Numbers paint arts story: circle of community support

There are so many people to thank for their efforts in the arts these past few weeks. Too many for letters to the editor so instead I thought I would highlight the number of people involved. April started with the Jubilee Gallery Exhibit at the Homer Council on the Arts and South Peninsula Hospital, showcasing youth art of 60 students from the Homer area. 

A few weeks ago, HCOA had a Broadway Babies Cabaret, directed by Jessica Williams with a cast and crew of 14. There was a crew of volunteers throughout the weeks in preparation and during the shows. As well as the Wasabi crew cooking, and serving appetizers and drinks. There were 168 very entertained members of the audience. 

The Jubilee Performing Arts Show featured 65 students with at least 14 supporting staff and volunteers.  There were 450 enthusiastic audience members. Announced at Jubilee Show were the 16 recipients of the HCOA Summer Youth Fine Arts Scholarships. Which took another crew of volunteers to review applications, interview and adjudicate the applicants. 

Behind every artist there is always a cheerleading team consisting of parents, teachers, friends and mentors. And every event relies on  a crew of volunteers for support.

The beauty of all of this is the circle of support: the personal support around each artist, as well as the financial support from each program. Proceeds from the Cabaret will directly support the HomerARTS Camp in June. Proceeds from Jubilee go directly into the HCOA Youth Summer Fine Arts Scholarship Fund. 

The experience of creating art either for an exhibit or a performance, fosters self discipline, self confidence, self esteem, appreciation for others, team work, and fun. All the supportive parents and other adults and friends feed into this positive cycle of support for both the children and adults. And the audience that claps and cheers and supports the performance multiplies the experience by tenfold. 

As for positive thoughts about themselves and their possibilities, I would venture to guess that each person who performed their art or hung their art, had moments of inner delight of their very own that will always be a part of who they are. 

T hose supporting our artists were inspired, with inner moments of self-satisfaction that they were assisting the growth and self-awareness of another.

The HCOA mission is to provide everyone in our community with the opportunity to participate and experience the arts. 

By my conservative calculations, during the past month HCOA has reached at least 1,000 people in this community and raised almost $8,000 to put back into the community supporting our youth to pursue their artistic interests this summer.

This all sounds like a very good formula for a better world. Thank you, Homer, for your circle of support for our artistic community.

Gail Edgerly is the director of the Homer Council on the Arts.