Alaska World Arts Festival kicks off next weekend

The event will celebrate of all types of art, in many venues and performances space in the community

The Alaska World Arts Festival will take place Sept. 7-21 in Homer with a celebration of all types of art, in many venues and performance spaces in the community.

Many of the events are free and open to the public and some require tickets that can be purchased online at the Alaska World Arts Festival Website. These are available now.

Homer’s Sally Oberstein, producer, got the idea for the festival when looking at some other international arts festivals, namely the Adelaide Festival in Australia and the Edinburgh International Culture Summit, directed by Sir Jonathan Mills.

She attended the Edinburgh Festival five years ago and touched base with Mills through a Homer connection, and he strongly supported the idea of a festival like this in a community like Homer, Oberstein said.

It was through that connection as well as original Homer support from Tom Kizzia, Jamie Sutton and Mary Langham that the project launched, Oberstein said. It is now in its fifth year.

“The first year we were impeded by a big fire season and then COVID but we’ve managed to keep it going. This year all of the events are live, except for one writing workshop with Gary Garrison taking place via Zoom,” Oberstein said.

Oberstein highlighted four particular events for readers to be aware of. One, “Stories of Connection,” is at 7 p.m. on Sept. 15 at the Mariner Theater at Homer High School. Readers at this event include local writers Atz Kilcher, David Webster and Geo Beach as well as national and international storytellers. Tickets to this event will support the Homer Foundation’s Pier One Theatre Gary Thomas “Live Large” Fund that provides funding to KBBI Homer’s public radio and the World Arts Festival.

Stand-up national comedian Michael Palascak has performed live on David Letterman, Jay Leno and other events on Comedy Central.

“He’s very sharp, a clever comedian and I think it’s noteworthy that he doesn’t swear,” Oberstein said.

Palasacak will be at Alice’s at 9:30 p.m. on Sept. 15.

AbbaFab, a group that recaps the music of ABBA, is doing one night of music at the Mariner Theater at 7 p.m. on Sept. 7 and one more intimate night at 8 p.m. on Sept. 8 at Alice’s.

Sankofa, an African musical dance theater group, will provide drumming and dance workshops at various venues on Sept. 16 and a performance including music, dance, drumming and storytelling that night at the Mariner Theater at 7 p.m.

“We’ll also have a lunch potluck when the dancers are here to bring the community together before their workshops start and that will take place at the Homer United Methodist Church at 11:30 a.m. on Sept. 16,” Oberstein said.

For more information and the full festival program, visit