For almost three decades, the Island Institute’s varied programs have explored social, environmental, and cultural questions of local and global concern. Our work falls into two broad categories: Fostering a Language of Place and Community and Fostering Community Well-Being.

The program that launched the organization—the Sitka Symposium—involved us deeply in language and story—essential tools we use to understand the world and tell each other about it. Threads of relationship between story, place, and community were constants in Symposium discussions. We broadened our interest in these relationships by adding our Resident Fellows program for writers and our literary journal Connotations. With all these literary programs we were interested in fostering a language of place and community.