Sitting on a toy store shelf, a yo-yo is nothing but wood and string. In the hands of Julius, the yo-yo guy, that simple toy comes alive, making it a bit harder to describe, but a whole lot of fun to watch.
More than 45 years in Alaska has given Bill Richardson plenty of life experience — from pilot to fisherman, teacher to computer tech, businessman to sailor. He’s lived in Homer, Seldovia, Kodiak and Juneau, to name a few. As he settled into retirement in Anchor Point, Richardson decided to try something he hadn’t done yet: writing books.
Quiet Place Lodge and the Homer Foundation present Halibut Cove Live, a music and dining series held weekends in July at the lodge in Halibut Cove. All concerts include transportation to the lodge, meals prepared by local and Alaska chefs, and music. Tickets are $160 per person and benefit the Homer Foundation. Music is performed on a floating amphitheater by the lodge. Tickets can be purchased at the Homer Foundation, 3733 Ben Walters Lane, lower level, or call 235-0541. To purchase tickets online, visit halibutcovelive.webconnex.com/halibutcovelive.
One of the treats of the Kachemak Bay Writers’ Conference comes the opening Friday of the five-day event when the keynote writer or poet does a post-banquet speech. In the 12 years of the conference, talks have ranged from treatises on the meaning of literature to stand up comedy. Often, writers offer practical advice.
This year’s keynote speaker, poet and writer Naomi Shihab Nye, combined the best of those approaches.
The meaning of literature?
Through its Old Town AIR, or Artist in Residence, program, Bunnell Street Arts Center offers opportunities for visiting artists to create art for the area around the arts center and the Old Town neighborhood.
The art projects will be part of a neighborhood effort to address issues like speeding traffic and pedestrian access using public art, participatory events and installations. Old Town AIR seeks letters of interest (LOIs) for these projects:
• Murals and street mosaics, LOI due July 1;
The 12th annual Kachemak Bay Writers’ Conference opens Friday at Land’s End Resort. Public events include a reading by keynote speaker Naomi Shihab Nye at 8 p.m. Saturday at the Mariner Theatre and public readings by presenting faculty at 7:30 p.m. Sunday at Alice’s Champagne Palace and 7:30 p.m. Monday at Land’s End Resort. For more information, visit writersconference.homer.alaska.edu. Last-minute registration may still be available at the door for a fee of $450. Registration is 3 to 8 p.m. Friday.
The Fairbanks 2014 Arctic Winter Games host society is holding a theme song contest. Song writers are invited to submit songs that reflect the “Great Spirit-Northern Dreams” of the games, to be held in Fairbanks in March of 2014. The Arctic Winter Games is a week-long international sports and cultural event, with participants from the circumpolar north.
The Homer Council on the Arts seeks vendors and performers for its annual Street Faire, to be held 10 a.m.-6 p.m. July 20 on Hazel Avenue by the Homer Public Library. Performance artists including singer-
songwriters, groups, dancers, jugglers, magicians and others are invited. Alaska artists also are invited to be vendors. The deadline to apply is July 12. For more information, call HCOA at 235-4288.
“The Clean House,” Pier One Theatre’s latest play, opens this weekend, with shows at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday at the theater on the Homer Spit. Written by Sarah Ruhl, it’s the third Ruhl play at Pier One in the past four years, including “Dead Man’s Cell Phone” and “Eurydice.” “The Clean House” is about a cleaning woman whose parents were comedians who died not long before the play starts.
The Holy Santos Gang has just released its first full-length album, “Twain.” After four years as a group, an extended play recording and an award-winning music video at the Fairbanks Film Festival, Rudy Multz, Steve Collins, Dylan Smith and Joel Mosier have taken a solid foundation of songs to the next level. (Since recording the album, Mosier has moved to Anchorage and Ben Gerhards has been drumming for the band.)
“I think it’s a genetic thing,” says Sharon Friesen Schulz with a smile. “My mother, daughter and I are all singers and songwriters.”
As a child, Schulz and her mother sang together for family, and at age 63, Schulz’s mother and aunt made a CD of yodeling cowboy music.
“I was inspired at the time she did it and thought, ‘Wow, I’d like to do that someday,’” says Schulz.
The Homer Arts and Culture Alliance sponsors an Online Art Application Workshop
with Shannon Daut
from 1-3 p.m. June 17 at the gallery. Executive director of the
Alaska State Council on the Arts, Daut presents a short workshop on how to use CaFE, the online application website. She also discusses photographing your own work. A “mock jury” will review sample applications to illustrate presentation issues. This workshop is open to everyone. Call or stop by Bunnell 235-2662 to register.
Registration is going on now for music and circus camps sponsored by the Homer Council on the Arts. From June 17-21 and June 24-27, and in association with Bluegrass Camps for Kids and Andrew Vait, several bluegrass and rock camps are held at West Homer Elementary School. Camps offered include Bluegrass for ages 6-18, June 17-21; Rock/Pop for ages 12-18, June 17-21; Rock/Pop, for ages advanced and adult, June 24-27.
Now in its second weekend, “Up” continues at Pier One Theatre on the Homer Spit. Performances are 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. “In ‘Up,’ playwright Bridget Carpenter walks a veritable tightrope between fiction and reality. The character of Walter Griffin is fictional. He is, however, inspired by the real- life Larry Walters, a Vietnam veteran and truck driver from southern California,” the Syracuse Stage noted in its 2008 audience guide. Walters made headlines in 1982 when he tied four dozen weather balloons to a lawn chair and took flight.
Whether they come from reading Jack London novels, watching “Bering Sea Gold” or just hearing snippets of Sarah Palin’s speeches, most visitors to Alaska arrive with a set of expectations. The state has a reputation for abundant wildlife, extreme weather, people who prize ingenuity and a willingness to take risks. Leave it to the artists to reveal the truth: Alaska has all of that and more.
Sitka Summer Music Festival musicians Zuill Bailey on cello and David Leisner on guitar will perform from 7-9 p.m. Monday at the Bunnell Street Arts Center.
This intimate evening performance will feature Bailey in three Bach Cello Preludes and Leisner performing his own compositions. The two will perform together on Schubert’s “Arpeggione” Sonata and Falla’s “Suite Popular.”
Kachemak Bay Campus is holding registration for the annual Young Writers Workshop, held as part of the 2013 Kachemak Bay Writers Conference. The workshop is 9 a.m. to noon June 14 at the campus. Visiting writer, novelist and teacher Nicole Stellon O’Donnell will conduct the workshop, “Writing Together, Writing Alone.” It is designed for 10th, 11th and 12th graders wishing to explore writing of any kind — poetry, fiction, nonfiction, song lyrics, or even scripts. She will also discuss publication and opportunities for young writers.
Pier One Theatre continues its 41st season this weekend with the opening of “Up.”
Performances are planned for Friday, Saturday and Sunday this week and June 6, 7, 8 and 9. All performances are at 7:30 p.m.
Retired Anchorage doctor Nancy Elliott Sydnam’s book “Sideways Rain” is fascinating in its telling of Sydnam’s 20 years providing medical care to Alaska’s farthest flung communities, villages on the Aleutian and Pribilof Islands.
Before getting into the details of the challenges she faced, friends she made and beautiful country she saw, however, southern Kenai Peninsula readers will be immediately struck by the mention of familiar names and impact people from this area had on Sydnam’s life.
Now in its 41st season on the Homer Spit, Pier One Theatre announced its summer schedule this week. Shows open this weekend in collaboration with Bunnell Street Arts Center for “Niicugni.” Other shows are:
• May 31, June 1, 2, 7, 8, 9: “Up,” by Bridget Carpenter and directed by Lance Petersen;
• June 14, 15, 16: “The Clean House,” by Sarah Ruhl and directed by Peter Sheppard;
• June 21, 22, 23: “Raven Returns,” a one-man show by Jack Dalton;