People keep asking us "Why did we move to Homer"...because it has such a great Center for the Arts in a New Englandy like town. Attending a concert at the Center is like going to a big coffee house...intimate, good seating,great acoustics and wonderful volunteers. I am so grateful to all the people who had "the dream" and went for it.There's no place like Homer.
The setting is intimate and keeps improving all the time. It has added immensely to the arts in this community and has done a great deal to increase tourism in the community. It has also been an impetus for people to move to the community from other areas, especially people considering retirement. It has given a boost to the economy of the area as well.
In the summer of 2008, I wanted to mount a month-long exhibition and have an evening program in recognition of Bloomsday, 16 June, the day of the action of James Joyce's novel "Ulysses," and from conception to completion, Homer's Center for the Arts was completely cooperative. Board member Ann Siegle not only took charge of writing a grant application to obtain partial support for the project (it was awarded) but she guided my efforts at every stage. Director Dan Hayes was equally helpful, personally taking charge of mounting the exhibition of posters, photographs, books, and artifacts. The evening program, which was very well attended and ran for nearly three hours, exceeded my hopes. I know I chose the right place for my project.
The Center of the Arts is fulfilling its dream of becoming a cultural hub that enriches the lives of the people in Cortland County and beyond. Its classes, art exhibits, and world-class concerts offer opportunities for people of all ages to enjoy and appreciate the arts. In addition, it has become a venue for community gatherings and functions. I am constantly impressed by how devotedly many people dedicate their time, talents, and resources to the Center. Some of my friends and neighbors have turned their volunteerism into the equivalent of full-time jobs, but there are also many people who take advantage of the endless opportunities to give a few hours when they can. Without these volunteer efforts, there would be no Center for the Arts, and I am impressed by how the Center has garnered so much community support. Under the skilled direction of Daniel Hayes, who has proven a jack-of-all-trades, the transformation from a church to an arts center has happened faster and more professionally than I ever imagined. When I attend concerts by world famous artists, I am thrilled that I was lucky enough to see such quality entertainment in such an intimate setting and so close to home. When I watch local artists perform at the Center, I am impressed by how much talent there is in our area and how perfectly the atmosphere and acoustics of the Center’s auditorium showcase that talent. In less than five years, the Center has become the home of the Cortland City Ballet studio, the theater for a community theater, a venue for local musicians and artists, and the site of multiple world-class and local art exhibits and performances. Wow! I believe the best is yet to come at the Center for the Arts. The combination of unlimited potential and visionary leadership bodes well for the Center's continued success. I look forward to many more great events and opportunities at the Center.