2020 nonprofit nominees offer community, commedia and media

Joellen Clark-Peterson
Arcata Chamber of Commerce

ARCATA – Every year, the Arcata Chamber of Commerce offers its Business Leadership Awards in six categories: Business of the Year, as decided by the City of Arcata’s Economic Development Committee; Small Business of the Year; Nonprofit of the Year; New Chamber Member of the Year; Hospitality and Tourism of the Year; Green Business of the Year; Beautification of the Year.

The 2019 awards will be presented at the Chamber’s Annual Business Leadership Awards dinner on Saturday, Feb. 22, 2020 from 5 to 8:30 p.m. at the Arcata Community Center. Get tickets at eventbrite.com.

The Rotary Club of Arcata Sunrise. Submitted photo

Rotary Club of Arcata Sunrise
A.J.Gonzalez, president

Rotary is an international organization and each group a collection of professionals who donate time and money to help the community be successful. We support a lot of causes that are personal to our members, including the suicide walk, Out of the Darkness and  local schools with programs such as BackPacks for Kids and scholarships to Arcata High graduates.

If Sunrise Rotary didn’t exist, Rotary Park wouldn’t exist on South G Street – we worked on that with the Noon Rotary Club. We have the dictionary program - third graders at multiple schools get a dictionary to last them their school years. We host an exchange student from another country each year. We also send one Arcata High student a year to study abroad. A lot of our meetings highlight nonprofits, giving them a chance to share what they do in the community and ask for assistance from our club. 

We are currently working on  a community garden at the Peninsula Union School to help them grow vegetables for their meal programs. In February, six of us will join other club members to go to Guatemala to build a house for a Mayan family. 

Dell'Arte Producing Artistic Director Michael Firlds. Submitted photo

Dell’Arte  International
Michael Fields, founding member and producing artistic director

We are a professional theatre organization, school, and international training center located in a town of 1,300 people. For nearly the last 50 years we have provided the community a place  to encounter itself. Annually, we reach about 7,000 audience members for free; it’s important to make our work accessible. 

People think the arts are insular, but if you look back at the foundation of theatre, the Greeks would have a war and 10 minutes later they made a play about it. We are part of the health of this community. There is a great government report out about rural communities that says when there is a strong cultural presence in small, rural communities, a greater physical health is measured. 

We are the third institution of higher learning next to C/R and HSU in that we offer an advanced MFA. We have up to 60 students a year and hundreds if you count our workshops. We train artists from all over the world. Currently, we are in the middle of designing the Dell’Arte Next Campaign. What do the next 50 years look like?  We are also continuing with outreach work to Pelican Bay as well as focusing on a collaboration with the Wiyot Tribe around the work of the visual artist, Rick Bartow that will be part of the Mad River Festival this summer.

The KEET-TV crew. Submitted photo

David Gordon, executive director

We provide educational opportunities to those who may not otherwise have access to them, especially early childhood education with our free 24/7 PBS kids channel.

Without us, you would basically have no local television presence. As far as locally owned and operated controlled TV networks go, we are the only one. We try to reflect this community back to itself. For example, Retro Local is two stories that got national play – one about the Indian Island give back and the immigration issue, tying events in the past to events in the present. We have two series we have been working on that will be out soon: One is an initial series of 13 shows recorded at the Old Steeple in Ferndale called  Live from the Old Steeple. It will air in January and we think it might get national attention. 

Look for the KEET production van around town that we are using for filming projects. We can broadcast live from this van and want to get back to covering  the Rhododendron parade and live the Kinetic Sculpture Race. On February 1 we invite you to attend our KEET Downton Abbey Ball, a fundraiser for KEET. People can watch KEET on our website, over the air, or the Internet – however you consume media, we try to be there and appreciate your support.