By Nick Worth
The Holbrook Regional Arts Alliance (HRAA) is getting set to begin a new season, and President Christopher Olthouse said the year is starting off with a challenge for the group.
“We’re regrouping and reorganizing right now,” Olthouse said. He noted that board members Kyle Gardner and Emily Wheeler both had to resign from the HRAA board because of other commitments, leaving only Loni Hatch and Olthouse.
According to Olthouse, the first order of business for the HRAA is getting some members on board.
On the HRAA-Holbrook Regional Arts Alliance Facebook page, Olthouse posted that the group “need(s) more bodies & minds, to pool our resources and have more manpower.
“We’re recruiting anybody in the surrounding communities, including Holbrook, Joseph City, Woodruff, Sun Valley-Adamana and St. Johns,” Olthouse said. “Anybody from those communities who would like to be a member of the arts alliance and represent their town is encouraged to join.”
Olthouse said the group is open to anyone interested in the arts, both performing and visual arts. He encouraged “artists, students, teachers, anybody” to join the group.
Another challenge facing the HRAA is a lack of funds.
“No big events are planned for this year because we have absolutely no money,” Olthouse said. He said Lynda Fraley, a Navajo County grant writer, is helping the HRAA solve its funding problems.
“Lynda recently joined us and is working on finding grants for HRAA,” said Olthouse. “There are all kinds of grants for the arts, but having someone who is able to guide you to the right ones is major.”
He noted that obtaining grants is extremely important to the organization.
“Grants will be the only way we can operate and help us establish our non-profit 501(c) status,” he said.
Some other changes may be in store for the HRAA, according to Olthouse.
“As far as the group goes, we’re interested in putting together a community choir and also a community theater during the summer,” he said, adding that the arts alliance is also looking for local artists who can do workshops. Art walks during the summer are also on the drawing board.
“We want the group to be completely community involved,” said Olthouse. “We don’t want to be just a production company that brings in great shows.”
The first HRAA event for the year will be hosting the Holbrook Head Start Art Show at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, March 19, at the Hulet Elementary School gymnasium.
“Any and all local artists are encouraged to join in and show their art,” said Olthouse, noting that local artists Mike O’Dell and Judy Pack might be exhibiting some of their work.
“Teachers and their art students are also encouraged to show their work,” said Olthouse. Pottery, painting, drawings, sketches and jewelry work are all welcome at the show.
He added that performance art is also welcome at the exhibit, and that the HRAA is looking for entertainment for the event.
For more information about joining the HRAA, call Olthouse at (928) 241-8340.
For more information on exhibiting at the art show, call Olthouse or Tristi at Holbrook Head Start at 928-524-6831 by March 14, in order to reserve exhibit space.
The next meeting of the HRAA is scheduled at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 27, at Joe and Aggie’s Cafe in Holbrook.
By Nick Worth