The 2009 Island Treasure Awards went to Kathleen Thorne and Alan Simcoe.
Kathleen Thorne started as an Arts & Humanities Council volunteer more than a decade and a half ago. She served as a program manager for the Council until she resigned to pursue other work. She has served as editor of Currents, as well as managed, created, and supported a wealth of cultural programs including: the Humanities Inquiry series, Poetry Corners and National Poetry Month events, Celluloid Bainbridge, Great Decisions at the Library, and Artist Round Tables. Add to that the many collaborations such as Bainbridge and Beyond Reads, the 2007 Greg Mortensen lecture, and the Living Library series. In addition, Thorne has worked and volunteered with other organizations such as Bainbridge Performing Arts, Bainbridge Island Historical Society, West Sound Wildlife Shelter, and Sustainable Bainbridge. While the former literature major and self-described “humanities junkie” resolutely asserts that she doesn’t have artistic talent of her own – although she said she did write a poem once – evidence of her presence exists in innumerable arts and humanities endeavors on the Island, spanning a vast range of disciplines. She’s an organizer, a synthesizer, a driver.
Alan Simcoe has a Renaissance quality. He is a musician, teacher, performer, historian, luthier, and community music advocate. Simcoe was selected as an Island Treasure for the ongoing commitment he has shown to bringing “the method, the music and the melody” to the Island through his teaching, building and performing. He also also very generously served on many arts and humanities panels as a representative of the Island’s music community. Village Music, which Simcoe established in 2003, houses all the evidence of his trade. It has a storefront where he sells instruments, and provides teaching and rehearsal space. Passers-by can watch as he builds stringed instruments, from classical guitars to lutes to parlor guitars and beyond. A fellow musician described Simcoe by stating, “He is not loud, but he is complex with numerous overtones and we all are richer for it.”