Arts Alive! celebrated second year presenting local arts organizations

Saturday, September 17 brought creative types from across Clark County together for the second annual Arts Alive! festival at the Public Service Plaza in downtown Vancouver. The event, produced through the collaboration of Artstra, the Clark County Arts Commission, the Columbia Arts Network, and the Southwest Washington Center for the Arts, collaborated with more than 25 regional artists and cultural organizations to present the 4-hour event.

The festival, with the mission of introducing the community to the artists and cultural organizations of Southwest Washington, saw the Public Service Plaza filled with tents and booths. Visitors had the opportunity of connecting with members from all disciplines of visual art, including representatives from Abstract Fine Arts Studio, the Northwest Oil Painters Guild, Kilnfolk Clay Studio, among many others. Young visitors to the event could get “hands-on” at the Clay Station with supplies donated through the generosity of Georgie’s Ceramic & Clay Co.

Clark County commissioner and executive director of the Historic Trust Temple Lentz acted as Master of Ceremonies for the event, introducing local poets and performers from some of the region’s top performing arts organizations. The event was bookended nicely, opening with a blessing from Cowlitz Tribe elder Tanna Engdahl transitioning smoothly into the event’s first performance, a drum circle performed by the Traveling Day Society. Ora Nui Tahitian Dance Troupe closed the event with a heated performance featuring traditional dances from across Polynesia. Poet Laureate Armin Tolentino presented spoken word artists, representing many of Clark County’s up-and-coming poets.

A huge thank you to all of the artists and organizations who helped make this second-year event a success, and thank you to the hundreds of community members who came to explore the region’s artists!