Board of Directors
Peggy Paver, Executive Director
HCOA’s Executive Director, comes to Homer from Ashland, OR. For two and a half decades she has worked as a dance educator, director, and choreographer in both public education and the non-profit sector. As Co-Founder and Co-Artistic Director of Dancing People Company in Ashland, OR, she developed community and school residency programs that to sustain the company. Her choreography has been descried as “movement full of strength and grace…(with) an openness of spirit and sincerity of purpose that connects the audience to the performers, and to each other.” As Adjunct Professor and Master teacher, Peggy’s work has touched dancers throughout the Pacific Northwest, Southwest, and Central Australia.
Peggy has dedicated her life to supporting the arts rooted in the belief that the arts are how we communicate our shared human experience, and an integral part of how we build community. She is grateful for the circumstances that have brought her to HCOA, and looks forward to expanding the possibilities for Homer’s vibrant art community!
Raevyn Heneghen, Communications & Marketing Coordinator
Raevyn is originally from Yakima, WA and part of the Yakama Nation Tribal Association. In 2008 she was awarded a full scholarship to Washington State University and completed two undergraduate degrees in Veterinary Medicine and Fine Arts. Upon graduation in 2011 she moved to Casco, ME where she taught youth art and music programs; she has been playing saxophone for 18 years. She then traveled WA state for one year making a living by practicing the arts of Mehndi and Tie-Dye. In 2013 she moved to Las Vegas where she taught community drawing and painting classes while completing a tattoo internship at the famous Rock N' Roll Tattoo Parlor. She has been homesteading and building a home in Homer, Alaska since 2014 with her partner, Adam Green. She and her partner also own and operate a local gourmet food truck, Le Truck, where during the summer they exclusively use local and wild harvested ingredients. In 2017 she was featured on Instagram as an Alaskan Photographer and Lifestyle Blogger. She enjoys spending time with her daughter, August, as well as hunting, fishing, foraging, cooking, photography and raising livestock.
* If you live on the Kenai Peninsula and have a bellybutton, there's no reason not to become a member of HCOA!
* Business members get shoutouts on Facebook.
* Members who purchase at least two member-price tickets in a year pay for their membership with savings.
* Membership doesn't expire in December; it runs one year from the date you sign up!
* New members receive super-cool stickers.
* If you lose your membership card, don't worry-we will remind you when it's time to renew.
* Renting the gallery space? Members get special treatment.
* Nutcracker Faire vendors who purchase a membership with a booth still pay less than non-members.
* Members happen to be our favorite people!
* Members with benefits! No-strings-attached.
Community Financial Contributions
Sallie is a life-long participant and supporter of the arts. She is incredibly grateful for parents who provided her frequent opportunities for engaging in the arts in her community of birth, Columbia, South Carolina and via extensive travel as a young person. Whether through school programming such as band, chorus; after-school dance programs or her participation in the earliest iteration of South Carolina Governor's School for the Arts as a selected visual arts student, she learned the value of the arts for enhancement of communication skills and innovative thought.
Sallie has a degree in History and International Studies from the University of South Carolina. Post-graduation she traveled to Alaska, where she, like so many others, immediately fell in love with the state. Two weeks after arriving, she had her parents sell all belongings remaining in S.C. and she declared Alaska "home". She married life-long Alaskan, Dan Rediske, and went on to attend Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia where she earned a Master in Physical Therapy degree. In 2003, she opened Homer Physical Therapy. As a business owner, Sallie is consistently struck by the exceptional quality of employees who bring with them arts' backgrounds to her business. She is a committed believer in the role of the arts as a fundamental part of creating healthy, vibrant and sustainable communities and finds HCOA's mission of providing, "Arts Opportunities for All", to be a powerful means to this end.
She is the parent of son, Roan Rediske, who has reaped the benefits of many of the arts programs offered by HCOA and other organizations in our local community.
Susan Johnson, Treasurer
After many yearly visits, Susan finally moved to Alaska in 2014. As trong desire to remain involved in the creative world brought her here to Homer. Originally from the East Coast, Susan attended the Art Institute of Boston, then spent the next 25 years doing traditional photographic printing for professional photographers. After a career change to become an X-ray technician, and with photos changing over to digital, Susan learned how to print for herself, and continues to create. She has had 2 shows at the Homer Library and 2 shows at HCOA as well as participating in the Nutcracker Fair as an artist.
Susan was an officer on the Board of Directors of a Non Profit in
Cambridge, MA for 10 years that went on to build The Maud Morgan Art Center.This inspired her to keep being involved. She is currently the Treasurer at HCOA and is very excited and encouraged by the possibilities that the Yurt Project will bring to the community. Susan also serves as an officer on the Board of Directors for the Bunnell Art Center, and was recently elected President. When not volunteering, Susan works in the Imaging Department atSouth Peninsula Hospital.
Gundega Snepste, Secretary
Gundega Šnepste was born and lived most of her life in Latvia. She has a MA in architecture however her professional career has been scattered in between 2 major economical and political crisis of her country.
After 15 years of a mostly long distance relationship with Earl Brock, her husband and father of two youngest children, the family finally united in Homer in 2014. Earl has a boat business, traveling all over the world, and her children Richard and Anna attend Homer High school.
During 1990-ies, Gundega witnessed the non-violent uprising called “the singing revolution” which led to collapse of the Soviet Union and independence of the Baltic states. The power of music, folklore, and art nurtured through centuries of wars, oppression, and violence have preserved the survival of the small Latvian nation and a language spoken by less than 2 million people worldwide.Gundega strongly believes that art and music not only enhances the quality of life, but can be a means of survival for an individual as well as a whole nation, and sometimes it can be a powerful weapon against aggression.
In Homer Gundega is pursuing her artistic side making art quilts and experimenting with mixed media projects. She volunteers at HCOA, HHS and Bunnell. Gundega joined HCOA board January 2016 and is happy to contribute her professional knowledge for upcoming projects of the expansion project and reconstruction of the HCOA building.
Cindy was born and raised in Bellevue Washington, went to college at Pacific Lutheran University and receive a Bachelor’s degree in Laboratory Medicine at the University of Washington. She had a college mate who lives in Alaska, and came up visiting many times since graduation. In 2002, she and her friend visited Homer, and that’s when Cindy fell in love. Her dream of driving the Alcan Highway was achieved the summer of 2004. For 13 days, she and her black lab made the trek up this historic highway. She lived in Anchorage for that summer and winter, frequently driving to Homer to look at homes. In May 2005 she made the move. As an accomplished visual artist, she works with glass fusing and mosaics as well as beaded jewelry. Her latest endeavor has been learning painting with oils. She co-owns Homer’s local Coop, Ptarmigan Arts on Pioneer Ave.
Cindy has been a board member at HCOA for the last 10 years she has seen a lot of accomplishments within this organization. Cindy’s biggest accomplishments at HCOA have been reinstating and developing the Homer Street Faire, and organizing and coordinating the annual Nutcracker Faire. Her passion in the vision of HCOA has kept her on the board for a decade. This is her last year as a director, but she will maintain a presence within the organization as a volunteer as well as being on the Advisory Council, making available a wealth of historic knowledge of HCOA.
Shari is a 47 year resident of the community and a Homer High graduate. Shari has owned or operated several small businesses, been part of the management team of two of Alaska’s premier resorts, as well as having served as a bank team member for many years before joining the Finance Department at our local hospital.
Shari has one grown daughter who teaches Montessori School. She lives in Anchor Point in a hand-hewn log home with her partner on a homestead this his parents proved up in 1956. Shari has always been a volunteer and organizer in the community and enjoys helping wherever needed. Shari has served as an HCOA board member for five years and enjoys the experience of having a hand in bringing the arts to our community.
Kiirsten Styvar was raised in Colorado and Wyoming. Her father was an Outdoor education teacher and instilled a great love for the outdoors. She, her husband, and two children have lived in Alaska for the past 9 years. Kiirsten and her family were drawn to the natural beauty of Homer and the closeness of our community. She is a Registered Nurse and has enjoyed volunteering in the health community and local schools. Her family’s life has been deeply enriched by the art experiences offered here in Homer. It is such a blessing to live in a community that has a deep appreciation for the Arts. She looks forward to serving on the board, helping to continue the influence of HCOA and the arts on Homer families.
Maygen Lotscher has been an actively producing ceramicist since 1993. She is the recipient of a Rasmuson Arts Educator grant, the Stranded Artist grant, and has exhibited her works throughout Alaska and in state museums. She was born in 1975 in Royal Oak, Michigan. After receiving a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Ceramics from Northern Michigan University, Lotscher continued her studies in art at the Masters level for one year at the University of Tennessee. She was the recipient of a full graduate teaching assistant scholarship which is where she discovered her love of teaching. After moving to Alaska in 2001, she returned to her studies at the University of Alaska, earning her Master’s in Education and State Teaching credentials. An educator for over a decade in Homer, Alaska, Maygen has taught art at Homer High School and the University of Alaska’s Kachemak Bay Campus. Currently, she is focused on creating ceramics in her home studio and raising her 2 daughters.
As an artist, Maygen’s role is to access, evoke, and explore the deeper levels of self and connect it to spirituality and the natural world. Her artwork is an invitation to reflect on purposeful beauty, in everyday life. Working with clay, holistically roots her to humanity, nature, and a greater reality.
As an educator, Maygen is passionately committed to enliven students’ relationships with themselves and unearth their full potential as creative and imaginative selves. She acts as a guide through a self-empowered community that promotes inquiry, fosters creativity, cultivates self-discovery, and empowers students to learn.
Caitlin Walls was born in Texas and grew up in Colorado, west of Denver. She attended Colorado State University for her undergraduate studies and then moved to Boston, MA to complete her graduate degree at Emerson College. After living in Boston for four years, she moved to Utqiaġvik, AK to teach English, oral communication, and art history at Iḷisaġvik College. After four years in the arctic, Caitlin and her husband, Austin Parkhill, moved to Homer, AK, where they have resided since July 2015. Caitlin currently works in development and strategic planning, and her husband is an artist (his medium is acrylic paint).
Caitlin is passionate about the arts—in any form—and enjoys the pace of life and natural beauty in Homer. She officially became involved with Homer Council on the Arts (HCOA) in February 2017 when she joined the Board of Directors. It was an easy decision to make, as HCOA synthesizes everything that Caitlin loves about the arts: community outreach, creativity, and the facilitation and support of young and established artists. HCOA fosters dance, music, painting, sculpture, creative writing, and more, and its workshops and performances are always a delight.
Caitlin was became a Board member because she was keen to be a part of HCOA's capital project. The Yurt Expansion Project will be a tremendous asset to HCOA, and a beautiful performance and rental space for the community. Thoughtful and dynamic institutional growth—in the context of serving the broader community—is a personal and professional area that Caitlin is enthusiastic about, and HCOA ticks all the boxes for such criteria.