Brotherhood Hall were treated to a special preview of the musical comedy “Bye Bye Birdie,” which is being performed this weekend by students from the Sitka Fine Arts Camp.

The students, who only had 11 days to learn the play, performed three songs at the market. They will perform the full play three times this weekend, at 7 p.m. on Friday, July 27, at at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Saturday, July 28, at the Sitka Performing Arts Center (at Sitka High School). Tickets are $20. To learn more about the production, KCAW-Raven Radio recently had two stories about the show, one by camp counselor/photographer Berett Wilber and one by KCAW staff news reporter Ed Ronco. The show also was the interview subject of the Morning Edition interview Thursday morning, July 26, on KCAW.


• Sitka Conservation Society hosts Wild and Scenic Environmental Film Festival


The largest environmental film festival in North America is coming to Sitka. Sitka Conservation Society is hosting the second annual Sitka tour stop of the Wild and Scenic Environmental Film Festival on Saturday, Oct. 24, at the Sitka Performing Arts Center.

Doors will open at 6 p.m. with informative and action booths hosted by local community groups and organizations, including a booth from the Sitka Local Foods Network. The films will begin at 6:30 p.m.

“The films include narratives coming directly from people throughout the world engaged in protecting our natural resources and wild places,” says tour manager Susie Sutphin. “The films highlight the ‘tipping point’ that the planet is reaching. Yet portrays the ‘turning of the tides,’ as communities realize what needs to change and how they are responding with creativity, resolve and heart.”

One of the films scheduled to be shown on Saturday, Homegrown Revolution, deals with the local food movement. This film examines a family’s efforts at growing all their own food in the midst of a densely urban setting in downtown Pasadena, Calif. For over twenty years, the Dervaes family has transformed their home into an urban homestead. As a family for this new paradigm, they harvest nearly three tons of organic food from their one-10th-of-an-acre garden plot while incorporating many back-to-basics practices, as well as solar energy and biodiesel.

A new film trailer by local filmmaker Ellen Frankenstein — who made the film, Eating Alaska — will be shown during the festival as well as several other films from around the world.

Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for students and seniors. They are available at Old Harbor Books, Mountain Miss or at the door. Discounted and free tickets are available for individuals and families that sign up to be a Sitka Conservation Society member.

The film festival also will include door prizes and Young Alaskans Building Affordable Housing will sell concessions during intermission. For more information, go to http://www.sitkawild.org/ (note, site down for maintenance this week) or call 747-7509.