March 2020
Leave those February doldrums behind you. It's March! A time to spring forward with creative energy! Make art, elevate the arts, enjoy the arts ... and support the arts 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
Save the date: April 26 at Vancouver Community Library 
Mark your calendar for April 26, 1 to 3 p.m. at the Vancouver Community Library when we celebrate the fifth year of Poetry Moves with selected readings from Season 8 student poets as well as the current Season 9 poets whose work will be displayed on C-Tran buses through June 2020. Poetry Moves is a program of Artstra in partnership with Fort Vancouver Regional Libraries and C-Tran.
A river of poetry flows through Clark County

Last month, Washington State Poet Laureate Claudia Castro Luna brought her "One River, Many Voices" project to Clark County. The year-long project to collect poetry from the voices of those who live along the Columbia River landed in our community with two events on Saturday February 22 thanks to Fort Vancouver Regional Libraries. 

In the morning Luna gave a well-received Spanish language poetry workshop at the downtown Vancouver Community Library. An evening event drew a large audience in the Columbia Room for readings by three poets laureate: Claudia Castro Luna for Washington, Kim Stafford for Oregon, and our Clark County Poet Laureate Gwendolyn Morgan. 

The deeply meaningful tenor for the program was set by the words of Tanna Engdahl, Spiritual Leader of the Cowlitz Tribe, with accompaniment on flute by musician, composer, educator Judy Rose on flute. Also reading a poem by Rita Dove was Yeshi Berry, a student at Vancouver School of Arts and Academics who is one of the regional student winners of Poetry Out Loud. She will be participating in the 2020 Poetry Out Loud State Finals on Saturday, March 7 in Tacoma. It was a memorable and enriching experience. 

One River, Many Voices is supported by The Clark County Arts Commission, ArtsWA, and HumanitiesWashington.

Visit One River, Many Voices website
Calling Clark County artists!  

WHO: Visual artists and artisans in Clark County working in all mediums  

WHAT: Clark County Open Studios is a juried art event offering a unique opportunity for you to gain further recognition as an artist, open your studio doors to the public, and to show and sell your work. For the community, Open Studios is a free self-guided tour that will enhance awareness of talented local artists while enriching the cultural life of Clark County neighborhoods. 

WHEN: Open Studios Tour: Sat-Sun, November 7-8, 2020, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.  


Alyson Stanfield presents her "1-Page Art Marketing" workshop Saturday April 18.

Artstra hosts art marketing workshop
Seats still available!

In this workshop, held Saturday April 18 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., Alyson Stanfield will help artists make sense of all that is possible to promote their art so that each artist can select a strategy tailored for their needs. Stanfield is the founder of Art Biz Success, host of the Art Biz Podcast, and author of I'd Rather Be in the Studio: The Artist's No-Excuse Guide to Self-PromotionJust $57 when you register now! ($69 after March 9) Seats are still available.

Columbia Bank Community Room
101 E. 6th St., Vancouver
First Friday picks
Mike Southern, Allies
"Couples" and "Lost Mythologies" at the Cave

Art at the Cave features four artists in two exhibits through the month of March. Anne John and Michael Smith will present "Couples: The Dance Between" in the upper gallery. While Mike Southern offers "Lost Mythologies" in the front gallery accompanied by a video installation by Rose Bond. These works dig deep into ideas about human relations, offering perspectives on our interconnectedness with each other and our environments throughout time.  

Opening reception: 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., First Friday, March 6

Artist Talk: 11 a.m., Saturday, March 14

108 E. Evergreen Blvd., Vancouver
SewOp + Maker Space
aims to stitch together community

SewOp + Maker Space opens First Friday offering the public an opportunity to  explore the studio, enjoy light refreshments, and meet the textile maker community. 

The new venture of Vancouver resident and Artstra board member Anna Miller serves as a community studio offering affordable workshops, tools, retail and showcase space for textile goods and sewing. The SewOp + Maker Space builds community skills and relationships through structured classes, open studio work time, and multi-week technique building workshops. Here you can teach a class, take a class, or host a private event. Classes and resources will be offered on a sliding scale and participants of all skill levels are encouraged to join in. 

Miller has studied plants, designed gardens, built homes, skated derby, and sewn beautiful garments in the Pacific Northwest for many years. She started the Sew Op + Maker Space because she wanted to use sewing workshops to stitch together a resourceful and connected community. 

"I think community creativity can transform lives," says Miller. "A lot of people are shy and timid around creativity. Or they are nervous about criticism, so if you can get them in a space where there's no judgement I think that can be really powerful." 
Reception: 3 p.m. to 7 p.m., First Friday, March 6 

1507 Broadway, Vancouver
Guitarist Silviu Ciulei i and clarinetist Jeffrey Brooks.
Photo credit: Ian Edward Weir
Musica Lanterna: "Guitar meets Clarinet" with Silviu Ciuleii and Jeffrey Brooks at Boomerang

Musica Lanterna invites you to join the duo with Silviu Ciuleii (guitar) and Jeffrey Brooks (clarinet) in an intimate chamber music concert on April 4 at Tandem Hall. Featured visual artist will be Washougal woodturner John Furniss. Special guest, Portland guitarist Gracie Flowerday, a student of Dr. Peter Zisa. The audience is invited to join an after-concert conversation with the artists. Selections of wines, local beer and other refreshments are offered by Boomerang Bistro.
Doors open at 6:15 p.m. with an art exhibition and cafĂ©/bar. Concert begins at 7:00 p.m. 
Tandem Hall at Boomerang Bistro 
808 Main St., Vancouver
A worthy cause
The new Ridgefield Community Library, rendering courtesy Johansson Wing Architects, PC
"Quick Draw" fundraiser to support art in the Ridgefield Community Library

The Ridgefield Art Association is partnering with the Friends of the Ridgefield Library to raise funds for a lighting and hanging system for artwork in the new library. The event will take place on April 4 in the community room at the Ridgefield Outdoor Recreation Complex from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. It will feature artists creating original works of art that will be auctioned off that evening. The event will include wine, beer, food, live music and other fun activities. Admission is $40 per person. $30 if you are an Ridgefield Art Association member. 

Community Room
Ridgefield Outdoor Recreation Complex
3101 S Hillhurst Rd, Ridgefield
Poetry Happenings
Mindy Nettifee
Ghost Town Poetry Open Mic with Mindy Nettifee 

This month's Ghost Town Poetry Open Mic is Thursday, March 12, at 7 p.m., featuring Mindy Nettifeepoet, storyteller, trauma researcher, and psychonaut. She is the director of the creative and story services agency Free Delivery LLC; teaches writing and performance workshops for Literary Arts; and produces stories for radio and stage with Back Fence PDX and The Moth. 

She is also an MA and doctoral candidate in Depth Psychology from Pacifica Graduate Institute, where she is currently completing her doctoral research into the role of voice and language in trauma healing. She has published three full-length collections of poetry and a how-to book on writing, Glitter in The Blood (Write Bloody Press), a Powell's Indie Press Best Seller. 

Nettifee also co-edited Courage, an anthology of poems for teenage girls. Her latest collection, Open Your Mouth Like a Bell, was hailed by BUST Magazine as "one of the best poetry books of 2018.". 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. 

1015 Main St., Vancouver
Out and about
Ridgefield Youth Arts Month 

March is Ridgefield Youth Arts Month, a partnership between Ridgefield School District and the Ridgefield community, encouraging young people to take part in artistic endeavors including literary, visual, musical, and performing arts. 

Join Ridgefield School District and the Ridgefield community in encouraging a lifetime of creativity!

Calls for art
Culture, Arts & Heritage Grants 

On February 19, the City of Vancouver opened its 2020 Cultural, Arts & Heritage grant cycle. Grants are available to non-profit or government cultural, arts and heritage organzations in Vancouver. Up to $150,000 will be awarded this year. Grant applications are due April 8, 2020, recipients announced in early July, and projects or programs must be completed by December 31, 2021. Applications must be submitted online.

Battle Ground Art Alliance Spring Show

The Battle Ground Art Alliance invites artists to enter their 19th Annual Spring Show to be held March 20 and 21.

View rules and entry form here
Washougal Art Festival

The Washougal Arts and Culture Alliance (WACA) has begun its call for artists for their fifth annual Washougal Art Festival to be held August 8. The deadline for entries is May 1.

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.
5 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 
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.