Seldovia Arts Council, header image

Seldovia Arts Council
Board Of Directors

photo- Laurel Hilts

Laurel Hilts

Laurel Hilts grew up in Seldovia and returned in 2005 to raise her three children here.  She has been involved in the Seldovia Arts Council throughout the years, and enjoys supporting the arts in the community.

Laurel has a degree in Communication and a Master’s in Teaching Elementary Education.  She has taught music, drama and language arts in Seldovia, has been the Boys & Girls Club Director and the Prevention Program Coordinator for the Seldovia Village Tribe.  She is currently SVT’s Marketing and Public Relations Director.

Photo of Suzie Stranik

Suzie Stranik
Vice Chair

Suzie is a summer resident of Seldovia from March to October.  She and her husband, Jerry, first came to Seldovia in 1976, establishing a dental clinic. 

Suzie has a background in cooking and ran a catering company, Gourmet Fleurs, for 7 years in Anchorage. 

Suzie is a mother of three children,  operated a B & B for 18 years in Anchorage, and worked with the 1% for Art program for 20 years  before retiring to Seldovia in 2007.   She opened a garden nursery and gift shop, Thyme on the Boardwalk, May 2011. 

Suzie is an active member of the chamber of commerce and wants to see a thriving art community in Seldovia while promoting it’s community gardens.
Tobben Spurkland, Seldovia Arts Council

Tobben Spurkland

Retired Civil Engineer with 40 years of Alaskan experience. 

Full time resident of Seldovia where fishing and gardening occupy his time.

Has played a b-flat tuba since 1953 and is beginning to get the hang of it.  Favorite artist: Ella Fitzgerald. 
Favorite music:  Big Band Jazz.

Tania Spurkland

Tania was lucky to grow up on the hillside of Homer on a homestead where her family raised French Alpine dairy goats. She and husband, Tobben, have always loved Kachemak Bay and have been “part-timers” in Seldovia since 2000. This year they will finally aspire to becoming “full-timers” and are looking forward to being involved in the community year-round.

Tania was a science teacher with the Anchorage School District for three decades, and her passion is marine biology education and ocean stewardship. She recently completed UAF’s School of Fisheries and Ocean
Sciences graduate program with a specialty in intertidal ecology and marine algae. She has published her work in the Journal of Coastal Research, Botanica Marina and Phycological Research. She currently works for the Seldovia Village Tribe in their environmental department and conducts intertidal biodiversity monitoring with KPBS school groups.

As secretary, Tania has been on the board of the Seldovia Arts Council the past three years. She wishes to help bring a diversity of arts and science activities to Seldovia.

Betsy Scott
Board Member

"I was born in Hackensack, NJ; came of age in Santa Barbara California; and escaped to Alaska via stints in Los Angeles and San Francisco. I quess I have always been in the arts; both my parents were commercial and fine artists. I liked to make up skits and dance for my reflection in the old box TV when it was off.

I have a BFA in theater from UC Santa Cruz and a BS in nursing from UAA. I got practical late in life.

I spent time in LA trying to "make it". I only lasted three years. I did not want to grow old there trying. Moved to SF, where I worked at the Eureka Theatre and the Magic Theatre. I did two shows in one year and was nominated for both by the Bay Area Critics Circle. I won the supporting role. I have never been so nervous. I had to walk up on stage and accept the bloody thing.

I have had the honor of being the first company to present at Cyrano's Off Center Playhouse as Pacific Rim Theater. I acted with the Alaska Rep; was Lizzie in their Rainmaker. Was Artistic Director of the Valley Performing Arts in Palmer, before they moved to Wasilla, and of Pacific Rim Theatre. I have directed, acted, taught, produced.

Had a blast directing childrens shows at VPA and taught/directed the Pacific Rim Summer Arts Camp for children. We did Midsummer's Night Dream and Artistophanes The Birds with all girls age 7-16. What a blast!

I also had the great opportunity to teach in the bush with the Alaska Arts Council Education program.

Now, I love to sing and tell stories. It is so portable! Honored to be able to help out, as I can, here in Seldovia."

Image, Margie McCord, Seldovia Arts Council Board Of Directors.

Marguerite McCord
Board Member

Margie, her husband Byron , and grandson Ashton have spent their summers in Seldovia since 2007 escaping the frenzy of the big city in Soldotna. “I work part-time as an RN in Cardiac Rehab where we try to change peoples’ lifestyles over 3 months after having lived a lifetime of unhealthy habits; not often easy. I think it’s the best job in the hospital because I get paid to exercise with the patients!”

“We loved Seldovia at first visit and decided to immerse ourselves in the community by volunteering in any way to support the school, church, and the arts council. I am more of a “worker bee” and have been amazed how just a handful of dedicated community members can attract artists from all over the world to come to this little out of the way village to perform and leave with the fondest of memories. There is an amazing amount of work that goes into each concert and an exhaustive amount for the summer solstice festival; I feel honored to be part of the team. I tell people that all the concerts I attend are in Seldovia! If you don’t see me around town walking my dog or pulling weeds from one of our beautiful town gardens, I might just be rowing in the harbor!"

Charles F Nagel
Board Member

Chuck Nagel recently retired from his retirement job of nine years at Providence Hospital after medically retiring from the Anchorage School District as an instrumental music teacher at Mears Middle School and Dimond High School for over 29 years. Previously he taught in Nogales High School and  East Phoenix High School in Arizona. He has been part of the music scene in Anchorage performing in the Anchorage Symphony Orchestra and The Anchorage Jazz Ensemble. Mr. Nagel is graduate of Arizona State University.

Image, Vivian Rojas, Seldovia Arts Council

Vivian Rojas
Board Member

On a whim 42 years ago I traveled to Seldovia with three  girlfriends and never looked back. Seldovia became home base for me as I traveled and worked around Alaska, but I knew Seldovia was the place to make my home.

Seldovia has been a perfect place to live, recreate, work, raise three children and now retire from the local school district.
With my new retirement I can embrace new adventures, one of which is joining the Seldovia Arts Council.  I am a believer of giving back to your community therefore, I am on the Seldovia City Council and a volunteer on the local EMS department.

This beautiful place allows me to enjoy my  passions of hiking, biking, fishing, gardening, picking berries, skiing, and watching the tide change. Seldovia is a treasure to be enjoyed by all.
Image of Rebecca Lambourn
Rebecca Lambourn
Board Member

Rebecca is currently a summer resident of Seldovia with her husband, Stanley Coleman, who spent his young childhood living along the slough on the boardwalk. They currently spend winters in Kenai while Rebecca teaches anthropology classes part-time at Kenai Peninsula College at either the Homer or Soldotna campuses.

Rebecca’s education includes Masters degrees in both Anthropology and Chemical Engineering and she spent many years living and working in Norway, Scotland and England. She has a particular interest in the interaction between symbolic arts, technology, and culture change with her travels and research taking her to Papua New Guinea.

Sticking closer to home now, a current project includes a historical and cultural walking tour including Kenaitze archaeological sites. She has also operated a coffee house venue for promoting local musicians in Old Town Kenai. Lately, writing has become a passion along with long walks (usually with dogs).

Noah Custer
Board Member

Numerous Technical Operations

Noah Custer is a young musician who recently moved to Seldovia from Colorado and was recently elected as the Arts Council's Youth Advisory Member. He's currently a senior in high school and is looking forward to being done with schooling so that he can focus more on music.

He plays six instruments with reasonable proficiency and has experimented with many more. Among the better ones are piano, guitar, drums, and ukulele. He has a passion for learning about, playing, and composing music in various genres and for various instruments as well as arranging songs into totally different formats. Seriously, don't get him started talking about music. He won't stop.


Revised June 11, 2017.