December 2019
2019 has been a groundbreaking year for the arts in our community. The former "Arts of Clark County" morphed into Artstra with a renewed mission of advocating for the arts through our programs and projects. We celebrate the arts not in a single county or city but throughout Southwest Washington and even across the river.
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.
Preview exhibit for 2019 Open Studios Tour
The year in review and a look ahead

This past year we've met so many new creative people moving here and wanting to be part of this changing and growing region. And most significantly, we've seen real change and a commitment to the arts in our civic leadership with Vancouver's awarding of Culture, Arts and Heritage grants.

Artstra's Poetry Moves program showcased 20 new poets in 2019. Clark County Open Studios had more than 1,500 visitors. Participating artists realized almost twice the sales as the previous years. Of course it certainly helped that the fall weather was magnificent!

Artstra had the good fortune to have a wonderful supporter in Liz Pike who offered her farm and her amazing hosting skills to put on August's Hootenanny for the Arts fundraiser. 150 friends showed up and what a fun evening we all had. We are so thankful for the support of those who really appreciate how important arts and culture are to our community. Every supporter makes it possible for our programs to continue and for Artstra to advance its mission toward a thriving arts community.

Mark Your Calendar for 2020!

April 26: A Celebration of Poetry during National Poetry Month
August 29: 2nd Annual Hootenanny for the Arts at Shangri La Farms
November 7-8: 8th Annual Clark County Open Studios Tour
Dru Holley of Dru Films, recipient of one of 14 cultural grants, for post-production work on the film Buffalo Soldiers of the Pacific Northwest
Culture, Arts & Heritage Grants awarded

On December 2, the City of Vancouver awarded 14 Culture, Arts & Heritage grants totaling $122,255 to local organizations. Artstra was among the awardees for our Clark County Open Studios program. Other recipients included Columbia Dance Center, Confluence Project, Dru Films/Northwest Film Forum, Journey Theatre Arts Group, Ke Kukui Foundation, and Vancouver Ballet Folklorio.
Artstra thanks the Cultural Commission and City Council for their financial support of the Open Studios program. As a small nonprofit, with an all-volunteer working board, this support means so much to Artstra. It allows us to keep our entry fees low for our local artists and the tour free for the public. We thank the City for making the Cultural Grants possible.
First Friday picks
Surface Design Association's "Material Matters" at the Cave
Left to Right: Canopy by Bonnie Bucknam, Heiroglyph by Donna Joslyn, and Wildfire by Marie Wolfe

Artists from the local chapter of the Surface Design Association (SDA) are showing their works December 3 through December 21 at Art At The Cave. The range of works displayed represent a rich diversity of style, one of the key qualities embraced by the group. Artists include Mary Arnold, Bonnie Bucknam, Donna Joslyn, Sally Sellers, Sharon Svec, and Marie Wolfe.

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

108 E Evergreen Blvd., Vancouver 
Elo Wobig, Reminiscence
Artist Elo Wobig now at Art on the Boulevard

Art on the Boulevard's current show is "A Focus on the Figure" which features the figurative work by Emily Schultz-McNeil, Joanne Shellan, Carrie Vielle and Yer Za Vue.
This month the gallery also welcomes Elo Wobig as its newest artist.  
Also on view are new mixed media paintings in from Jennifer Williams, photography from Erskine Woods, and new pottery from Cari and Peter Corbet-Owen.
Reception: 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., First Friday, December 6. 
210 W. Evergreen Blvd., Vancouver
For other Vancouver First Friday listings,  see VDA's Hot Sheet 
Out and about
Sherry Saele, Orange
Twist: The artwork of Sherry Saele and Krista Anara Cibis

Twist, the Winter exhibition (December 10 - February 28) at the Esther Building Art Space features two artists who are tweaking traditional forms of fiber arts.

Artists Sherry Saele and Krista Anara Cibis both explore textiles in a unique way. They use techniques such as weaving, needle point, jewellery-making, and other processes that cross back and forth from craft to art to practical handiwork. The artworks in Twist are delightful and poignant. The Esther Building Art Space is open to the public Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Esther Building Art Space
610 Esther Street, Vancouver
Hello Vancouver!
at Kiggins Theatre

Join an evening of fun, community information, holiday silliness, and great music. The show is free, the popcorn is fantastic, and the bar will be ready to serve you. Hello Vancouver's Holiday Spectacular is Tuesday, December 10 at 7 p.m. (Doors open at 6:45 p.m.)

This is a fun show for all ages, featuring: 
  • Amber Sweeney, musician extraordinaire
  • Heidi Yewman, author of Beyond the Bullet and director of Behind the Bullet
  • Mystery guests playing holiday games
  • A new and ridiculous local ad made in partnership with Ametsa Media
  • Santa holiday singalong!
  • Games, surprises and good cheer!
Hello Vancouver! is Southwest Washington's live, local talk/variety show highlighting the people, places, and events that make this a great place to live, work and play. General Admission tickets are free.

Kiggins Theatre
1011 Main St, Vancouver
Magenta Theater presents "Miracle on 34th Street"

Magenta's December show is a stage adaptation of the novel by Valentine Davies, and the Twentieth Century Fox motion picture, Miracle on 34th Street. With a cast of 26, Magenta's production is directed by Brenda McGinnis .

For those unfamiliar with the story: Kris Kringle, an old man in a retirement home, gets a job working as Santa for Macy's. Kris unleashes waves of good will with Macy's customers and the commercial world of New York City by referring parents to other stores to find exactly the toy their child has asked for. Seen as deluded and dangerous by Macy's vocational counselor, who plots to have Kris shanghaied to Bellevue Psychiatric Hospital, Kris ends up in a court competency hearing. Especially at stake is one little girl's belief in Santa. In a dramatic decision, the court confirms Kris as the true Santa, allowing Susan and countless other children to experience the joy of childhood fantasy.

Performances are December 6 through December 21.

More info and tickets

Magenta Theater
1108 Main St., Vancouver
Symphony sounds
Charlotte Pistor, soprano
A VSO Holiday Celebration

Vancouver Symphony Orchestra kicks off the holiday season December 14 and 15 with a celebration of classic pieces by Tchaikovsky, Bach and Strauss. Joining the VSO are renowned Austrian soprano, Charlotte Pistor, and dancers from the local Columbia Dance Studio.

Skyview Concert Hall
1300 NW 139th St., Vancouver
Columbia Dance's 2019 production of The Nutcracker
Columbia Dance's "The Nutcracker" at the Royal Durst Theater

Columbia Dance offers us a joyous holiday gift with its wonder-filled production of the The Nutcracker. Tiny mice, toy dolls and tin soldiers will dance to life for audiences of all ages from Friday, December 20 - Monday, December 23. Join Clara and her Nutcracker Prince as they embark on an enchanting journey through the Snowy Forest and into the Kingdom of Sweets.

The Royal Durst Theater
Vancouver School of Arts and Academics
3101 Main St., Vancouver
Washington Dance Creative Presents "A Jazzy Revue for 2"

As a follow-up to WDC's sold out show, A Jazzy Revue, the dancers return with more jazz and class than ever before. Come see Vancouver's premiere professional dance company kick, jump, and sway to golden age jazz standards from Rosemary Clooney, Ella Fitzgerald, and more. Performances are December 28 at 2 p.m. and December 29 at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

More info and tickets

Magenta Theater
1108 Main St., Vancouver
Poetry Happenings
Spoken word artist Darryl Foto
Ghost Town Poetry Open Mic with Darryl Foto

This month's Ghost Town Poetry Open Mic is Thursday, December 12, at 7 p.m., featuring Darryl Foto, a spoken word artist residing in Ellensburg, WA and the author of Of the Things I've Learned.

He is a three-time winner of Central Washington University's Inklings Poetry Slam and a two-time winner of the Rain City Poetry Collective Individual World Poetry Slam representative qualifier. Darryl also represented Rain City Poetry Collective for the 2017 and 2018 Individual World Poetry Slam in Spokane and San Diego respectively, where he was ranked 26th in the nation. He is the current Rain City Grand Slam Champion. Darryl's work has been heard everywhere from Spokane to Bellingham as well as in parts of California and Oregon. He is currently pursuing a degree in biomedical science at Central Washington University.

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
Opportunities, calls for art, auditions, etc.
Call for art: Celebration of the Male Form

The grand opening of the Mosaic Arts Alliance at Angst Gallery invites you to submit work for the 9th Annual Celebration of the Male Form. This is an opportunity to acknowledge the gender imbalance in the art world and appreciate the male body as natural, beautiful, and worthy of aesthetic examination. The show will include representations and interpretations of the male form clothed, nude, realistic, and abstract. Artists may submit up to three pieces with a sliding scale entry fee of $10-20. Show dates are January 3-31 with an artists reception on Friday, January 10 form 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Art drop-off date is December 29 at 2 p.m. and art pick-up is February 2 at 1 p.m. You must agree to the terms and conditions to apply. To submit work, fill out the form here.
Auditions: "Around the World in 80 Days"

When:  Monday, December 9th, 2019, 7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
Where  Love Street Playhouse
            126 Loves Ave
            Woodland, WA 98674
Call for teaching artists: Clark College Community Education

Clark College's Community and Continuing Education program invites creative teaching artists to apply for spring courses. Clark seeks teaching artists in all disciplines year-round: winter (January - March), spring (April - June), summer (July/August), fall (September - December). Programs are open to all ages. Class duration is negotiated between the teaching artist and the program manager. Classes are scheduled Monday through Saturday at varying times. See the Clark Continuing Education web page for a list of example courses. New course ideas are welcomed. Teaching responsibilities include:
  • Design and execute an age-appropriate, project-based arts curriculum
  • Develop, complete, and submit lesson plans at assigned site(s)
  • Collaborate and communicate with Clark staff through all stages of the course development and execution
Extensive knowledge of and experience with an art form is desired. Clark is looking for experienced instructors and is also open to working with artists who are interested in teaching. Clark's Community and Continuing Education teaching artist pay begins at $30/hour. Clark covers the cost of an approved supply list. To express interest please complete this form or learn more here.

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.