September 2019
Many, many thanks to all who came to our first annual fundraiser, Hootenanny for the Arts! We are so pleased and grateful for the generous support for 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.
Anton Zotov with Dimitri Zhgenti at the Vancouver waterfront

ERASING BOUNDARIES: Musica Lanterna to light new perceptions of how classical music is viewed

Two local professional concert pianists in collaboration with other art organizations in Vancouver are launching Musica Lanterna in October, a Classical Concert Series Project, to challenge the perception of how classical music is viewed by taking it out of the concert hall and into the community.

"Our vision embodies and transcends the listening experience," said Dimitri Zhgenti, owner and manager of Musica Lanterna. "We believe music brings people together, and our vision is to unite the community around art issues in our community and in the world."

The concert series will take place in Tandem Hall at Boomerang Bistro located at 808 Main Street in Vancouver. Zhgenti explained the venue is a modern non-concert hall. This means there is no elevated stage separating the artists from the audience, which makes the experience and connection more intimate. "There are no walls," said Zhgenti. "It draws and brings the audience into the artist's space."  Continue reading
Hootenanny for the Arts, August 30, 2019
What a hoot!

An end-of-summer party is always welcome, but for Artstra, it was especially fun. We partied with so many new friends and longtime supporters at the Hootenanny for the Arts, hosted by Liz Pike and Neil Cahoon at Shangri-La Farm. The weather was perfect and the food was wonderful. Liz and crew were top of their game with pulled pork sliders and homemade pie. And for the first time in nine years of their hootenanny event, not a crumb was leftover. Smiles, good conversation, lively music, and a bit of healthy competition over chicken poop bingo all made for a memorable launch into the fall season.
In a surprise move, Dean Irvin and Susan Courtney matched the total fundraising revenue for the Hootenanny for the Arts event. Artstra is immensely grateful for their kindness, support, and incredible generosity.

Artstra was generously supported by all in attendance, and much to our surprise, longtime arts supporters Susan Courtney and Dean Irvin matched Artstra's fundraising proceeds for the evening. Wow, what a way to end the night!

Thanks again to all who helped and the more than 150 people came out to make the Hootenanny a success.

To top off the evening, Liz and Neil have invited us back next year for an even bigger party for the arts! I do hope you all can join us next summer. It's sure to be another amazing event!

-- Karen Madsen, Artstra Chair
Call for Poets
Get published on the bus! Poetry Moves is a chance for you to inspire thousands or even help someone else with your creative heart and words. Artstra's Poetry Moves program features original works by poets in our region on C-Tran buses. The upcoming six-month season highlights adult poets and runs from January through June 2020.

Mark your calendar for November's Open Studios Tour
Fifty artists have been selected for this year's Open Studios Tour happening November 2-3, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Each year, new artists apply to join the tour so the mix of artists continually changes.

Artists' Happy Hour at
Koi Pond Cellars
September 20, 6 to 9 p.m. 
Calling all Vancouver based artists, musicians, performers, writers, and supporters! I am hosting a social time for us all to get together and share what is happening. We can get so busy in our own practice that it will be refreshing to meet up. Koi Pond Cellars has generously offered to host and extend their happy hour for us!
Feel free to bring a guest and something you're working on. Local wine, beer, and our full food menu will be available too.  
- Greg Bee
Email Greg for more info.
Koi Pond Cellars Winery and Bistro
212 E. Evergreen Blvd., Vancouver 
September 19 is Southwest Washington's day of giving. WATCH our slideshow to learn why you should support Artstra.

Also, check out Artstra's profile page, which will begin accepting donations September 9.
First Friday picks
Still from To See More Light by Kurtis Hough
Jamila Clarke, Gretchen Gammell, Kurtis Hough, and PCC Rock Creek ceramics at the CAVE
This September brings a bevy of talents to Art at the CAVE, including photography by Jamila Clarke, paintings by Gretchen Gammell, video work by Kurtis Hough and ceramics from PCC Rock Creek. 

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

108 E Evergreen Blvd., Vancouver 
Liz Messenger, Bee Mindful
The Artist Loft
This is the last month to see The Artist Loft's  show "Patterns." See a bright, colorful show full of different motifs applied in unusual ways and images made from patterns themselves.
The Artist Loft is a community art studio offering facilities, services, and gallery space for anyone interested in being creative in a social setting. 

Opening reception: 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., First Friday, September 6.  

1001 Main St., Suite C, Vancouver 
Artist Anna Norris painting on 6th Avenue in Camas, 2018
Downtown Camas
Plein Air and Art Event
This Friday plein air artists will set up their easels in Camas and paint downtown buildings or landscapes from 9 a.m and 4 p.m. Accomplished local artists and multiple live music venues will be featured throughout downtown as well. "This event truly celebrates the love of the arts and showcases the art focus our town is developing," says Carrie Schulstad, director of the Downtown Camas Association (DCA).

Finished plein air art pieces on display: 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., First Friday, September 6.  

408 NE 4th Ave., Camas 
For other Vancouver First Friday listings, see VDA's Hot Sheet
Chamber Music + Film
Buster Keaton in The General (1926)
Vancouver Symphony's Chamber Music Series: Back to the Movies

The VSO Chamber Music Series presents one of the greatest American silent comedies, The General (1926) with a live music score. Directed by and starring 20th century independent filmmaker and comedian Buster Keaton, The General comes to the Royal Durst Theatre screen with a compiled score by music arranger and pianist Rodney Sauer, featuring members of The Vancouver Symphony Orchestra. Sauer, on piano, joins Eva Richey; violin, Bruce Dunn; trumpet, Igor Shakhman; clarinet, and Dieter Ratzlaf; cello.

Show screens on Sunday, September 15 at 3 p.m.

More info and tickets
Royal Durst Theatre
Vancouver School of Arts and Academics
3101 Main St., Vancouver
Wind Fields performs at Old Liberty Theater
Old Liberty Theater concert series kick off: Wind Fields

Wind Fields is an original song-driven rock group from Callahan, CA. They are described by their fans as "entertainingly dark and twisty." Opening the show will be solo artist Max Hay, providing a double dose of comedy balanced by expressive musicianship. The performance is Saturday, September 14 at 7:30 p.m. Doors open at 6:45 p.m.

Tickets and more info

Old Liberty Theater
115 N Main Ave., Ridgefield
Poetry Happenings
Poet and memoirist Judith Barrington
Judith Barrington at Barnes & Noble Vancouver Open Mic

Judith Barrington is the featured poet at Barnes & Noble's September 24, 7 p.m. open mic. She will read from Long Love: New and Selected Poems. In traditional or looser forms, she explores subjects such as being a lesbian, horses, the ocean, memory, love, grief, aging, disability, and facing one's own mortality. Commentators have praised her fierce attention, wry humor, and socially and political alertness.

7700 NE Fourth Plain Blvd., Vancouver
Poet Joannie Stangeland
Ghost Town Poetry Open Mic: Joannie Stangeland

This month's Ghost Town Poetry Open Mic is Thursday, September 12, at 7 p.m., featuring Joannie Stangeland, author of The Scene You See, In Both Hands, and Into the Rumored Spring. She received the 2019 Crosswinds Poetry Journal grand prize, and her poems have also appeared in Boulevard, Prairie Schooner, The Southern Review, and other journals. 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
Help shape Washington State's Art Collection

The Washington State Arts Commission (ArtsWA) has announced an open call for the 2019 Curator Roster , a pre-qualified list of people available to research and recommend artworks for the State Art Collection . Application deadline is September 27.

Save the date
October 14 is Indigenous Peoples Day

Join us at Old Liberty Theater on October 14 at 4 p.m. to honor the Indigenous People on whose traditional and ancestral land we sit. Many Indigenous Nations of the Columbia River have connections to this place and their descendants live on. Email Gwendolyn for more information or call Elizabeth at 360-281-1615.

Old Liberty Theater
115 N Main Ave., Ridgefield

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.