March 2018
So much to share! March is destined for a whirlwind of arts activity. Hold on to your hat. Get out and enjoy the arts while you support the arts!

ARTS brief is designed to intrigue you while sharing useful information, events, happenings, and current news related to arts growth in our region. If you love what you see here, please forward this to your friends and encourage them to   join our email list and subscribe
Advancing the arts
Arts Plan builds community support
Photo credit: City of Vancouver
More than 60 people gathered in the Aspen Room at City Hall on Sunday, Feb. 25, to review and provide feedback on Vancouver's new Culture, Arts, and Heritage Plan, expected to be adopted by the City on April 16. Attendees included members of the arts community, arts organizations, and those who participated in Arts of Clark County's Arts and Culture Summit last fall.

Before the end of March, Vancouver's Program and Policy Development Manager Jan Bader and City Neighborhood Liaison and Communications Manager Carol Bua, who both led Sunday's event, will give more than a dozen similar presentations to key community stakeholders for their review and feedback.

The plan was developed for the City by consultants BDS Planning with support from Framework and community input and assistance from an advisory board representing a variety of local arts, culture, and heritage-related interests. The resulting draft outlines three policy areas or "elements" plus specific objectives and 51 individual actions.

At Sunday's event, attendees broke into three focus groups ... Continue reading
From left: Jean LaCrosse, LaRae Zawodny, Pat LaCroix, Steven Baer, Karen Madsen, Lynne Bowden, Annie Davern
Olympia's Arts and Heritage Day

Eight members of our arts community trekked to the capitol on February 7 for this year's Arts and Heritage Day,  sponsored by the Washington State Arts Alliance in cooperation with ArtsWA. We had a great opportunity to meet and talk with staff while our local legislators were on the floor of the chamber doing the people's work. We were greeted with warm enthusiasm and a keen interest in what we had to say. 

Getting to know legislators in a position to recommend projects for the state's capital budget is important for all communities. There are real arts infrastructure needs here in Vancouver, and we expect there will be plans and projects needing the state's support. Making sure our legislators know what's happening in our community and letting them know about the support we have here for arts and culture investment is a good starting point. When we are ready to ask, our representatives and senators will know we are ready to engage.
Certified Creative Districts program taking shape

Thanks to the hard work ArtsWA's Karen Hanan, the Washington state legislature, and Governor Inslee, Certified Creative Districts now have a green light in Washington state. An informative webinar from WESTAF, delivered last Tuesday, offered insight into the progress ArtsWA is making on this front. The presentation provided an overview of Colorado's creative districts program which Hanan sees as a model for Washington.

Hanan, executive director of ArtsWA, and Margaret Hunt, executive director of Colorado Creative Industries, discussed the economic benefits of creative districts, how districts measure success, and the best practices to implement a district program.  ArtsWA has a Community Readiness Toolkit for evaluating Creative District opportunities in Washington, but it is good to hear and see how these districts have evolved in Colorado. Vancouver is not yet on ArtsWA's list of cites that have asked to be considered for designation. But let's hope that we'll soon we see this as our opportunity to make the Downtown Arts District succeed. Here is a link to the archived webinar:

Learning from Portland

A recent episode of OPB's State of Wonder provided an excellent inside view of Portland's challenges with arts space. The program brought to light the need for Vancouver to not suffer a similar fate. Many cities are realizing that arts space for affordable work, performance, and living are becoming more scarce and the difficulty of saving the last of these spaces is much harder than it was in the past. It is worth a listen, and we need to keep the discussion in the forefront on how our community grows. Thanks to April Baer and Aaron Scott of their constant efforts to make us all aware of this serious threat to a thriving arts community. 

(Update: In yesterday's (2/28/18) episode of  Think Out Loud , April Baer described how the Portland City Council is considering proposals to make the city more affordable for artists, and to preserve space to do their work. We'll watch how this progresses.)
Open Studios tour set for first weekend in November

Here at Arts of Clark County, we always listen to our Clark County Open Studios artists and visitors to continually improve this popular annual event. In a survey of the 2017 participating artists, we learned of the challenges of having the tour weekend coincide with the downtown Vancouver Veteran's Day parade. To avoid the calendar conflict, this year's Open Studios tour will be the weekend of November 3 - 4, 2018. The preview exhibit and reception will, once again, be graciously hosted by the CAVE gallery and will be held on First Friday, November 2. So mark your calendars! 

The call for artists will open April 1 through May 31. 
Learn more about Open Studios
First Friday
Painting by Kelsey Birsa
"Twisted" at Artist Loft

"Twisted" is Art Loft's March and April show featuring steampunk, fantasy, comic-con art and "just a twisted point of view." Opening reception is 5 p.m.- 9 p.m., First Friday, March 2, 2018. Come celebrate the imagination of Artist Loft's local art family.

1001 Main St., Suite C, Vancouver

TWO exhibits at the CAVE:  Reflect and Printed Matter

"Reflect" is a group exhibition featuring works from three Portland based artists: Abra Ancliffe, Brandi Kruse, and Yoshihiro Kitai. Each artist uses the exhibition title in their own way to express and present their works. "Printed Matter" is a group exhibition featuring Pacific Northwest College of Art  students  artists, Madeleine Barbier, James Fink, Neal McCormick, and Sydney McLeod. Opening reception is  5 p.m. to 9 p.m., First Friday, March 2.

Art at the CAVE Gallery
108 E. Evergreen Blvd, Vancouver
Shannon Buck, Ann Cavanaugh, Tom Relth, and Dannika Sullivan at Vancouver City Hall

The Clark County Arts Commission and Vancouver City Hall present the works of four regional artists: Shannon Buck, Ann Cavanaugh, Tom Relth, and Dannika Sullivan. The works range in medium from traditional painting, drawing and printmaking to fusion glass art. The exhibit at Vancouver City Hall will be available for viewing March 9 through May 31. The City Hall lobby is open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Artwork in the conference rooms is available by appointment for viewing when the space is not being used for City business and meetings. For more information about artwork at Vancouver City Hall please contact Jess Graff.
For other Vancouver First Friday listings, see VDA's Hot Sheet
Little Women
at Journey Theater

Journey Theater Arts Group's performance of "Little Women" debut's Friday, March 2, and runs through March 11. Based on Louisa May Alcott's life, "Little Women" follows the adventures of sisters, Jo, Meg, Beth, and Amy March. Jo is trying to sell her stories for publication, but the publishers are not interested - her friend, Professor Bhaer, tells her that she has to do better and write more from herself. Begrudgingly taking this advice, Jo weaves the story of herself and her sisters and their experience growing up in Civil War America.

Washburn Performing Arts Center
Washougal High School
1201 39th St., Washougal
Hair at Clark College
March 2-3

Clark College continues performances of the rock musical "Hair" at  7:30 p.m. on  March 2-3 and March 8-10.  A product of the hippie counterculture and sexual revolution of the late 1960s, several of this musical's songs became anthems of the anti-Vietnam War peace movement. "Hair" broke new ground in musical theatre by defining the genre of "rock musical." It tells the story of the "tribe," a group of politically active, long-haired hippies of the "Age of Aquarius" living a bohemian life in New York City. 

Decker Theater
Frost Arts Center
Clark College
1933 Fort Vancouver Way, Vancouver

Portland Opera: Free Season Preview at Magenta Theater!

Magenta Theater is slowly becoming a hotspot for not only theater productions but also an eclectic variety of music. In the recent past, the theater has hosted Fadin' by 9, Misty Mamas, Harvest Gold, and Lincoln's Beard

Portland Opera will be presenting their 2018 season preview at the downtown Vancouver venue. The public is invited to this free event at 2 p.m. on March 18. Featured are Portland Opera's Resident Artists and Chorus Master and Assistant Conductor Nicholas Fox. Resident Artists will perform a 50-minute program including highlights of Verdi's Rigoletto, Gounod's Faust, Rossini's La Cenerentola, and Gluck's Orfeo ed Euridice.

1108 Main St., Vancouver

Learn more about  Portland Opera
Out and about
A Celtic Celebration
Vancouver Symphony Orchestra Chamber Music at the Kiggins

The next show is on March 18th at 3 p.m. and is VSO's Chamber Music Series presents "A Celtic Celebration" with bagpipes, green beer, and Celtic inspired music. Prices are $25 for adults and $10 for students.  VSO's Chamber Music Series was created to present great musicians playing in a very intimate setting. The content of each concert is unique, and most of the participating musicians are members of The Vancouver Symphony.

Kiggins Theater
1011 Main St., Vancouver 

Tickets and more info
Artist Talk: Carson Legree and Jeffrey Opp

Artist Carson Legree and Jeffrey Opp will discuss their works on March 27 at 6 p.m. at the Esther Building Art Space. The talk supplements a current exhibit in the building entitled "Bones, glass, and photographic paper" showing the works of Legree and Opp as well as photographer Rhonda Vanover. Each artist has a unique way of capturing transitory moments. On the first floor of the building, Carson Legree's paintings show abstracted images distilled from current events. The two photographers, Opp and Vanover, have their works displayed on the second floor. Opp captures images of overlooked buildings and spaces while many of Vanover's works are photograms -- images that are made by laying an object directly on photo paper, exposing the image without using a camera. 

Esther Building Art Space
610 Esther St., Vancouver

Michael Lorefice, The Town and the City (detail)
Michael Lorefice at Archer Gallery

The current exhibit at Clark College's Archer Gallery continues through March 24. The exhibit titled "In absolute timeless wonder" includes works that are heavily influenced by traditional and contemporary Mesoamerican art, and the numerous trips Michael Lorefice has made to Mexico to travel and make work in the country. Imagery in the show is drawn from these travels as well as the urban and outlying landscapes near Lorefice's home in Seattle. These drawings serve as living documents to the beauty, harshness, and tenacity of the natural environment. As drawings they are more than records; they attest to the enduring connection of humans to the land, the fragile relationship that must endure, and the constant state of flux that we are surrounded by. Gallery hours are Tues. through Thurs., 10 a.m - 7 p.m; Fri. and Sat., 12 p.m - 5 p.m.

Clark College 
1933 Fort Vancouver Way, Vancouver
Arts + Biz

This month's Art + Biz Mixer will be held Tuesday, March 6 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.  Speakers this month are John and Anni Furniss.  There will be food and libation along with an excellent networking opportunity to connect with the arts and business community. 

John Furniss is an artistic woodworker and has been fully blind since the age of 16. He learned woodworking at a school for the blind in his early 20's. His teacher was also blind and was able to share adaptive techniques with him specifically for woodworkers without sight. John relies heavily on visualization and his sense of touch during his process. John knows what it's like to face extreme challenge and come out stronger on the other side. His perseverance shows others there are no real limits in life except those that we create. John's wife  Anni Becker Furniss was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest and draws inspiration from nature and community. An artist for over 20 years, she dabbles in most mediums. These days painting and mixed media are her focus. 

Vancouver Art Space 
8700 NE Vancouver Mall Drive #206
Vancouver, Washington 98662

$10 in advance online, $15 at the door

Tickets and more info
Poetry happenings
Ghost Town Poetry Open Mic  is  Thursday, March 8, at 7 p.m., and will feature Peter Ludwin, author of Gone to Gold Mountain.  Hosted by Christopher Luna and Toni Partington of Printed Matter Vancouver, Open Mic sign up begins at 6:30 p.m.and closes at 7 p.m.  
Call for Artists
2018 Washougal Art Festival

The Washougal Arts and Culture Alliance (WACA) has begun plans for their third annual Washougal Art Festival and has announced its Call for Artists. The 2018 Washougal Art Festival to be held on Saturday, August 11, at Reflection Plaza in downtown Washougal. The Festival is open to visual artists working in all media and is intended for professional artists who are actively producing and exhibiting their work to sell. All entries will be juried based on originality, creativity, craftsmanship, and professionalism. Judging will also consider the expression of a unique vision and style, and the mastery over the artist's chosen medium. The Festival has limited artist vendors to 25. The entry deadline is May 1, 2018.

Our all-volunteer organization works toward building greater arts awareness, rewarding creative excellence, and expanding arts accessibility. We are working to facilitate long-term arts development for Southwest Washington. We envision a stronger arts infrastructure that includes an art center and a community-focused performing arts facility. 

Your support will help to make this vision a reality. Arts of Clark County's current programs include our annual Clark County Open Studios tour and Poetry Moves, a collaborative effort that features the words of local poets on C-Tran buses. Both of these programs have already demonstrated the power of art in our lives to connect us, transform us, and fuel the economy.
4 ways to support the cause!
If you love what Arts of Clark County is doing for our community, please consider these ways to contribute: 

  1. Donate
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  2. Shop
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  3. Shop online
    Use this link to login to Amazon, and they will donate a portion of the proceeds from your purchase back to Arts of Clark County.

  4. Volunteer
    Arts of Clark County is an all-volunteer organization. If you have specialized skills, especially in fundraising, outreach and marketing,
    we'd love to talk with you.
ARTS brief team

Cam Suttles, editor,  designer 
Jackie Genis, contributing writer
Editorial Policy and submission guidelines
ARTS brief is intended to be useful to readers by offering a curated selection of stories and announcements related to the growth of arts in our region. Submitted items should be newsworthy. This means that arts-related items for content consideration must perform well in at least two of the following five areas: timing, significance, proximity, prominence, and human interest. Please submit materials to, no later than the 25th of each month. Note that submission does not guarantee publication. We evaluate each submission to determine how it fits our goals for ARTS brief and whether the item under consideration aligns with the mission and vision of Arts of Clark County. We do not accept materials that primarily have a commercial objective.
About Arts of Clark County
Arts of Clark County (AoCC) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization created for the purpose of promoting, encouraging, and enhancing creative expression and artistic opportunities in Clark County and Southwest Washington. The arts contribute to this region's unique character as a desirable place to live, work, and visit. AoCC and its volunteer board of directors supports all forms of art--music, theater, dance, and literary, visual, and media art--and works to ensure that arts experiences are inclusive of individuals of all ages and backgrounds.