April 2020
Three spirits came to me
And drew me apart
To where the olive boughs
Lay stripped upon the ground:
Pale carnage beneath bright mist.

April by Ezra Pound
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
Finding relief, supporting the arts in difficult times
6-year-old Frankie is one of the volunteers with Artstra's "Creative Relief" program, packing art supply tubs and helping others find peace through art-making in these uncertain times. Here on March 17 she helps hand off materials to Open House Ministries Donor Relations Officer Jean LaCrosse who is also an Artstra board member.
Stay Home. Be Safe. That's the caution for now and the near future.  Of course staying home has its repercussions for our community's economic health and especially for our arts community. The arts thrive on creative work being seen, heard, and experienced. And having an audience is integral to that equation.

So we are pleased to see organizations like the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra and Kiggins Theatre streaming programs and films. Galleries are refreshing their web experience to connect with buyers and numerous groups like Magenta Theater are offering gift cards to boost future sales. Local artists are using social media to share live video tutorials on art-making. 

Artists and arts groups are, not surprisingly, finding creative ways to stay afloat.  But without people in seats and tickets being sold, many of our community's most cherished groups may have to scale back or even disappear. It could take months, if not years, for small venues and others to rebuild or recover.

In 2018 I wrote a story in this newsletter about how important it was to share the arts with those young people you know and love. Our commitment to making the arts an important part of our lives needs to be a priority now more than ever. If you can, donate now to those struggling and most important, remember to buy tickets and attend performances and gallery shows when the curtains go up again. 

Lets not let COVID-19 cancel the arts. 

Karen Madsen
Board Chair
Open Studios call for artists
Application deadline extended due to COVID-19
A letter from Jennifer Williams

Dear artist friends,

I hope you are finding solace in your art-making practice. As artists have always done, we work through our experiences, be they joyful or fearful, by making art. I have never been more thankful to have the comfort and focus of my studio.  

While physical health is everyone's main concern, the well-being of our arts community is also at stake. Like businesses and people around the world, artists are faced with severe career disruption. Our email inboxes are filled with event cancellations and closures, adding to the uncertainty of tomorrow. While today we must practice social distancing, let us also continue to plan and be hopeful for the future. We will get through this.

Plans are moving forward for the 8th annual Clark County Open Studios scheduled for the first weekend in November, eight months from now. This program is enthusiastically anticipated and supported by our community. The 2019 tour saw a record number of visitors and record sales. Open Studios is about connecting and, come November, we will all need this more than ever. We can plan, make art, and look forward to a successful and prosperous 2020 Open Studios in the fall.

I encourage all visual artists working in Clark County in any medium to apply. Check out the guidelines and application process here. It's just $25 to apply. The deadline has been extended to May 31.

In an effort to relieve the financial hardships of our artists and to encourage participation, any artists accepted through the jury process who are unable to pay the participation fee due to adverse effects of the coronavirus pandemic can postpone payment of the $125 participation fee until after the tour. In addition, the safety of Open Studio artists and the safety of visitors is of highest priority. We will take the steps necessary to adjust our planning as information is available.  Please feel free to contact me with questions, concerns, or help in applying.

Make art, and most important, take care,

Jennifer Williams
Artstra Open Studios Director
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.  


Call for K-12 student poets
K-12 students:
Stuck at home? Write a poem
for display on C-Tran buses
With students home from school, you may be looking for ideas to engage kids with creative and educational activities. We invite Clark County K-12 students to participate in Artstra's Poetry Moves program that places poetry on C-Tran buses for a 6-month season

Discovering and sharing the power of words through the literary arts can begin at an early age and lead to a lifelong enrichment of our creative spirit. Submitting a poem is easy with our online submission form and guidelines. The deadline for submittals is May 31. 

Student must be a K-12 student currently enrolled in a public, private, or home school in Clark County, Washington. You may submit a maximum of two poems, each of which must not exceed seven lines (50 characters per line maximum) and is student's own original work. 

Questions: Please contact Artstra at submitpoetry@artstra.org 

Poetry Moves is a program of the nonprofit Artstra in partnership with C-Tran and Fort Vancouver Regional Libraries. 
Artist resources during the COVID-19 pandemic
Artstra cancellations and postponements

4/18 Art Marketing workshop
with Alyson Stanfield:


4/26 Celebration of Poetry
at Vancouver Community Library:

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.

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 artsbrief@artstra.org, 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.