Bunnell, HCOA receive NEA grants

Bunnell Street Arts Center and the Homer Council on the Arts both have received National Endowment for the Arts grants. Two of 153 nonprofits nationally to receive award, the Homer arts organizations each received $10,000 NEA Challenge America Fast-Track grants. The grants provide partial funding for major arts projects. Three other Alaska arts organizations received grants.

“It’s just amazing five came to Alaska and two are in Homer,” said Gail Edgerly, HCOA director.

Bunnell will use the grant for its Artist in Residence program.

“Bunnell is pleased to have this endorsement,” said Bunnell artistic director Asia Freeman. “This grant will help us nurture the young program and enliven our community with a few more artists residencies this year as we strive to grow a more vibrant forum within which artists may create new work that defines and advances contemporary culture for Alaskan audiences.”

HCOA will use the NEA grant to support a week-long residency by Quixotic Performance Ensemble, a Kansas City, Mo., co-directed by Mica Thomas, a 1997 Homer High School graduate. Quixotic will do adult and school workshops and a performance the week of Oct. 14.

“We’re just thrilled,” said HCOA director Gail Edgerly. “It feels like it’s affirmed our decision to take on a major project. It’s given us the green light to go ahead with the fundraising and let people know it’s going to happen.”

Raised in Homer, Thomas taught at Pier One Theatre summer youth theatre camps and did lighting at Jazzline performances. He describes Quixotic as “somewhere between the ballet world and Cirque de Soleil,” with inspiration from Stomp and Blue Man.

HCOA will do a fundraiser with a video show of Quixotic on Feb. 14 at the Homer Theatre.

Michael Armstrong can be reached at michael.