Join us

We are an all-volunteer working board, dedicated to uplifting and connecting the community through the power of the arts. Our work focuses on our programs and partnerships to carry out our mission.

If you are passionate about the arts in our community and the power that art has to enhance our lives please consider joining us. Volunteers are needed for Poetry Moves, Open Studios, and Creative Relief.  Additionally, if you have professional skills and experience in nonprofit development, fundraising, or arts administration, we’d love to talk with you.

Board of Directors meetings are held on the second Wednesday of each month at 5:30 p.m. in Umpqua Bank’s Community Room, 101 E 6th St., Vancouver, WA 98660. If you are interested in attending, please contact us at info@artstra.org  Our meetings are open to the public and we welcome all.

Contact Info

Artstra
P.O. Box 191
Vancouver, WA 98666

Artstra Board of Directors

LARAE ZAWODNY
LARAE ZAWODNYBoard Chair
LaRae Zawodny is an artist/educator who has lived in Clark County since 1982. She holds an M.F.A. in Painting from Claremont Graduate University in California and a B.A. Magna cum laude from the University of Nebraska at Omaha. As a Visual Arts Specialist, she taught in the Vancouver School District, including the Vancouver School of Arts and Academics. LaRae’s artwork has been exhibited widely, and is included in the collections of Mercedes Benz Corporation and Pomona College among others. LaRae served as Director of the Poet Laureate Program and as representative of Battle Ground on the Clark County Arts Commission (2016-2021; Chair 2020-2021), and as a board member and Director of Poetry Moves of Artstra since 2019.
Michele Hanlon
Michele HanlonVice Chair
Michele Hanlon relocated to Vancouver from North Texas in July of 2021. She has worked in the arts as a performer, creator, advocate and arts administrator, most recently serving as Associate Dean for the Arts at The University of Texas at Dallas in Richardson, TX where she was a member of the dance faculty. She earned a BFA in Dance From the University of Arizona, an MFA in Dance From Texas Christian University, and an MPA from the University of Texas at Dallas. Hanlon founded and co-directed Elledanceworks, a professional modern dance company based in Dallas, TX. Her choreography has been presented in Düsseldorf Germany, the Scandinavian Dance Congress, Kedja, Oslo, Norway, and throughout the South and Central US. Michele is a graduate of Fort Vancouver High School in Vancouver, WA.

JEAN LACROSSE
JEAN LACROSSESecretary
Jean LaCrosse was born and raised in Eastern Oregon. After finishing her BFA at the University of Arizona in Tucson, Jean worked as an art director for ad agencies and design firms in Phoenix and Scottsdale, AZ. She has partnered in and owned two design firms, a fine-art business and established a music and hi-fi magazine currently in its 13th year with worldwide distribution. Some of Jean’s past clients include: Mayo Clinic, Scottsdale Memorial Health Foundation, Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation and Bombardier Canadair. Her fine art business secured licenses to sell images of Porsche and GM cars as well as Ducati motorcycles.
DOUGLAS STALEY
DOUGLAS STALEYTreasurer
A recent Seattle refugee Doug has been primarily a non-profit Theater Director and Producer for the better part of 40 years, having directed and or produced over 60 plays from Shakespeare to Tennessee Williams to Stephen Sondheim. He has also produced, written and directed corporate video projects and done sound and stage design. Managing small performing arts organizations has provided Doug with the opportunity to work in day to day management, along with PR, Development and Facility Maintenance. As an occasional extra, you might see a 30 years younger version of him on reruns of Northern Exposure, usually looking surprised in The Brick.

DEBORAH NAGANO
DEBORAH NAGANOBoard member
Deborah Nagano combines a lifelong passion for the arts with a distinguished legal career. A graduate of the University of California, Berkeley, and the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law, Deborah spent four decades as a successful attorney in California. She’s held board and officer roles in various organizations, currently serving as the Chair of the Clark County Arts Commission and the Co-President of the Artisans’ Guild of Camas. She’s a mother, grandmother, and amateur artist who admires the transformative power of art in fostering dialogue, broadening perspectives, and connecting humanity. Her multifaceted journey enriches Artstra’s mission to celebrate and promote the arts.
ANNA CRUZ
ANNA CRUZBoard Member
Anna B. Cruz grew up in Jalisco, Mexico, studied dance and choreography at the University of Guadalajara. She is the director of Vancouver Ballet Folklorico, a local dance group focusing on inspiring and engaging Hispanic children to learn, appreciate and preserve the roots and traditions of the Mexican culture through dance, music, discipline and creativity. Anna has been engaged in art and culture in the Northwest since 2010. ​Her passion for Day of the Dead celebrations is known in the community.
JACKIE WOOD
JACKIE WOODBoard Member
Jackie Wood is an abstract painter whose diverse background in graphic design, software quality engineering, and fine art has shaped her unique artistic perspective. With a degree in graphic design, Jackie developed a solid foundation in design principles and visual communication. In her abstract works, Jackie combines vibrant colors and textures to create captivating compositions that evoke a range of emotions and interpretations. She firmly believes in the transformative power of art and is dedicated to bringing the creative process to others. Through community projects, Jackie shares her passion for art, nurturing the artistic growth of aspiring artists and fostering a sense of connection and exploration.
JENNIFER WILLIAMS
JENNIFER WILLIAMSBoard Member
Jennifer Williams is a Pacific Northwest environmental landscape painter. Since graduating from Portland State University in 1996 with her Bachelor of Science and Fine Arts degree, she has developed a distinct style of mixed-media that has led to a strong following that includes corporate and private collections throughout the U.S. and abroad. Painting full time, Williams work has been shown regionally for over twenty-five years. Williams took the lead in launching the Clark County Open Studios program in 2013 and has been the director for the past ten years, devoting much of her time to artist mentoring and arts advocacy.
KAREN MADSEN
KAREN MADSENBoard Adviser
Karen (K.C.) Madsen has a background in both business and art. She was partner in a successful small business, holding patents in four countries and ultimately licensing her product to 3M Corp. She served on advisory boards in Portland relating to education and affordable housing before returning to school to earn an MA in studio art at New York University. She has exhibited in New York and on the west coast and was included in the Portland Art Museum’s 2006 Oregon Biennial. Karen has curated local art installations and spearheaded two arts and culture summits, helping to shape a vision for the arts in southwest Washington.

Other team members