After serving three years as the executive director of the Kodiak Arts Council, Tom Quass will say his goodbyes to the organization on Friday. Quass said his primary reason for leaving is health reasons, but said he probably wouldn’t have stayed much longer despite that.
"You know I probably wouldn’t have only done this a couple more years anyway. Just to get it going, I think we’re definitely going in the right direction that we wanted to go for the performing arts and visual arts."
During his three years with the arts council, Quass said the organization saw a shift toward maintaining an online presence.
"We decided to embrace the social media, you know facebook and twitter and those things. And we updated our website to use it as more of an interactive page where people can download things and information is a little more readily available. And we added the online ticketing, or electronic ticketing, which has allowed people to buy tickets at home with their fluffy bunny slippers on and a cup of coffee so they don’t have to trek somewhere to get it. And they can do that at midnight or 4 a.m. or whatever their schedule may be they can buy tickets whenever they want."
Quass and his wife, Joanne, have plans to move off the island, although they aren’t exactly sure where. Both have strong ties to the East Coast, so he said that is a possible destination. Despite having to make the move, Quass said he still has roots in Kodiak and hopes to visit. He said he will certainly miss his time with the arts council.
"Yeah of course. It’s always a bittersweet thing, but you know I’m letting go so it can continue to grow and prosper and becoming something and I just hope that everyone in Kodiak realizes what a great asset this is, you know the arts council and all the people that participate in it and they start coming to some of our events."
The arts council is currently looking for a new executive director, Events Coordinator Katie Helligso will fulfill those duties until the position is filled.