Submitted by Dixie Adair Budke
This year marks the 15th anniversary of Lopez Island Home Tour. Its origin began like so many now-traditional Lopez Island events: with the heartbeat of volunteers.
But first, a brief history of the Lopez Center for Community and the Arts for “newcomers” to Lopez Island. “Newcomer” means that you arrived after October of 1999 when the Center was built. Our little island needed a gathering place, a place for community, a place for dance and music, a place for celebration. But where? The obvious location was in the village. But how? The future Center needed land. Natalie Roush, a beloved Lopezian who died in 2017, generously donated the land where the Center sits today. With the artist touch and deep sense of community, Roush made this first step possible. Roush’s home is featured on this years’ Home Tour. As you will see, her home reflects the same warmth and sense of artistic expression as the center.
Founding board members of Lopez Center knew that if they built it we would come. They built it and our community members have been flocking through the doors to enjoy a broad range of events since the beginning. The founders were more than fundraisers and policy setters. They rolled up their sleeves, swung hammers, set posts, built the pavilion, and determined events. Enjoy a more detailed history of Lopez Center for Community and the Arts on its website http://www.lopezcenter.org/goto.php?page=history.
The Lopez Center’s goal has always been to provide top-notch performances while keeping tickets affordable. Thus, the Home Tour was born. It was conceived and put into motion by John and Carol Whetten, Jim Smith and Connie Harris in 2003. What started as a small band of volunteers, many who were on the founding Center board has grown to hundreds of volunteers who organize, publicize, sell tickets, serve as home docents, park cars, arrange for day-of-event lunches, and numerous other details.
Smith took the lead to identify and secure the 108 homes that have been on the tour over the past 14 years. The willingness of homeowners to share their homes has been extraordinary. They have expressed delight at the respectful and sincere way they were engaged throughout the selection and event process. Many have joined the committee as a result.
The Home Tour has raised a cumulative $250,000 through ticket sales and generous event sponsorships since 2003. This is a contribution which continues to be a critical component of the Lopez Center’s operating budget.
It is clear that this important event has made happy homeowners, happy home visitors, happy committee members and a financially healthy Lopez Center for Community and Arts.
Tickets are $30 and can be purchased at Paper Scissors on the Rock, Lopez Bookshop, Lopez Center and www.lopezcenter.org.
Please join in the fun!