October 2021
Mark your calendar for a beautiful Día de Muertos celebration, get set for a fascinating Open Studios Tour, and read on to try your luck at winning a tote bag of gifts from Artstra!

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
Open Studios Tour set for Nov. 6–7
Experienced potter and sculptor Ann Fleming began exploring painting just five years ago. 
Artists eager to connect with community

After a one-year pause, the popular self-guided tour of artists’ studios returns the first weekend in November. In its eighth year, Clark County Open Studios Tour celebrates the creativity of local artists and artisans as they open their doors to the public. Art lovers, treasure seekers, holiday shoppers, and the art-curious will get a rare opportunity to meet real live artists in their native habitat.

“This year we’ve taken special care to ensure that both the artists and visitors feel comfortable,” says Jennifer Williams, Open Studios Director. “COVID safety precautions will be in place for each studio configuration. We’ll also have alternatives to the in-person tour. Artists will be sharing video demos online leading up to the tour, and after the tour, many artists will be open for additional studio visits by appointment as well as for online shopping.”

For artists, Williams explains, this period of self-imposed isolation has meant more time in the studio, an opportunity to concentrate on their practice, and to hone their techniques. “Artists are resilient, always looking to learn new skills and finding ways to adapt. The results are prolific art making, new techniques, and some very powerful bodies of work. Open Studios offers artists the missing link—an opportunity to reconnect with an audience on a personal level and share what they’ve been creating.”

Each year, the event showcases both a wide range of art mediums and a diverse mix of artists—including regulars who have participated multiple years and those entirely new to the program or to the area. One such artist is Abhisar Gupta who arrived in America from India in 2009 and settled in east Vancouver in ... Continue reading
Abhi Gupta explaining soap film photography in his home studio. 
Día de Muertos in Esther Short Park
October 30 Day of the Dead celebration to feature display of luminarias
Please join us at Esther Short Park for the Day of the Dead ancestral celebration when we remember and honor our departed. Día de Muertos is truly a celebration of life and this year it is also a time of healing after two difficult years of the pandemic. Experience beautiful luminarias, traditional Mexican dancing, music, catrinas, and an altar to the beloved deceased.

On October 30, from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., community members are invited to join Vancouver Ballet Folklórico to cherish the memory of family and friends who have passed away and who we hold close to our hearts.

Día de Muertos is presented by Vancouver Ballet Folklórico in partnership with Artstra, the Clark County Arts Commission, and the City of Vancouver.

Discover poets on the bus!
Photo illustration by Cam Suttles.
Who are these six famous poets riding the bus?
For the answer, take our quick survey and you'll be entered in a drawing for a chance to win:
  • A signed copy of We Meant to Bring it Home Alive by Clark County Poet Laureate Armin Tolentino
  • A signed copy of Before the Sun Rises, by past Clark County Poet Laureate Gwendolyn Morgan
  • A signed copy of Message from the Vessel in a Dream, by past Clark County Poet Laureate Christopher Luna
  • Two tickets to Ne Plus Ultra Jass Orchestra live at the Kiggins, Nov. 10 at 7 p.m.
  • A $50 Artstra gift certificate to buy art from any 2021 Open Studio Tour artist
  • An Artstra T-shirt
  • An Artstra tote bag
Deadline to submit survey: 11:59 p.m., Friday November 5, 2021
Poems selected for Poetry Moves Season 11
Clark County Poet Laureate Armin Tolentino's poem, Squid Jigging Midnight
This month a fresh crop of poems will appear on overhead channel cards on every C-Tran bus for Season 11 of the Poetry Moves program. After an open call, ten poems were selected thanks to our juror, Thabiti Lewis, Ph.D., Professor of English and Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs at Washington State University Vancouver. Included among the ten are a poem each from the State and County Poets Laureate. Here are the final ten selected:

Margaret Chula, Affinity; Daphne Clifton, A River's Voices; Paulann Petersen, Footprints; Rena Priest (Washington State Poet Laureate), A Map of the Universe; Gay Garland Reed, Cloud-wisp Patterns; Stephanie Spencer, Transition; Armin Tolentino (Clark County Poet Laureate), Squid Jigging Midnight; Emmett Wheatfall, Catch and Release; Christine Lamb White, Shorthand; Elizabeth Wood, Trance

Thank you Give More 24 donors!
We so appreciate each and every one of you for contributing to Artstra on September 23 — Southwest Washington's day of giving, Give More 24! Your donation, no matter how small, not only supports our programs, but validates our work. We love hearing from you and knowing that you care about the arts. Thank you all!
A successful launch for Arts Alive!
The first (of hopefully many) Arts Alive! events took place on what was a threatening, rainy Saturday September 18 at Clark County Public Service Center Plaza. Thankfully the clouds parted just as the band began to play and like magic the sun came out until the party ended on schedule with a crack of thunder and a drenching rain, precisely at 4 p.m.

Thanks so much to all the arts organizations who participated and to the performers and poets. And especially to the hundreds of visitors who arrived with their support and encouragement for local arts groups during a challenging time.

The Public Service Center Plaza is a underused but wonderful space that was made for art, performance, music and dance. Thanks to Clark County for making the plaza available and for possibilities to come—to activate, engage, and support our community through the arts. And thank you to Scott Hewitt and The Columbian for reporting on the event:

Scott Hewitt, The Columbian, September 18, 2021
Ne Plus Ultra Jass Orchestra
Live at the Kiggins Theater
Since 2016, The Ne Plus Ultra Jass Orchestra has been delighting audiences with the music of the roaring 20s and Depression era 30s. Under the leadership of master showman Sammuel Murry-Hawkins, the ensemble transports audiences to the golden age of hot jazz and sweet dance music, specializing in the tunes of Cab Calloway, Irving Berlin, Duke Ellington, and George Gershwin. Guaranteed to delight and put a pep in your step!

Gallery picks
Pet Projects
Art at the Cave Gallery
Through October 29, Art at the Cave celebrates the love of companion animals in a community exhibit titled Pet Project. Partial proceeds from the show will go to the Humane Society of Southwest Washington. Pictured: Adopted, by Anne John.

Join a reception on Saturday, October 16 from 2–4 p.m. to celebrate the good work of the Humane Society of Southwest Washington.

108 E Evergreen Blvd, Vancouver
Washington Dance Creative: Photography
Corridor Gallery
Sui Juris by Ashlee Boone
Corridor Gallery presents the work of Washington Dance Creative, a local dance company which focuses on photography, film, concert and collaboration. From inception to production, this exhibit highlights artistic collaborations from Vancouver’s emerging artists and producers.The exhibit runs through November 13 and can be viewed Monday thru Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the upper and lower corridors of the Esther Short Building. Featured photographers include Ashlee Boone, Julie Godbolt, Jessica Heriot, Justine Magnoni-Garver, and Katherine Warf.

Closing reception with live Music and Dance:
6:30 p.m., Saturday, November 13

Corridor Gallery
610 Esther St, Vancouver
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. Artstra'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.
Five ways to support the cause
If you love what Artstra is doing for our community, please consider the different ways that you can contribute.

1- Donate
Use PayPal to make a tax-deductible donation to Artstra. 
2- Declutter
Give useable items to Nifty and Thrifty at 6607 E. Mill Plain Blvd. And when those items sell, the money is split 50/50 with participating nonprofits. Just let them know your items are donated to benefit Artstra. 
3- Shop 
Link your Fred Meyer Rewards Card to Artstra using our code #84120. Just by using your rewards card number, and at no cost to you, every time you shop you'll help Artstra earn a quarterly donation from Fred Meyer.
4- Shop online 
Use this link to login to Amazon, and they will donate a portion of the proceeds from your purchase back to Artstra.
5- Volunteer 
Artstra 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 
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 artsbrief@artstra.orgno 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 Artstra. We do not accept materials that primarily have a commercial objective.
About Artstra
Artstra is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization advocating for the arts in Clark County and southwest Washington. We envision a vibrant arts economy in our region, north of the Columbia River, with public/private investments and facilities that sustain artists and enrich community. Our mission is to elevate the arts, build greater arts awareness, reward creative excellence, and expand arts accessibility.