Title of Sonoma Community Center ‘Muse’ bestowed on two this year
When used as a noun, the word “muse” is defined as a person who is a source of artistic inspiration.
Make that a plural: For the Sonoma Community Center, Steve and Holly Kyle embody that definition and are thrilled to be named together as this year’s Muse. Their honor was announced in May, and an Aug. 11 event to celebrate the Kyles will be held at SCC.
“It came as a total surprise when we got the call from the Community Center,” said Steve Kyle about hearing of the recognition. “We feel very honored and, honestly, have been having a blast these past couple of months.”
As a couple and individually, the Kyles have inspired the SCC, and the community at large, through many years of fervent volunteerism and community-centered activities. In addition to numerous board affiliations including the Boys & Girls Club, Steve sat on the SCC board for many years and was Board President for three years running.
Holly, who amusedly calls herself “Mrs. Steve,” volunteers wherever and whenever she can. “During the fires, I helped organize volunteers to work in the evacuation center and, I once helped paint the board meeting room,” she said with a laugh.
She is perhaps best known for marshaling hundreds of volunteers to help judge senior projects at Sonoma Valley High School, as well as stepping up to the plate to don a Trashion Fashion outfit for this year’s event.
Current Community Center board president, Annie Bauer, couldn’t say enough good things about the Kyles.
“Steve and Holly have done so much for the community and the Community Center,” said Bauer. “And while we had a strong fleet of candidates for the Muse, the Kyles were unanimously selected for this year.”
Bauer elaborated saying that Steve had in the past been ineligible due to his status as a board member. When he chose to step down, the board decided it was the perfect time to bestow the honor. “The Kyles are hard workers and serve the community out of the goodness of their hearts. They don’t look for accolades and, for that reason, their selection was really a no-brainer,” said Bauer.
The Muse event is the SCC’s biggest fundraiser of the year and the money raised helps sustain and improve programs at the center all year long. This includes supporting art classes, underwriting educational activities and making community-service activities possible.
“The Community Center is like a supermarket in terms of arts education,” said Steve, whose nickname in SCC circles is the “Scone Ranger” in reference to a scone baking class he once took. “It is also an iconic building in terms of its location and stature.”
Classes run throughout the year and a quick look at the calendar lists fun things like music, tai chi, ballet, printmaking, fiber arts, ceramics, jewelry and more. Camps for kids are offered each summer and many of the classes are family-friendly.
The Kyles have also been ardent supporters of Sonoma Arts Live and, as season tickets holders, they spoke enthusiastically of the many performances they’d seen over the years.
“We love everything about the Community Center and the many programs offered,” Steve said. “Being named as the Muse is an honor.”
The Muse event will be held on Saturday, Aug. 11, at Community Center, located at 276 E. Napa St., beginning at 5:30 p.m. For tickets and information, go to SonomaCommunityCenter.org.