The Clark County Arts and Culture Summit was held on March 3, 2012 at the newly renovated and restored Artillery Building at Fort Vancouver. A capacity of 120 people joined in this full day of networking, conversation, panels, listening and sharing their ideas for the future of our arts community. Our facilitator was Anne Stadler, whose guidance ensured that everyone was fully engaged in the day.

The summit opened with a welcome from Vancouver mayor Tim Leavitt. He talked about how arts and culture are essential to a dynamic and prosperous community and described the need for public-private partnerships to support the arts and to encourage their integration in the fiber of our city.

Anne Stadler introduced us to WorldCafé™ conversation method, as she asked everyone to get into small groups of 3 to 4 and spend 20 minutes getting to know each other and sharing ideas of what brought them to the summit, what was important to get out of the day’s exchange of ideas and where we should go. The conversation was lively and energizing.

Midmorning panel discussions began with “Cities Connecting with Arts” and was moderated by Eloise Damrosch, executive director of the Regional Arts and Culture Council (RACC) with panelists Mayor Denny Dole of Beaverton, Mayor Jack Hoffman of Lake Oswego and former Mayor Liz Cerveny of La Center. They each shared how their cities have incorporated the arts into their communities and how the arts has become an important part of what is expected as a public good. Each Mayor shared how their city found a way to incorporate arts into the design and activity of the city and how their city supported the arts through 1% for Art, arts festivals and events, art centers and infrastructure that places art throughout the community.

Three concurring panels discussed arts education, business partnerships and opportunities for arts. Each panelist came to the discussion with their own story and addressed their particular opportunities and. challenges. The one comment most heard among summit attendees was how they wished they could have heard all the panels. The panels left plenty of time for questions and lively discussions between the attendees and panelists and with one another.

Lunch followed the panel discussions and enabled more time for continuing the discussion and networking. Midway through lunch Anne Stadler asked everyone to use paper and markers to doodle an idea, wish, desire and/or concept of what they wanted to happen in our arts community. The doodles were then spread out on tables and everyone was asked to wander through and read the shared ideas. The doodles were later collected and became the basis for a follow-up meeting.

In the afternoon we were introduced to the “marketplace” of ideas where anyone could propose a topic for two breakout sessions. These topics were posted on the wall and people could self-select which session they would like to join. The breakout sessions addressed the many ideas for change that have been a constant in our communities. The discussions went from creating a county-wide open studios event to building a performing arts center to the renovation of the Fort Vancouver Post Hospital and to funding public art that is accessible to all. These discussions were rich in practical ideas to move forward.

A tour of the Fort Vancouver Post Hospital also was available for those attendees who had not yet seen the building. Cara Cantonwine guided the group through the massive building explaining its history as well as the possibilities for such a wonderful space. Planning for the hospital has just started and a public symposium is planned for mid May, 2012, followed by several open house discussions on how the building will be renovated and for what uses.

In our final gathering of the day, Anne asked everyone to come up with a saying defining our day in just a few words. A few were read aloud. Some were funny, others heartfelt but all embraced the ideas we shared through the day.

We ended with passing around the microphone to share thoughts and plans of where we want to go from here—ideas that can lead to a thriving arts community throughout our county. Now we need to make it happen. We identified the desire for significant change and a coming together to make it happen.

The day ended with a social time with more networking, ideas and just good conversation over wine and snacks.


8–8:30 — Registration check-in, get acquainted, coffee and snacks

8:30–10 — Welcome and opening session

10–10:15 — Break/transition

10:15–11 — General Panel:

Eloise Damrosch, Executive Director, Regional Arts & Culture Councilmoderator
Liz Cerveny, Former Mayor, La Center, WApanelist
Jack Hoffman, Mayor, Lake Oswego, ORpanelist
Denny Doyle, Mayor, Beaverton, ORpanelist

11–11:45 Concurrent Panels:

Janet L. Gallimore, Executive Director, Idaho State Historical Societymoderator
Rebecca Anstine, artist/retired art teacher—panelist
Harrison Higgs, Associate Chair, Department of Fine Arts, WSU Vancouverpanelist
John Deeder, Superintendent, Evergreen Public Schoolspanelist

Kelly Sills, Economic Development Manager, Clark County, WAmoderator

Stacey Graham, Chief Strategy Officer and EVP, First Independent Bank—panelist
Jan Bader, Program and Policy Development Manager, City of Vancouver, WApanelist
Susan Courtney, Courtney Consulting—panelist

Elson Strahan, CEO, Fort Vancouver National Trustmoderator
Jan Asai , Executive Director, Columbia Dance Studiopanelist
Jane Jacobsen, Executive Director, Confluence Projectpanelist
Bryan Suereth, Executive Director, Disjectapanelist

11:45–12:15 — Open “marketplace” of ideas

12:15–1:45 — Lunch and breakout session #1 (box lunch provided by Simply Thyme Catering)

1:45–3 — Breakout session #2

3–4 — Continued “marketplace” conversations plus optional tour of the Post Hospital

4-5 — Conclusion

5-6:30 — Social time / wine and hors d’oeuvres

Artillery Barracks
Vancouver National Historic Reserve
600 East Hathaway Road
Vancouver, WA 98661

8 a.m. – 6:30 pm
Saturday, March 3, 2012

View parking map

For more information, please contact Email Karen MadsenPat LaCroix or Amy Chase.

A special thanks
Arts of Clark County extends a
special thanks to all who
contributed to making the summit
a successful event, including these
organizations and individuals:

Fort Vancouver National Trust
Clark County
City of Vancouver
First Independent Bank
Simply Thyme
Paper Tiger Coffee Roasters
Vancouver Symphony
Metropolitan Performing Arts
Bravo Chorus and Symphony
La Croix Creations
Junior Symphony of Vancouver
Judith Sanders Wood
Twila Barbieri
Anna Cruz
Patricia Thompson
Sunny Le Grand
Cameron Suttles
Cara Cantonwine
Julie Kummer
Elizabeth Holmes

A day of connections, energy, ideas and momentum
During the March 3, 2012 event, participants heard the stories of community leaders on four moderated panels, followed by break-out sessions to discuss ideas and solutions. The day wrapped up with a social time for networking and continuing the conversation.

Shaping our future
On March 3, 2012, more than 120 interested citizens gathered to begin creating a vision for the future of the arts in Clark County. Their purpose was to build awareness of our county’s rich arts and cultural resources, forging partnerships and collaborations, and create a united presence to make Clark County’s vibrant arts community visible within this region and beyond. The agenda for this pivotal event has sparked ongoing activities to further the cause.

Anne Stadlerfacilitator
The Summit was facilitated by independent consultant Anne Stadler, who led group workshop activities at Washington State Arts Alliance’s annual Cultural Congress, held at Skamania Lodge. Anne supports self-organized collective leadership and her work has helped communities transform from surviving to thriving presence.