Quixotic idea becomes reality

The adjective quixotic (from Don Quixote) means exceedingly idealistic; unrealistic and impractical. Indeed. At first glance, the idea of bringing Quixotic to Homer was truly quixotic. The cost, the size, the tech requirements, the time — how could we? But we did it — with hundreds of supporters offering volunteer time as well as donated services and cash. Thank you, Homer, for supporting Homer Council on the Arts so we could take this quixotic idea and make it a reality. 

The seed of the idea to bring Quixotic to Homer was planted in the summer of 2011. The first step was grant writing and the first grant received was from the National Endowment for the Arts. They understood the quality of the show and the need for support in order to make it happen. Next was support from the Rasmuson Foundation and Alaska State Council on the Arts for round trip transportation from Kansas City to Alaska. Then Era Alaska sealed the deal for the tri-city tour (Anchorage, Homer, Fairbanks) with a 75 percent discount for in-state transportation. And Ocean Shores Motel did not hesitate to house the 16-person troupe for six nights. 

 Meanwhile the “Q Team” committed to raising the significant amount of money needed to ensure success. They worked for a year on fundraising and took leadership roles with all of the logistics: from local transportation, gear transportation, theater tech and meals. The Mariner Theatre’s set shop was a bee hive this past week with an endless supply of delicious food from homegrown vegetables and gourmet desserts to king crab legs feeding the entire ensemble and support team, three meals a day.  

A special thanks to the “Q Team”: Gary Thomas, Laura Patty, Joy Steward, Stu Schmutzler, Luanna Stoval and Jewels aka Karen East. And thank you, Mark Turner, who gave his time and cargo van to drive gear from Anchorage to Homer and all the way to Fairbanks. Thank you to the Homer High School for generously giving us free range for the week, utilizing the commons and theater to their fullest capacity. 

We had 1,500 Homer students and teachers in grades 3-12 (including students from the Russian Old Believer villages and schools in Nanwalek, Port Graham and Seldovia) come to the Mariner Theatre for assemblies. There were two evenings of dance and aerial workshops in the commons, and a very special performance at the Friendship Center organized by the Bunnell Street Arts Center. The thank-you list includes hundreds of people, businesses and foundations. Please take time to look at the list in the ad on page 14 of this week’s Homer News and thank these generous folks for supporting the arts.

 All of this was possible because Homer supported the emerging talents of our very own Homer-grown Mica Thomas, Quixotic’s artistic director. Teachers, parents, mentors and friends recognized potential and supported Mica’s interest. And Mica took full advantage of what Homer has to offer our youth. He went off to college for more and has come home to share with us the very talent he first developed here. The Quixotic ensemble has had a wonderful week experiencing Mica’s hometown and everyone wants to come back.

 Thank you to the HCOA membership. Your support is the foundation of Homer Council on the Arts, and thank you Homer for your appreciation and value of the arts. We hope everyone has been inspired to stretch into the realm of quixotic and discover what is really possible.

 Gail Edgerly, executive director

Homer Council on the Arts