March 2019
In this issue, we re-introduce our team and highlight an eclectic array of arts events on the March calendar. Celebrate the arts and experience creativity in our community!

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
Get to know the Artstra team

It takes a lot of passion, energy, and experience for a small, all-volunteer, nonprofit arts organization to get things done. And while we hope our work speaks for itself, we thought we'd share with you a little about our talented and expert team. Please have a look and feel free to contact us if you'd like to learn more about Artstra and what we do.
Call for student poets!

Submissions are now being accepted for Poetry Moves Season 8, open to student poems to be showcased on C-Tran buses beginning July 2019. Entries must be from K-12 students living in Clark County and/or currently enrolled in a public, private, or home school in Clark County. A maximum of two poems may be submitted, each of which must not exceed seven lines and must be the student's own original work. Ten poems will be selected for Poetry Moves Season 8 and will be displayed in C-Tran buses beginning July 2019.

From left: Brad Richarson, Jean LaCrosse, Steven Baer, Karen Madsen, and Lynne Bowden. Photo by Annie Davern.
Arts and Heritage Day 2019

Washington Arts Alliance and Washington State Arts Commission ( ArtsWA) held their annual Arts and  Heritage Day event with the state legislature on February 6. Artstra board members Steven Baer, Jean LaCrosse, Annie Davern and Karen Madsen along with Clark County Arts Commissioner Lynne Bowden made the trek to Olympia for the third year. We were joined in the afternoon by Brad Richardson, director of the Clark County Historical Museum, now a trustee with Humanities Washington.

It was a snowy day but the reception at our eleven different meetings was warm and encouraging. We are lucky to have legislators from southwest Washington who are so supportive of arts and culture. Our conversations with Paul Harris and Sharon Wylie were especially exciting as we discussed real possibilities for arts infrastructure that support arts and art-making in our area. Now the hard work begins as we plan to return soon with tangible proposals in hand.
First Friday picks
Ryan Kelly installation, Art at the CAVE gallery
Ryan Kelly at the CAVE
Art at The CAVE gallery presents "Toby Town," a fantastical exhibition of large ceramic works by Ryan Kelly, an Assistant Professor of Ceramics and Foundations at Western Washington University. For this exhibit, Kelly puts his own spin on the decorative Toby Jug or face mug, and invites you to meet the various characters of Toby Town during a lighthearted jaunt into the marvelous world of bric a brac.

Opening reception: 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., First Friday, March 1.

108 E. Evergreen Blvd., Vancouver
Allan Jeffs, Explorer
Allan Jeffs at Camas Gallery
Allan Jeffs is the March featured artist at Camas Gallery. Jeffs has participated in more than 40 international exhibitions in Europe and the Americas. Jeffs' Land Art installation in Antarctica and research in new techniques in art and microbiology have been highlighted in multiple conferences and papers. As a muralist, he has developed several projects in Puerto Rico, Ecuador and the US, including a street art mural in Camas. The Young's Deli wall mural (on 6th Ave.) is dedicated to the first pioneers and settlers of the Camas-Washougal area.
There will be an opening reception from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., First Friday, March 1.

408 NE 4th Ave., Camas
Kelsey Birsa, John
Lesley Faulds and Kelsey Birsa
The Artist Loft

"Characters and Gestures," the March exhibit at The Artist Loft features mother and daughter artists, Lesley Faulds and Kelsey Birsa. Lesley Faulds works in mixed media painting and is inspired by interesting characters and textures. Her newest paintings morph and exaggerate these characters through her unique style. Kelsey Birsa's paintings are united through her use of detailed rendering, bold colors, and gold highlights. Interested in traditional painting techniques and themes of the human body. In her current series Kelsey examines how we experience the world through our hands.

Opening reception: 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., First Friday, March 1.

1001 Main St., Suite C, Vancouver
Sharon Svec, Ruth St. Denis
Women Warriors
Angst Gallery

Angst Gallery presents the work of multiple artists who submitted their work in response to the questions: What makes a woman warrior? What qualities or circumstances drive women to push back, protect, or change the world? Who are the women in your life who inspire you? Come to Angst to see these artists' answers. The exhibit runs March 1 through 23. For the month of March, Angst Gallery celebrates Women Warriors in all their various incarnations.

Opening reception: 5 p.m., First Friday, March 1.

1015 Main St., Vancouver
For other Vancouver First Friday listings, see VDA's Hot Sheet
Stephan James as Fonny and KiKi Layne as Tish star in If Beale Street Could Talk.  
If Beale Street Could Talk
Kiggins Theatre

Set in early 1970s Harlem, If Beale Street Could Talk is based on the acclaimed novel by James Baldwin, and directed by Academy Award winning director Barry Jenkins, the film honors the author's prescient words and imagery, charting the emotional currents navigated in an unforgiving and racially biased world. Showing March 1 - 6. Get off your overstuffed digital-streaming couch and support a local, independently-owned cinema!

Kiggins Theatre
1011 Main St., Vancouver
Symphony sounds
Keith Lindberg, Sand Diggers
Wind Symphony performs "Childhood Wonder"

The Southwest Washington Wind Symphony will present its winter concert entitled "Childhood Wonder" at 3 p.m. on Sunday, March 3, at the Union High School Performing Arts Center.  Inspired by paintings of children by American artist Keith Lindberg, the musical program includes playful and colorful works including The Adventures of Kid Cam The Rocketman! by David Holsinger, Star Wars Trilogy by John Williams, and "In Dreams" by Cait Nishimura. Special guest, Margie BoulĂ©, will provide the narration for Alex and the Phantom Band by David Maslanka. Concertgoers are encouraged to arrive early to view original paintings from the season-long silent auction to benefit the wind symphony.Southwest Washington Wind Symphony concerts are free and open to the public.

Union High School Performing Arts Center
6201 NW Friberg-Strunk St., Camas
Violist Shania Watts, one of several young artists to perform in the VSO Chamber Music Series, March 10.
VSO Chamber Music Series Presents Legacy Young Artists Series

The Vancouver Symphony's Chamber Music Series presents a unique afternoon of music bringing together seven outstanding musicians from past VSO Young Artist Competitions. Some have had the honor of performing on the Skyview stage under the baton of Maestro Brotons as Gold medalists. Each artist continues to perform throughout the Northwest. OPB's Steve Bass will emcee this performance. $25, $10 for students with ID.
First Presbyterian Church
4300 Main St, Vancouver
Annual St. Patrick's Improv Show
Magenta Theater

Magenta's Improv Team (MIT) will be performing March 9 at 7:30 p.m. at the company's downtown Vancouver venue. While this year's show does not fall exactly on St. Patrick's day, it's close enough. MIT players have been practicing their Irish accents, flexing their ghillies, and can wholeheartedly assure audiences they are prepared to make your evening memorable.

Magenta Theater
1108 Main St., Vancouver
Out and about
Vancouver USA Singers Presents The World Beloved

In a concert depicting love, loss, and the movement from darkness to light, Vancouver USA Singers will present some of the most beautiful music ever written. The music for this concert will include  Requiem with data sonification,  Lux Aeterna, and  The World Beloved: A Bluegrass Mass. The World Beloved concerts will be held on Saturday, March 16 at 7 p.m. and Sunday, March 17 at 3 p.m.

First Presbyterian Church
4300 Main St., Vancouver
2019 Spring Art Show
Battle Ground Art Alliance

The Battle Ground Art Alliance holds its 18th Annual Spring Show March 16 - 17 at the
Battle Ground Community Center. Local artists will display works of art in a variety of media.

Battle Ground Community Center
912 E Main St, Battle Ground

Poetry Happenings
Ghost Town Poetry Open Mic is Thursday, March 14, at 7 p.m., and will feature Nastashia Minto, author of Naked, published by Eldredge Books in February 2019. A Georgia native who currently lives in Portland, Minto has performed at the Unchaste Readers Series, Neon Dream, Incite, and various other reading series in the metro area. Hosted by Christopher Luna and Toni Lumbrazo Luna of Printed Matter Vancouver, Open Mic sign up begins at 6:30 p.m. and closes at 7 p.m.

Angst Gallery
1015 Main St., Vancouver
Arts Ambassador Scholarship Program
Enspire Arts now offers $500 scholarships to support young artists in the artistic field of their choice (music, visual art, dance, drama, literary art). Current 5th through 11th grade students may apply. The scholarship may be used for private instruction, workshops, and/or summer study. Application deadline: April 31, 2019
2019 Washougal Art Festival Call for Artists
Washougal Arts and Culture Alliance (WACA) invites artists to apply for participation in the fourth annual Washougal Art Festival. The festival is open to visual artists working in all media and is intended for artists who are actively producing and exhibiting their work to sell. All entries will be judged 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 entry deadline is May 1, 2019.
Vancouver Community Library Call for Artists
The downtown Vancouver Community Library is seeking artists to display in their 2019 First Friday Artwalk exhibits. Selection is conducted by a library staff committee based on the following criteria: aesthetics, presentation, craftsmanship, medium, size and appropriateness for viewing by library users of all ages; interests of the community; suitability of format for the library's physical space. Artists may only submit work for inclusion every two years. The application deadline is March 31.

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.
4 ways to support the cause
If you love what Artstra is doing for our community, please consider these ways to contribute: 

  1. Donate
    Use PayPal to make a tax-deductible donation to Artstra. 
  2. 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.
  3. Shop online
    Use this link to login to Amazon, and they will donate a portion of the proceeds from your purchase back to Artstra.
  4. 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 
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 Artstra. We do not accept materials that primarily have a commercial objective.
About Artstra
Artstra, formerly "Arts of Clark County," 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.