As the saying goes, life is like riding a bicycle. In order to keep your balance, you must keep moving. There are bumpy patches and hills to climb on the road to a more vibrant arts economy. But we’ll get there if we can keep moving ahead.

Following our vision
This past year, Arts of Clark County has helped move our community along this road. But to keep things moving we’ll need your continued support. As an all-volunteer nonprofit, we depend upon the kindness of our loyal supporters. We also have faith in those who haven’t yet helped but would like to.

During this season of giving, please consider a donation to help sustain our programs and arts advocacy efforts.

A year of progress
2017 began for us on a snowy day last January at the Community Library where friends gathered and poets read their works. This was the launch event for our Poetry Moves Season 3 program which places poetry as public art in every C-TRAN bus. We were honored to have Washington State Poet Laureate Tod Marshall as one of the contributing poets. Thanks to supporters and our partnership with C-TRAN and Clark County Poet Laureate Christopher Luna, Poetry Moves continues to delight and inspire bus riders every single day. In July, Poetry Moves Season 4 introduced contributions from ten student poets in the countywide “Poets in the Schools” program. Season 5 begins in January 2018.

In February we brought a passionate group of local arts supporters to Arts and Heritage Day in Olympia to share what’s going on in the Clark County arts community. We made wonderful connections with our local state representatives and senators as we kicked off planning for our second Arts and Culture Summit. It was back in 2014 when our board of directors decided on the topic of discussion for the summit: How arts infrastructure is critical to a growing arts community and identifying arts spaces and how we can bring them to life. A lively 136 attendees took a full Saturday in September to learn how other communities are investing in the arts. If you haven’t checked out CVTV’s recording of the morning sessions, you may view it here.

We are encouraged that the City of Vancouver, with the aid of their consultants at BDS Planning, are carrying the torch forward with a revision of the Cultural, Arts and Heritage Plan expected to be completed in early 2018.

In early November, we celebrated our 5th year of Clark County Open Studios with an opening exhibition at the new CAVE gallery followed by another successful tour of studios a week later. With the help of a City of Vancouver Lodging Tax Grant, we spread our advertising dollars out to distant communities to share the incredible art we have here in our own back yard. In the past five years, over 130 different artists have been juried into the program and have participated in the self-guided, countywide studio tour.

Beyond our regular programming and behind the scenes, we are working for new policies to encourage arts as a driver of economic development and, really, just reminding everyone that we live in a place we love and where the arts are supported.

In July, Karen Hannan, director of the Washington State Arts Commission (ArtsWA), came for a visit. ArtsWA is working on criteria for how Washington State will designate Certified Creative Districts under a newly enacted law. Karen gave us a sneak peak into what this designation might look like. It’s really exciting and could be part of our future.

As for 2018, Arts of Clark County will continue to engage with the community to develop new ideas and programs.

Thanks to all who have contributed to a successful year for Arts of Clark County. Your donation will help us continue to advance the arts in Clark County and southwest Washington.