February 2017
Are we finally done with the snow and ice? Let's hope so. If we can't have warm weather, at least we may have warm thoughts--about the future of the arts in our community.

In this and upcoming issues of ARTS brief, we will be highlighting a number of unique opportunities for arts development north of 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

Fort Vancouver East Barracks buildings - U.S. National Park Service.

Fort Vancouver: A potential catalyst for the arts?

In the vast arts ecosystem that reaches across the river to Portland and beyond, Vancouver holds an untapped opportunity that could be a game-changer for our community and our economy. 

The Fort Vancouver National Historic Site includes a "campus" of army barracks buildings in need of redevelopment by tenants willing to provide a public benefit aligned with the National Park Service's philosophy and their overall site plan. 

According to Superintendent Tracy Fortmann, the buildings are available to nonprofit arts organizations at very favorable lease rates not generally found in the private sector. Fortmann was instrumental in the transformation of the San Francisco Bay Area's Fort Mason and the Marin Headlands, which are now thriving arts centers. Our community could do something similar at the Fort. 

We have witnessed past efforts of local groups focused on encouraging investment in arts-related facilities in Vancouver. But none have actually coalesced, established themselves, or gained the kind of momentum deserving of our community. Perhaps we haven't thought big enough. Perhaps we get mired in the idea that facilities north of the river should serve only residents north of the river. Or perhaps we have settled too easily for the notion that if you want arts and culture experiences, you just cross the river to Portland.  

Instead of setting ourselves up in opposition to Portland, we should embrace Portland. We could offer an affordable and more permanent place for displaced artists or those looking for opportunity--a place for the arts community to expand and flourish. We can offer partnership in an arts future, meeting needs not currently met, serving everyone north and south of the river--and beyond. 

The National Park Service opportunity, if handled with inspired vision, could attract national organizations (perhaps priced out of their current locations) to locate here. To do all this, local groups and entities will need to work together instead of in isolation. We will need to collaborate and look for synergies to make the most efficient and effective use of resources. 

As for Arts of Clark County, we would like to offer ourselves up where we can as a neutral party that can help connect the dots and facilitate conversation toward fulfilling a vision of Vancouver as being a part of the regional or national arts hub that is the greater metropolitan area. 

There are of course other efforts we've been interested in that could be energized by this vision, including the creation of an arts education/exhibition center, a performing arts center, and the development of affordable live-work artist spaces. We expect future issues of ARTS brief to dive deeper into each of these topics. 

If you have ideas or interest in getting involved you may reply to this message.
First Friday Pick

Selena Jones & Dave MacGougan's
"People People"
at North Bank Artists Gallery

The work of artists Jones and MacGougan share a common theme: people. Their work is complimentary in both subject and aesthetic, as they are each inveterate drawers who enjoy a physical, hands-on approach to their art-making. This co-presentation of their individually produced work is a culmination of years of productive conversations between these two similarly-intentioned people.

North Bank Artists Gallery
1005 Main St., Vancouver
Magenta Theater
Waiting in the Wings
February 16

Celebrate Magenta's new season with Waiting in the Wings by Noel Coward on Feb. 16 at 7:30 p.m. The opening night show for the season is Feb. 10. The play, directed by Jaynie Roberts, will feature Northwest songstress and bandleader Linda Lee Michelet who will portray Almina Clare, one of the residents in Waiting in the Wings living among other retired actresses striving to maintain their professional dignity in waning years. 

Significant for the Feb. 16 show is the partnership between Magenta Theater and the Police Activities League of Vancouver (P.A.L.). The nonprofit will receive a percentage of profits from that day's showing. The community theater supports the positive works of P.A.L. in the effort to provide important relationships and options for youth. The theater members hope the seats will be filled on Feb. 16 to boost proceeds for P.A.L.

Magenta Theater
1108 Main St., Vancouver
Symphony Sounds
Maestro Brotons to lead the orchestra in Mozart's Symphony No. 40
Music Director Salvador Brotons returns to Skyview Concert Hall Saturday, Feb. 25, at 3 p.m. and Sunday, Feb 26, at 7 p.m. to lead the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra in two memorable concerts with special guest artist and clarinet virtuoso David Shifrin, the Artistic Director of Chamber Music Northwest in Portland. Shifrin will dazzle the audience with two virtuosic masterworks for clarinet. These include C. M. von Weber's romantic Concertino for Clarinet and Orchestra and Rossini's Introduction, Theme and Variations, which provides a sparkling set of virtuosic variations for the clarinet.

Poetry Happenings
Ghost Town Poetry Open Mic is Thursday, Feb. 9 at 7 p.m. The popular event will feature Laura LeHew and R.R. Seitz. LeHew's collections include Becoming (Another New Calligraphy), Willingly Would I Burn, (MoonPath Press), It's Always Night, It Always Rains, (Winterhawk Press) and Beauty (Tiger's Eye Press). Seitz writes from the place of decisions made by an eighteen-year- old that carry forward, day-by- day, to the present. His 2006 book Right Here Right Now is in its third printing and made its way to odd places outside the U.S., including Southeast Asia.

Angst Gallery
1015 Main St., Vancouver
5 ways to support the cause!
If you love what Arts of Clark County is doing for our community, please consider these ways to contribute: 

  1. Donate
    Use PayPal to make a tax-deductible donation to Arts of Clark County. 
  2. Shop
    Link your Fred Meyer Rewards Card to Arts of Clark County using our code #84120. Just by using your rewards card number, and at no cost to you, every time you shop you'll help Arts of Clark County 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 Arts of Clark County.

  4. Repurpose
    Donate quality or like-new items to Boomerang coffee house and consignment store. Specify that you would like proceeds to benefit Generosity Partner Arts of Clark County.
  5. Volunteer
    Arts of Clark County 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

Jackie Genis, writer, editor 
Cam Suttles, designer, editor
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 our lead writer, Jackie Genis, jackiegenis@outlook.com, NO LATER THAN THE 20TH 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 Arts of Clark County. We do not accept materials that primarily have a commercial objective.
About Arts of Clark County
Arts of Clark County (AoCC) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization created for the purpose of promoting, encouraging, and enhancing creative expression and artistic opportunities in Clark County and Southwest Washington. The arts contribute to this region's unique character as a desirable place to live, work, and visit. AoCC and its volunteer board of directors supports all forms of art--music, theater, dance, and literary, visual, and media art--and works to ensure that arts experiences are inclusive of individuals of all ages and backgrounds.