The first thing visitors notice when entering the new location of the Healdsburg Center for the Arts on Center Street is the light. A glorious light illuminates the location and showcases the magnificent and beautifully preserved treasures within.
West-facing windows and new lighting accentuate the centre’s raison d’être: art.
According to Kathy Birdsong, painter and chairman of the board, the organization lost its lease at the old location on a small block of Plaza Street, just east of Healdsburg Plaza. The non-profit organization searched for months to find a new location that didn’t exclude them from the market.
When Plaza Paints and Supplies moved to a new location on Healdsburg Avenue, its old location became vacant. The center was able to rent to the owner of the new location at 334 Center Street. Although they are still a short walk from Healdsburg Square, they are in a more visible location. And, although the galleries are roughly the same size, the location gives them “flexible space” and a larger classroom, as well as an outdoor courtyard that can be set up for events or classes. The flexible space can expand the classroom for busy students, as well as hold a different classroom, or even be used as a demonstration area.
The Healdsburg Center for the Arts hosted a grand opening on October 23. The organization has approximately 295 members. Approximately $ 15,000 came from donors and arts patrons this year. Income also comes from the gallery, classes and workshops.
This year, HCA is celebrating its 20th year with the annual Gift Gallery, which closes December 30. There are works of art including vivid or earthy ceramics, soft and woolly textiles to wear, paintings and photographs, jewelry, and wood.
New location on Center Street
While they are optimistic about the new location, Birdsong also spoke about the terrible times they experienced due to the fires and floods.
“Now all we need are locusts,” Birdsong said with a laugh.
She also spoke about her goals for the program and how it will grow.
“I want HCA to shine through our gallery and our extensive education program. I want people to respect and value the art we present, ”she said.
The first thing that catches the attention of visitors as they walk down Center Street is the Healdsburg Center for the Arts sign. Then comes the plethora of works of art in the double windows on the facade, which catch the eye and invite you to stroll through the gallery.
Kelly Ebeling is the Director of Education at HCA, and she strives to deliver a diverse curriculum across multiple genres.
“Through our courses, workshops and camps, we collaborate and partner with the City of Healdsburg, Corazón Healdsburg, the Healdsburg Jazz Festival, the Healdsburg Chamber of Commerce, the Rotary Club, the Senior Center, Becoming Independent, our schools local public and private arts educators and instructors and many more, ”said Ebling. “Building community through the arts is at the heart of HCA’s mission. “
Birdsong and Ebling consider HCA to be the cultural anchor point in Healdsburg and the surrounding communities. The center provides a welcoming place for the diverse community to “imagine, connect, learn, explore and provide access to experiences that inspire and transform”.
People demand more than the visual arts and also include music, literary arts, dance and performance, which coincides with plans for larger cities.
The Town of Healdsburg has long term plans to add more artistic and cultural elements to the town’s offerings. With the help of Healdsburg 2040, they are making this a reality with HCA. The HCA Creative Leadership Team is working on the Arts and Culture Master Plan that will provide more creative outlets for residents of Healdsburg and beyond.
Collaborate with programs, artists
The organization is in equal parts gallery and education.
The center team works in conjunction with the Town of Healdsburg, as well as the Ceramics program at Healdsburg High School and with the school’s instructor, Linus Lancaster.
Lancaster was invited to serve on HCA’s board of directors in the summer of 2021. He has hosted a number of workshops, in particular one on building foxhole radios, to show potential donors who might want to fund the work. students.
Longtime Healdsburg resident Gail Jonas connected Lancaster with eight people who donated to fund the students, who participated in both radio and a rocket program.
Lancaster hopes to continue raising funds to support these efforts for STEAM (science, technology, environment, arts and music) projects. He said that every creation, including radios and rockets, is a work of art in itself. These projects stimulate the imagination and support creativity.