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Healdsburg Highlights - February 2013


Healdsburg Highlights
February 2013

by Gina Riner

Valuing our community assets

In Healdsburg, with a population close to 12,000, we are fortunate to have many forms of assets that make living here a rich experience. Lots of towns and cities across America face urban blight, poverty and socially isolated people but potholes and parking are among our top issues. Healdsburg is beautiful with redwood forests and spacious parks. We have Fitch Mountain. The bucolic Russian River meanders through town. We have a local government committed to and engaged with the community. Our farmer’s market provides convenient access to fresh food. We have Healdsburg General Hospital, Alliance Medical Center, the Villa Chanticleer, and a multitude of shops and restaurants within walking distance.

But a community’s value goes far beyond its financial, environmental and physical assets. It’s also our social and cultural assets that contribute to a better quality of life, providing important sources of support and binding us closer together as a community. The Healdsburg Museum & Historical Society and the Healdsburg Center for the Arts are two examples of significant cultural assets. 


History makes somewhere home

More than preserving our letters, photos, artifacts and architectural structures, the Healdsburg Museum plays an important role in the exchange of our stories and personal memories. I saw that very clearly at their recent Annual Potluck Dinner Meeting when they elected a new Board of Directors, reported on last year’s accomplishments and presented two historic preservation awards. Curator Holly Hoods said the museum couldn’t exist without volunteers and that 2012 broke the record for the number of volunteer hours contributed: 16,000! But what especially delighted me was to see the group of exuberant volunteers, Jerry Eddinger, Al Loebel, and Ken Munson, accept the award for Historic Restoration to the Recreation Park Grandstands Renovation Committee. This is history. Highlighting local life. Sharing stories. Preserving memories. Being connected. And you can be a part of it. Healdsburg Museum, 221 Matheson St. Open 11am-4pm, Wed.-Sun. For more information on how you can get involved, call (707) 431-3325 or visit


Building community through the ARTS

The arts give us the creativity to express ourselves and it is integral in the development of our community. Healdsburg is fortunate to have a vibrant arts organization like the Healdsburg Center for the Arts. Devoted to fostering creativity and providing arts education opportunities, the Center also provides a supportive environment to resident artists who spend thousands of volunteer hours to maintain, staff and exhibit local art at the Center. In January board member and resident artist, Vesna Breznikar, led an annual volunteer effort to re-paint and refresh the gallery exhibit space. The Center also sponsors the Healdsburg Arts Festival, music in the gallery, art education outreach to local schools and many gallery shows and events. I attended the Young Artists show in late Jan. and was truly astonished by the wide range of original art created by children in nine area elementary schools. Their creativity inspired me so much that I’m interested in working on a team to develop an “Emerging Artists” program.

If “art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life,” (Pablo Picasso) then the Healdsburg Center for the Arts is the “shower.” Feb. 6 – Mar. 3, the Center will exhibit “Seeing Red.” Artist reception, Feb. 9, 5-7pm. If you hurry, you can still catch the Young Artists show. 130 Plaza St., off Center. (707) 431-1970. 


Supporting our community assets

Typically, people tend to work, live and shop in different places but we’re fortunate that isn’t so in Healdsburg. As lifelong resident Evelyn Iversen, age 103, once told me, “I never felt the need to leave Healdsburg. We had everything right here—family, friends, the cabin on Mill Creek.” When we make the right investments in the cultural and heritage resources we have, like the Healdsburg Museum and the Healdsburg Center for the Arts, it creates future benefits in the quality of life for our community of Healdsburg. All of us have the capacity to contribute in some way.