Nearly a half-century ago, a group of people living in this small town at the end of the road organized Homer Council on the Arts. They were on a mission — to provide opportunities for everyone in the community to experience and participate in the arts. They saw the arts in a host of forms — singing, composing, dancing, writing, rhyming, drawing, painting, sculpting, molding, acting, juggling, clowning, stitching, strumming, humming, drumming — all of those and more — as essential parts of community life.
So, in Homer today, the visible, tangible and audible effects of their encouragement and their early work on this mission are everywhere. We have poets, painters, cellists, singers, actors, guitarists, drummers, dancers, sculptors and many of them are, at the same time scientists, fishermen, physicians, farmers, accountants, attorneys, inventors, chefs, counselors, pastors, teachers, merchants. Even business signs in Homer are works of art, as are the door handles on many public buildings and bike racks around town and on the Spit.
In our small town, Homer Council on the Arts and other organizations devoted to arts and culture rely on the generosity of community members to provide financial support, as well as hours and hours of volunteer time. We all see needs that none of us can meet as separate entities: energy-efficient facilities, flexible performance space, increased access to programs for all ages; integration of programming, as well as staff, board members and volunteers.
This is a very exciting time to be involved in the changes that are brewing in Homer and the arts and culture community. HCOA is a strong and viable organization with great potential for the future. HCOA staff may be changing, but HCOA is a community organization and the continued success and impact on the future of the arts in Homer depends on continued community input and involvement, a strong board, dedicated volunteers and staff.
Please come to an informal meeting at HCOA at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, March 25, to discuss possibilities and opportunities for input and involvement in HCOA. The arts do live and work in Homer, and the arts are for everyone.
Gail Edgerly, executive director
Homer Council on the Arts