Robert Bair’s step daughter thought he needed something more to do at the lake. His grandson happened to be playing a show at the local Hy-Vee, which was hosted by the Lake Arts Council. He attended the show, introduced himself to the members present, and the rest is history.

 Robert Bair’s step daughter thought he needed something more to do at the lake. His grandson happened to be playing a show at the local Hy-Vee, which was hosted by the Lake Arts Council. He attended the show, introduced himself to the members present, and the rest is history.

Now, just a year after joining the council, Bair has taken the leading role as president. However, this wasn’t always the plan for Bair.

“My line is always ‘I didn’t join the Art Council to save it.’ I just wanted to join and do things,” Bair said. “But the time came and the council was in need of leadership.”

With no one else willing to step into the position, Bair felt that his time had come to take on the task and officially took the position on July 1. With 12 board members, Bair hopes that his new role will help to build towards greater things.

Bair himself plays a number of instruments, include guitar, piano and his new found passion for violin. He is a member of the Lake Area Strings and also dabbles in drawing and singing. He also takes pride in pressing the play button for the music used in the Step Sisters Dance Recitals.

Among the many goals Bair has for the position, he hopes to be able to build a stronger base of ongoing sponsorships to bring low-cost events to the lake. With symphonies and exhibits ready to be displayed, he wants to gather these funds so that everyone can attend without needs to pull out of their wallets for admission. He also hopes to expand the board to help coordinate various efforts.

“If we’re not able to find sponsorship, these events go from being free to being $50 a ticket,” Bair said.

Bair says that bringing a healthy art scene to the lake is important in a number of ways. He says a healthy art community has been studied and can boost test scores, self image, and can go on to bring in new business that might compliment art events. He says they want to support nonprofit and for-profit events around the lake to bring a mix of all forms for everyone.

Community members hoping to join or support the Lake Arts Council should reach out to Bair about joining a committee or volunteering for various lake events. Bair says that getting the community involved makes the events feel more representative of the area as a whole.

“It’s not just some ethereal thing,” Bair said. “There are tangible benefits for the lake to have a vibrant, happy arts community.”