As part of an Old Town Artist in Residence, drummer Soriba Fofana and dancer Shelly Fofana visits for a month of drum and dance workshops Feb. 8 to March 8. From Guinea, West Africa, Soriba Fofana plays the djembe and dundun drums. With his partner, Shelly Fofana, they will teach the many facets of Guinea music and dance. A potluck and artist talk is 6 p.m. Feb. 16. Drum and dance workshops are held 5-7 p.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, Feb. 17-Feb. 28, at Bunnell Street Arts Center.
“Faked Alaska: An Evening of Improv” shows at 6 p.m. Feb. 15 at the Kenai Peninsula Fairgrounds, Ninilchik. Presented by Royce Roeswood, Ann Flynn and Austin Terrell of Triumvirate Theatre, the evening also features hors d’oeuvres and a light bar. Tickets are $15 adults, $10 youth and seniors. A free youth workshop for ages 13 to 18 is 3-5 p.m. Feb. 15.
The Homer Council on the Arts today announced the winners of the 22nd annual Kenai Peninsula Writers Contest. Awards will be presented by writer Tom Kizzia starting at 7 p.m. Feb. 15 at the Homer Council on the Arts. Selected winners will do short readings. Following the ceremony at 8 p.m. is a presentation by Homer performing artist Lynne Roff, “Creativity, Complexity and Consciousness in the Performing Arts.”
Bunnell Street Arts Center
106 W. Bunnell Ave.
Cut, Stitch, Press, textiles by Maria Shell
5-7 p.m., First Friday Opening Reception; 6 p.m., artists talk
After centuries of emigration, the Celtic diaspora has fetched up on distant lands, but many still look back to their ancestral countries. It’s common for people of Irish, Scottish and other Celtic cultures to reassert their roots through traditional music. But when the members of an Irish band disperse, its members coming from different nations and living apart, that’s a bit unusual. Such is the case with Lúnasa, a musical quintet that expands the concept of the traditional Irish band.
Creative nonfiction writer and university professor Sherry Simpson will read from her work and hold a craft talk as part of the Kachemak Bay Campus’ annual Visiting Writers’ Series at 6:30 p.m. Friday at the college. A book signing with books available for sale by the Homer Bookstore follows her talk. Of Simpson’s recent book, “Dominion of Bears: Living with Wildlife in Alaska,” Homer writer Nancy Lord said, “Alaska’s three bear species and the people who love, fear and encounter them have found their truth-teller in Sherry Simpson.
Irish band Lúnasa performs 7 p.m. Feb. 8 at the Mariner Theatre. Sponsored by the Homer Council on the Arts, Lúnasa also presents musical workshops at 2 p.m. Feb. 9. Admission is $10 youth, $20 HCOA members and seniors, and $30 general admission, available at HCOA or the Homer Bookstore. Workshops are $15 adults, $10 youth.
Homer junkyards can be notorious for the odd stuff one might find buried under blue tarps — vintage Subaru parts, wringer washing machines or a world’s collection of buoys. Dig around in an artist’s yard, though, and there’s no telling what you can find.
Finalists have been chosen for the 22nd Kenai Peninsula Writers’ Contest. The list of finalists has been posted on the Homer Council on the Arts website at www.homerart.org. Winners and honorable mentions will be chosen from these finalists and subsequently announced Feb. 6.
The Poems in Place Project, a collaboration of Alaska State Parks, the Alaska Center for the Book and a steering committee of Alaska writers and poets, has issued a call for poems celebrating the natural beauty of Alaska’s state parks.
Poems will be gathered for the Aleknagik State Recreation Site/Wood Tikchik State Park near Dillingham and Independence Mine State Historical Park near Palmer.
Homer musicians Timothy Robb and Lindanne Sarno present a concert, “Pull, Hammer and Slide,” at 8 p.m. Saturday at Bunnell Street Arts Center. Tickets are $10 to $20 on a sliding scale. The concert explores semi-tones for lute, viola, violin and piano, with slide tone guitar.
Music includes original compositions and some adaptations of pieces by Bach and traditional North American roots tunes, blues, Americana and renaissance music.
Even if you’ve never taken a Community Recreation class or played in a Community Rec sport like Pickle Ball, if you see the MountainFilm on Tour festival today and Saturday, director Mike Illg will count you as a recreation program user.
“I always like to look at it as one of our biggest community recreation offerings,” Illg said. “I consider everyone who buys a ticket as a participant in a Community Recreation class. Hopefully, they come away with something.”
To help artists prepare and apply for the Rasmuson Foundation’s annual grant awards, Bunnell Street Arts Center’s Cosmic Agents Initiative presents a series of workshops to help enhance grant writing skills for young and emerging artists. The first workshop is 5 p.m. Jan. 19 at Bunnell and will focus on strengthening the artist statement. Workshop participants should bring drafts of their artist statement. The class will look at strong sample artist statements and discuss editing. Fat Olives pizza will be provided. All are welcome at no charge.
Mountain Film on Tour returns to Homer for two nights of short documentary films. Shows are 7 p.m. Jan.23 and Jan. 25 at the Mariner Theatre. Different films are shown each night. Admission is $10 each show and benefits Homer Community Recreation. Mountain Film features films on wilderness and exotic adventures as well as environmental awareness. For a full schedule, visit communityrecreation.org.
The Homer Council on the Arts last week announced the recipients of its Annual Arts Awards. The awards will be presented at its annual meeting starting at 7 p.m. Friday at its offices on Pioneer Avenue. This year’s winners are:
• Arts Leadership/Advocacy, Peter Swanson
• Youth Artist of the Year, Patrick Latimer
• Artist of the Year, Tom Kizzia
• Arts Lifetime Achievement, Toby Tyler
Homer artist Ronald Senungetuk will receive the Governor’s Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Arts and Humanities at an awards ceremony Jan. 30 at the Juneau Arts and Culture Center. Also to receive the Governor’s Award for the Humanities is Homer poet Eva Saulitis.
Across the nation, mentoring is in the spotlight this month. The importance of mentors, need for more and how to be involved is what National Mentoring Month is all about. Local activities include:
The annual Homer Council on the Arts variety shows have mixed it up over the years. From simple talent shows they became “Out of the Woodwork,” the incarnation the last two years, where performers who might not have been on the stage were challenged to show their talent.
This year, musician and director Sally Oberstein had a different vision: step out. That’s step out as in, get out of your comfort zone, get together with people you might not know and do things you might not have done before. For Oberstein, that also meant, step out of the project, too.
The Bunnell Street Arts Center Alex Combs Award Committee has awarded Ketchikan sculptor Carmel Anderson $1,500 to support workshop fees and materials to study with artist Matthew West. The Alex Combs Award, funded by private donations and sales of the late Halibut Cove artist’s work, supports Alaska artists to participate in workshops and mentorships.
Former Homer News managing editor and reporter Chris Bernard, now living in Portland, Ore., has been nominated for the 2014 Oregon Book Award for his nonfiction book, “Chasing Alaska.” Published by Lyons Press, “Chasing Alaska” looks at Bernard’s Alaska experience in the context of a distant relative, Joe Bernard, who explored and settled in Alaska 100 years before Chris Bernard’s arrival in the state. Other nominees in the nonfiction category are William J. Bernstein for “Masters of the Word,” Paul Collins for “Duel with the Devil,” R.