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Guests Talked About Homer's Art World

Courtesy of Homer Council on the Arts

Guests on this week’s Coffee Table, hosted by Josh Krohn, were from three major arts agencies in town. Discussing the state of the arts were Jennifer Norton from Pier One Theater, Adele Person from Bunnell Street Art Center, and Scott Bartlett from the Homer Council on the Arts.

Krohn passed on a question from a listener about Homer’s place in the Alaska art world. Bartlett and then Person responded:


From a listener; How did Homer's reputation as an artist haven come about, do you feel that Homer is still a significant Arts Center, or has the reputation faded and is there still a place for up and coming artists?


I don't think that that reputation has faded a bit, you know, Homer has been, has been known as a center for Arts. You know, the governor called Homer the arts capital of the state at one point. It is such a dynamic place, people are so inspired to be in Homer, the natural surrounding the, the cultural. There's so much inspiration and so many other artists to support and foster each other. It's not, it's not a, it's not a place where people work, you know, people work in silos, but we have this community of people working together and supporting and fostering each other. I think it's, it's an amazing place and it's, It supports that artistry and that artistry supports our community, you know, that's a, that's a major, increasingly a major economic driver of the, of the city of Homer, and I think that we all celebrate that.


Thanks guys.


I agree, I'd agree Scott, but I think it has been really much more challenging, you know I, I know of several people who've moved here in the last couple years and the way Homer, the arts community opens its arms, has been through sometimes these, these much bigger, you know, crowd kind of events, wearable arts, or some of our local fundraisers and, and we haven't had, you know, it has any, we haven't even really had the capacity to see our nearest and dearest for the last couple of years, much less have those kind of really open forums where you get to rub elbows and meet someone. So I know that Homer's heart is still super open and welcoming but we, we are just now kind of re-experiencing what it's like, you know, to have first fridays, and workshops and, and especially some of those bigger organizations. It's really encouraging to hear that all of our organizations are, are kind of turning the corner and, and have these capacities to adapt and to, to know how to have safe events, but are starting to think of bigger concerts and, you know, some of these bigger community engagement programs that were the ways that we welcome new people into the community. And in, Alaska itself is so rich, I mean Homer is a wonderful arts community, but we also thrive as a, we're a huge geographic state, but we're kind of one big small town in a lot of ways, and that's also something that we've missed in these last couple years and so many of our sister communities around the state are also. I guess I just think that Alaska is such an inspirational place, you almost have to respond with the same amount of creativity and beauty and investigation into, you know, how we, we make this rich ecosystem. But I'm really excited that Homer is seen as an arts organization that people come here for the arts. I am grateful for the Chamber of Commerce who really helped some of those projects, you know, like the peonies on Pioneer, with the murals and, and the gardens, and we have these wonderful cross-sector ways of, the creativity is also broader than arts too, you know it's, it's the way that we approach food sustainability in our farmers market and our crafts and our, I don't know, just the way we live here too. So, I hope that Homer always sees itself as an arts community but is, is you know we had, we also have to think of how we do that in innovative ways too, it's a, I wouldn't say it's like a competitive world out there, but there's, there's just a lot of creativity in Alaska and for Homer to continue to shine we, we can always work to, to promote ourselves, and to offer that, that rich ecosystem to visitors and to our local community.

That was Adele Person from Bunnell Street Art Center and Scott Bartlett of the Homer Council on the Arts on Wednesday morning’s Coffee Table. You can hear the full show online at KBBI dot org, or find it as a podcast on your favorite app.

Jay Barrett, KBBI's new News Director should be a familiar voice to our listeners. He's been contributing to Kenai Peninsula news for the last three years out of KDLL Kenai, and was the voice of The Alaska Fisheries Report from KMXT for 12 years. Jay worked for KBBI about 20 years ago as the Central Peninsula Reporter at KDLL.