By Gail Edgerly
There are so many people to thank for their efforts in the arts these past few weeks — certainly 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 Homer Council on the Arts and South Peninsula Hospital that showcased the 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. A crew of volunteers worked for weeks to prepare and put on the shows. And the Wasabi crew served up appetizers and drinks for 168 very entertained members of the audience.
The Jubilee Performing Arts Show featured 65 students with at least 14 supporting staff and volunteers. Some 450 enthusiastic audience members attended the show, where the 16 recipients of the HCOA Summer Youth Fine Arts Scholarships were announced. That took another crew of volunteers to review applications, interview youth and adjudicate applicants.
Behind every artist, there is always a cheerleading team consisting of parents, teachers, friends and mentors. 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, and 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, teamwork and a lot of appreciation for others. It’s also a whole lot of fun.
Supportive parents, friends and other adults feed into this positive cycle of support for both the children and adults. And the cheering audience multiplies the experience 10-fold.
As for positive thoughts about themselves and their possibilities, I would venture to guess that each person who performed — or hung — their art, had moments of inner delight that will always be a part of who they are. Those supporting our artists were inspired, with inner moments of self-satisfaction, knowing they were assisting the growth and self-awareness of others.
The HCOA mission is to provide everyone in our community with the opportunity to participate in and experience the arts. By my conservative calculations, over the past month, HCOA has reached at least 1,000 people in this community and raised almost $8,000 to put back into supporting our youth as they 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 executive director of Homer Council on the Arts
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