February 2023
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
Clark County Arts Commission lifetime achievement award ceremony set for February 21
Lifetime Achievement Award recipient, Paul Christensen
The Clark County Arts Commission is excited to award the 2022 Lifetime
Achievement Award to Paul E. Christensen—and a lifetime of achievement
in many, many arenas certainly defines this remarkable gentleman. Pilot,
adventurer, singer, historian, veteran, priest, real estate magnate, and
philanthropist, Paul has blessed Clark County for many decades with his
contagious joy, and his boundless passion and generosity for the arts.

“Paul, who has never been a “think INSIDE the box person,” has always
been a creative visionary—usually with a touch of glee.” —Lee Rafferty, City of Vancouver Culture, Art and Heritage Commissioner

Born in South Dakota, Paul moved to Vancouver at the age of nine after
the loss of his father, entered the local school system, and quickly distinguished himself as an enthusiastic young musician and singer. These early loves would follow him all his life, and Clark County would end up the beneficiary of his musical passion and his seemingly endless contributions
to so many large and small arts and music organizations in SouthWest

“If an opportunity arises to bring the arts into the world of our kids and
families, Paul helps us make it a reality.” —Jill Campbell, Hough Foundation

His success in real estate with his company, Realvest, enabled him to make substantial investments of time and treasure to Artstra, the Vancouver Symphony, The Hough Foundation, The SW Center for the Arts, The Historic Trust, and many other nonprofit organizations.

One of Paul’s dreams over the past 20 years has been the establishment of a destination-quality Center for the Arts in collaboration with The SW Center for the Arts. While still unrealized, this dream remains vividly alive, and something tells us that Paul has this—and a few more “achievements”—left to add to his already impressive list of accomplishments, all benefiting the common good of Clark County.

Please come and celebrate with us the life of a good and generous man. Paul will be honored at the Clark County Council Meeting on Tuesday, February 21 at The Clark County Public Service Center, Sixth Floor. The community is invited to show your support for Paul.

“Paul is the epitome of the kind of person the lifetime achievement award
should go to. We all need to thank him and give him a round of applause.” — Karen Madsen, Chair, Artstra
Literary Arts Alive!
Left to right, Judy Rose, Gwendolyn Morgan, LaRae Zawodny, Armin Tolentino, front: Jennifer Pratt-Walter, Christopher Luna; back: Deborah Nagano, Councilor Gary Medvigy
A Celebration of Poetry at Magenta Theater on Sunday, January 8, enjoyed a packed house of enthusiasts for the art of poetry. Guest of honor Rena Priest, Washington State Poet Laureate charmed everyone with her warmth, humor and important thought-provoking poems. Clark County Poet Laureate Armin Tolentino was officially crowned with laurel. He clearly encourages others by example with enthusiasm, energy, and personal voice in every word of his readings. Regional poets presented their poems from five seasons of Poetry Moves, Artstra’s program in collaboration with C-Tran, to put poems on the buses. The audience also delighted in dance and music inspired by poetry.
Armin Tolentino, Clark County Poet Laureate with dancers Andrea Hovee Logue (front) and Michele Hanlon
Oregon Repertory Singers begin Vancouver chapter
Established in 1994, the Oregon Repertory Singers Youth Choir is a non-profit music education and performance-based program for students from Kindergarten through 12th grade. ORSYC has historically been serving children in the Portland area, but has plans to expand to a "Westside" and "Eastside" with the possibility of a "Northside" chapter for singers in Clark County.

According to Amberlynn Lane, who will be directing the North chapter, "Singers in the choir will not only have educational and performance opportunities, they also get to work with some of the biggest composers in choral music. Last Spring the choir worked with Eric Whitacre. This year, the children will premiere a commissioned work by Stacey Philipps. Students will be learning a variety of multi-voice part choral works in several languages."

There is no audition requirement for singers, as community building and education are part of the group's mission. Northside rehearsals will be held Tuesday nights at Fircrest Elementary School, 12001 NE 9th St. in Vancouver. Registration is open now with an in-person info session on February 7th. Rehearsals will begin on February 14th and run through June 6th. Tuition for the term is $400, and payment plans and scholarships are available.
Camas Public Library accepting submissions for upcoming art exhibition
The Camas Public Library is currently accepting submissions from local artists to be included in the upcoming exhibition, Common Threads. The exhibition, which runs from May through June, will feature artwork that focuses on the history, community, and environment of the region.

Submissions are due by Friday, March 3. Complete guidelines and additional information may be found by clicking the button below.
Southwest Washington Wind Symphony presents Wind Songs, featuring Sarah Maines
Portland-based mezzo-soprano Sarah Maines will perform with the Southwest Washington Wind Symphony at a concert titled Wind Songs at 3:00 pm on Sunday, March 5 at the Union High School Performing Arts Center. Under the baton of conductor Patrick Murphy, the program includes Jupiter from The Planets by Gustav Holst, The Seal Lullaby by Eric Whitacre, and more. Sarah Maines will perform They Can't Take That Away From Me by George Gershwin and My Soul to Keep by Julie Giroux. The latter piece is dedicated to all touched by gun violence. The Southwest Washington Wind Symphony is a 55-musician, professional quality concert band in its 16th season.

Southwest Washington Wind Symphony concerts are FREE and open to the public. Masks will be required indoors. The Union High School Performing Arts Center is located at 6201 NW Friberg-Strunk Street in Camas, Washington.
Vancouver's Downtown Association First Friday Artwalk
Visit downtown Vancouver for this month’s First Friday Art Walk! Our downtown is home to a wide array of gallery spaces and art-centric businesses that are ready to welcome you on Friday, February 3!

Be sure to drop by Art on the Boulevard, as they celebrate 17 years of presenting Northwest artists with a reception from 5 - 8 PM! Congratulations to this wonderful Vancouver institution!
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.
Five 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
Sammuel Murry-Hawkins, editor, designer 
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.orgno 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 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.