The Cortland Voice welcomes new reporter

Chelsea Horak. (Photo Source: Timothy A. Bennett/Owner & Publisher of The Cortland Voice)

The Cortland Voice recently made an addition with local ties to its team.

Chelsea Horak, who has lived in the Homer/Cortland area all her life, joins The Cortland Voice as a freelance reporter.

Horak graduated from Homer High School in 2006. She attended St. Bonaventure University, where she received her bachelor’s degree in English – with minors in political science and pre-law.

While at St. Bonaventure, Horak had published works in the university’s academic journal. She was also part of a class that covered the inauguration of former President Barack Obama, which included her putting together a blog-style writing assignment.

Horak was also part of a work-study in the theater program while in college, where she was involved in traveling productions and productions right on campus. 

Now part of The Cortland Voice, Chelsea has a similar mindset as the The Cortland Voice itself with her wanting “to give people a voice as well.”

“If there are topics that aren’t covered that people want to see covered, then we’re open to hearing about it too,” Horak continued.

Horak’s love for Cortland County

Horak loves many things about Cortland County, including the scenery.

“A lot of people complain about the weather here, but I love that we get to experience four different seasons,” she said. “I love taking drives (across the county) and seeing the foliage change.”

Horak is also a fan of the local art scene, and witnessing the number of “growing artists in the area.” 

“It’s nice to see Cortland embrace the local artists that it has here,” she added.

Chelsea turned pain to income

Her passion for art goes into the business she owns, which is known as Beacon Park, LLC. Horak said the name of the business is play on words.

“It’s because the lighthouse is a beacon, and it also represents striving towards something bigger,” Horak said, who noted the business began in her childhood home.

An “art-space business,” Horak said she works with a laser “to create things out of wood and acrylic.”

Horak started the business due to being a domestic violence survivor, and her battle with post-traumatic stress disorder.

“It’s something I started in order to become more independent and focus on moving my art therapy forward,” she added. “I want to turn it into something that other people can enjoy as well.”

With Beacon Peak, Horak wants to inspire other women and entrepreneurs “who want to start a small business.”

“This is a creative outlet that I really want to turn profitable, and see if I can inspire others,” she said.

The drive she has in her business and to spread inspiration will also go into the work she does for The Cortland Voice.

“I’m excited to bring a female perspective and a more arts-focused voice,” she said.